6 Mindfulness Hacks to Help You Stay Focused While Working from Home
By Ana Garcia
Have you made the transition to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic? Have your kids switched to a hybrid model of both online and in-person learning, or are they sticking to homeschooling, remote work or pandemic pods?
If one or both of these things are true for your family, you’ve all probably been spending more time staring at a screen than usual. And, time once spent on your daily commute is now spent scrolling through social media. Bedrooms are meeting rooms, kitchens are classrooms, and technology is one of the only ways to connect to the outside world!
Since home is the new workplace, this poses a new challenge: Staying on task and remaining focused.
Did you know mindfulness can help you be more productive and calm? It’s true! Mindfulness is the practice of bringing acceptance and awareness to the present moment. Studies show that mindfulness reduces stress, boosts focus and increases productivity at work.
Luckily, you can incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine to help you get things done, too. Keep reading to learn about our 6 mindfulness hacks to help you stay focused while working from home.
1. Take movement breaks
It might seem a bit out of place to talk about breaks when referring to productive hacks, but moving around just a bit in-between tasks works wonders! Movement means something different for everyone. So, plan your work schedule so that it allows for a few minutes to go for a run, do a quick workout or even get some household chores done. These activities will not only allow your body to have better circulation and blood oxygenation, but they’ll also keep you calm so you’ll be ready to tackle the rest of the day.
2. Chair yoga stretches
Sitting exercises are perfect for the at-home worker who doesn’t have much time for a break! Why not give the yoga approach a try and start the day with this great adaptive technique? Chair yoga is a gentler form of traditional yoga that can be done whilst sitting down. It can also be modified depending on your abilities. This can be especially beneficial if you’re older or have limited mobility including hip and knee issues. You can even grab some chairs from around the house and work chair yoga into your daily routine – even the kids can join in on the relaxing fun!
3. Breathing practices
Holding on to little daily rituals such as mindful breathing can have long-lasting positive effects on your mental health. You can even do controlled breathing exercises while sitting down in front of your desk. Try placing your feet firmly on the ground, putting your hands on your knees, closing your eyes and slowly filling your lungs with as much air as possible. Hold the breath for a few seconds and then exhale slowly. Observe your body and make a mental note of each new sensation you experience. Repeat these steps twice. Incorporating your kids into your mindfulness practices can help you bond with them whilst improving everyone’s mental and physical health. This technique is especially useful during the pandemic, as mindful breathing is a great way to combat any COVID-19-induced fears and worries.
4. Take a walk
If you have established clear working hours where you can be extremely focused, you can incorporate a quick walk into any dedicated break. Walking around your block (remember to wear your mask!), in your yard or even inside your own house can be helpful and allow you to have some “me time” to reflect on and sort out any jumbled thoughts. If you’re a parent, take your children on a walk alongside you! Giving them the opportunity to connect with their mindful side can help decrease their back-to-school anxiety.
5. Gaze out your window
This is one of the simplest yet most calming hacks around. Simply allow your mind to wander through your surroundings and appreciate any natural beauty that might be outdoors. If you are dealing with attending your kids’ needs, preparing meals, cleaning the house and having a handful of Zoom meetings every day, take a couple of minutes out of every hour just to observe anything you may find outside. Enjoying the world you’re living in can help you come back to work with a fresh, productive and clear head.
6. Practice a mantra
Do you find yourself mentally repeating pessimistic thought patterns or intrusive phrases on a daily basis? Lots of people deal with the same thing, especially in this time of increased stress. Try stepping out of your comfort zone for a while – try to create a new path of thinking, one that repeats positive ideas and affirming messages. Observe and take note of the ideas that cloud your mind. If these thoughts are work or money-related, a mantra for manifesting financial abundance might be your new best friend! Try out different words and phrases to find out what works for you. Most importantly, don’t give up on this after just a day or two. It takes time to rewire your mind to think joyfully!
Make your at-home workday mindful
Taking a mindful approach to work-related or productivity-oriented activities can be challenging for many families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although these small tips are helpful, there is no real way to “hack” yourself into being more productive or focused – but being mindful will help you battle procrastination!
Remember, mindfulness is great for everyone, including kids. Even you can help children learn mindfulness by enrolling in the Pretzel Kids Method today!