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Mindful Working From Home Practices for Productivity and Calm

Mindful Working From Home Practices for Productivity and Calm

By Neil Seligman, Founder of The Conscious Professional, Author of Conscious Leadership and 100 Mindfulness Meditations.

In the last days and weeks, the world has changed immeasurably.

Once citizens of our cities and towns, we have become denizens of our homes each playing out a version of our very own Lockdown Olympics with unwilling housemates and unwitting relatives!

For the foreseeable future, the home has turned into office, crèche, petting zoo, cinema, restaurant, bar and disco. How are you and yours coping? What are you missing and what are you enjoying? (And have you discovered the virtual background settings in Zoom?)

Whether you’re loving the change of pace or are ready to annihilate the members of your household, here are some mindful tips to help you through!

1. Replace Your Morning Commute with Your Morning Practice
Few people miss the commute but have you replaced it with more sleep or with something a little more productive? I recommend keeping your wake-up time the same as before and using the extra time to design your own morning practice using some or all of the following ideas:

  1. Sit in the window with a hot drink & simply follow the breath for 5 spacious minutes.
  2. Mindful Movement – stretch and roll on a yoga mat – follow the body’s impulses.
  3. Mini-Workout – Choose three exercises you know well. 10 reps of each. Done.
  4. Yoga – practice 3 sun salutations.
  5. Meditate – set a 5-minute timer and listen to a favourite piece of calming music.

2 Breathe & Stay Calm
With headlines becoming more alarming by the day it can be handy to have a mindfulness practice up your sleeve to help navigate a moment of anxiety. This is STOP: a mini-practice taught on Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses to help you regain clarity and calm before deciding your next move.

  1. Stop and pause. Ground yourself for a moment. Feel gravity pushing you into your
  2. Take a series of conscious breaths feeling the physical sensations of the breath in the body and bring both palms together holding your hands in a gentle clasp. Feel the warmth and energy of your aliveness.
  3. Open – widen the focus of your awareness by observing non-judgmentally what is happening internally and externally. Is there a new opportunity presenting itself?

If anxiety is a regular growing feature see if you can locate an online MBSR 8-week course.

4. Separate Home & Office as Much as Possible
You have been dealing with work emails at home for years so it may feel perfectly normal for work and home life to merge further at this time. However, given that you have a single environment, it is now more important than ever to create good boundaries.

  • Decide when you are online / offline and stick to those times.
  • Dress differently when you are ‘at work’ / relaxing.
  • Designate specific areas in the house for work – don’t use the couch or bed.
  • Take real breaks – I find a nap of 25 minutes in the afternoon works wonders.

5. This Too Shall Pass
Remember too that all things are temporary. If you are healthy and well, follow all the advice, focus on your work, your health, your wellbeing, and contribute where you can to the happiness of others. Look after your elders and your neighbours where possible. Smile and appreciate the small joys. You may look back on this period with fondness, and like all things, it will pass.