Everyone is talking about it: the coronavirus has drastically changed the way we live our lives for the foreseeable future. With the virus keeping people stuck inside, working from home is the new reality. This change — especially when coupled with the isolation of social distancing — can be difficult to adjust to.

It can be hard to stay motivated and maintain your mental health during these times. But you don’t have to do it alone! As a work-from-home aficionado, I wanted to share some unique tips to successfully working from home. From pets to playlists, here’s everything you need to know about working from home. 

1. Enjoy time with furry co-workers.

You might find that despite working from home, you still have “coworkers” to keep you company. Working with a pet curled up by your side, or simply taking breaks to take them on walks around the neighborhood can help you to stay positive, comfortable and ready to take on the work ahead. 

There’s a reason that therapy dogs exist: pets have been scientifically proven to provide relief from anxiety, stress, and depression. (I’m a dog person myself, but if you have a cat or other furry friend, I suppose that works too.) 

The National Institute of Health conducted a study with two groups of kids diagnosed with ADHD. The first group of kids read to a therapy dog once a week for 30 minutes, while the second group read to puppets that looked like dogs. Kids who read to the real animals showed better social skills and more sharing, cooperation, and volunteering. They also had fewer behavioral problems. 

So whether you need a little therapy and love — or you need some help wrangling your littles ones — embrace your furry friends while you work from home over the next few months. Bonus points if you share pictures of them on Facebook to give your friends a boost, too!

2. Nap if you need to.

If you’ve been losing sleep from anxiety lately, you’re not alone. The good news is that working from home gives you flexibility in your schedule to get the rest that you need. Whether it’s your kids or your anxiety that is causing you to lose sleep at night, that can affect your productivity during the day as well. 

Employers still expect your best work, and sleep deprivation can prevent that from happening. The good news is that taking short naps to energize yourself is no crime! In fact, power naps (aka 15-20 minutes) can do wonders when it comes to re-energizing and boosting your productivity. Increase your alertness, creativity, and memory by resting your mind and body with a midday nap if you get the chance! 

3. Listen to classical music.

Classical music has been long acclaimed to help listeners be more productive. Whether it’s the calming melodies or the smooth flow of the music, listening to classical music is one way to limit your distractions and boost efficiency while working. 

Researchers have dubbed it “The Mozart Effect” — classical music has been shown to help students improve their test scores by 12 percent. Music with lyrics has actually been a proven distraction, but classical music is lyric-free, allowing better focus and concentration.

The good news is that when you work from home, you don’t have to worry about bothering your co-workers. So when you need to knock out a big project and are feeling overwhelmed, try a classical playlist. Here’s one that you can test out!

4. Take a yoga break.

Being stuck at home can lead to inactivity and a negative impact on your health. It’s important to stay active both for a better mindset and increased efficiency. Yoga is one way to stay active at home without the need for too much space or equipment. Benefits of yoga include reduced stress, improved quality of sleep, increased strength, and improved quality of life. If you’re feeling the strain of social isolation too, grab a friend for a virtual yoga class. 

My favorite yoga and meditation classes are on the Peloton app, which is offering a 90 day free trial during the COVID-19 shutdowns. If you have a treadmill or spin bike at home, you can also take advantage of their other class options, too. 

I hope that these tips will help you make the most of your time working from home, even though the circumstances aren’t ideal. For tips on how to work more efficiently while taking care of yourself, check out this blog by beauty and branding expert Tiffany Napper. 

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