Let’s face it, working from home definitely has its benefits. From longer lie-ins to cancelled commutes and (hopefully) more peaceful surroundings.
There’s no doubt a lot of new home workers around the UK are keen to use this time to improve well being and practice mindfulness – and why not?
Without the stress of the commute, unnatural light and long hours in stuffy offices with the low hum of 50 plus desktop PCs, you can make the most of this remote working time to ‘get back to you’.
But at the same time, we think that this can be a bit overwhelming, especially with all the info that’s flying about online.
Which stretch is best for backache, how do I clear my mind and stay in the present moment, and can I really cram in that spare 45 minutes to go full yogi at lunch time?
Ultimately, while working from home might seem like a dream, it’s a big change, and adjusting to it can be an underrated stressor in itself. The last thing you want to do is add more to your plate.
So, we’ve put together these 3 simple, tried and tested tips for making the most of mindfulness when you’re working from home.
1 – Try this basic breathing exercise
You only need about 5 minutes for this, but you can do it for longer. We’d recommend you do this before you start your day, to help you feel grounded and balanced.
– First, find a comfortable place to sit or lie down. Just be sure it’s not somewhere you’re likely to fall asleep.
– Then, take a moment to scan how your body feels from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.
– Once you’re comfortable, shift your focus to your breath. Breathing in and out naturally through your nose.
You don’t need to do anything to change your breath pattern, simply notice how it flows in and out through one, or both nostrils. If your mind wanders (which it will) don’t worry, just keep bringing your focus back to your breath.
If you’re a little tense or stressed, try taking a deeper breath in through your nose for 3 seconds, hold it for 2 seconds and then a long exhale out of your mouth for 4 seconds.
2 – Make time to focus on your lunch
One of the best ways to draw more mindfulness into your day is to practice it when you eat.
In the office, it’s too easy to wolf your leftover pasta down while you’re racing through last week’s emails.
But this can affect your well being, and working from home could be the perfect chance to reclaim this time for your mindful practice.
Set aside time to eat your lunch, and maybe even plan what you’re going to have in advance.
Whilst you’re eating, place the plate fully in front of you, and pay attention to the tastes, textures, colours, and smells you experience.
For example, if you’re eating a piece of buttery toast, try to focus on how the sensation of it feels on your tongue or the sweet and salty tingle on your taste buds
3 – Do a body scan once in a while
We mentioned this earlier, and it’s as simple as it sounds.
This doesn’t need to be a scheduled activity, but just taking some time to scan how your body is feeling can be really helpful for increasing mindfulness.
It can take anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes to do.
Simply close your eyes and move your attention down through your whole body. From the crown of your head, all the way to the tips of your toes.
Simply stay as an observer and notice any gentle tingling, hot, cold or unusual sensations in the different parts without judging or trying to change them.
Afterwards you’re likely to be feeling calmer, more mindful, connected and balanced.
One last thing…
Remember that whatever you use this time working from home for, make sure that you’re being kind to yourself, looking after your basic needs and well being.
We hope that these tips help you to stay mindful, relaxed and happy during your time working from home.
Even if you just practice just one of them a day, we think you’ll soon start to notice a positive difference in how you feel.