5 Easy Tips For Maintaining Work-Life Balance In Quarantine

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5 Easy Tips For Maintaining Work-Life Balance In Quarantine
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Home has become a place for work, parenting, dining, dating, and more.

So much for home being your haven! A work-life balance was already difficult enough to maintain.

But with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic forcing you to go into quarantine and isolation, your home has become the place you love, hate, argue, make-up, laugh, and cry — the place you work, play, exercise, and rest.

It has even become a mock school, office, restaurant, virtual café, gym, cinema, and disco!

RELATED: 6 Things You Should Do If Quarantine Is Making You Feel Depressed

How do you balance all that is expected of you without tearing your hair out, getting bored, or feeling exhausted?

Fortunately, you can keep your equilibrium in these strange times in a way that will keep you motivated, laughing, and loving every day!

To easily maintain a work-life balance in quarantine, here are the 5 easy tips.

1. Separate your workspace.

It’s important to separate your home life from your work life, just like you would if you were going out to work daily.

Set up a separate space for your home office, preferably somewhere you can close the door to at the end of the day.

If you don’t have that luxury of space, then try to make sure your desk is clear at the end of the day. Put away the paperwork and laptop so that it’s not staring at you saying, "Come back and do some more!" Then, it won't be a constant reminder of the stress you may have experienced in that working day.

Also, remember to set boundaries with your employer or employees. Just because you are working from home does not mean you are available at 7 a.m. or can answer emails late at night.

Set your working hours, stick to them, and lead by example.

As tempting as it may be to press "send" when you’ve responded to something and just want to get it done, saving it to your outbox until the next day will set precedent for those around you to respect your personal time and availability

Bonus tip: Throw a sheet over your computer so you can’t see it and it can’t see you!

2. Reflect positively on your relationship.

If you live with someone — a spouse, partner, kids, or even a friend or roommate — think back to what your relationship was like before lockdown. How did living together work for you then?

Suddenly, you're in a scenario where you are under the same roof all the time. But that doesn't mean you have to talk to each other all the time!

You may have found that you are running out of things to say and may even question your relationship because of it

Start setting some ground rules, including:

  • Times you set aside to talk, just the two of you, uninterrupted.
  • Times to share your successes and concerns for the day.
  • Making sure you keep up with date nights even if you can’t physically go out.
  • Making time for physical contact like hugs.
  • Write a list together of all the things you love about each other, so you can refer to it when you feel annoyed.
  • Scheduling time to be able to be left alone.
  • Being brave enough to say "no" when you don’t feel like joining them in something.

Bonus tip: Lock yourself in your room and send them an email telling them about all your concerns, your needs, and your frustrations. Writing can be easier than face-to-face conversations, and it may open up the lines of communication more easily.

3. Arrange for gym time at home.

If you are anything like me, I cannot manage without my workouts! They are my source of stress relief and energy for the day.

No matter how small your living space, you can still work out indoors. Whether your preference is for yoga, dancing, cardio, or strength training, you can make the physical space for it.

The challenge may be one of creating the mental space for it. You can do press-ups in your kitchen or access some brilliant classes on YouTube.

Les Mills Body Combat is my personal favorite. I love to visualize what’s frustrating me and box the hell out it! I feel amazing by the end!

Once you've established that the physical space can be overcome and access is easy as long as you have phone data or WIFI, you can work on the mental aspect.

Work out at the same time as you did before lockdown. If it was in the early morning, set your alarm just as you did before. If it was at the end of the working day, let your household know that it's "you time" and that you are not to be bombarded until you've reached your daily calorie burn.

Bonus tip: Use Bluetooth headphones that connect to your computer, tablet, or phone, so you don’t disturb anyone with your heavy breathing.

RELATED: 7 Ways To Balance Mind And Body While Isolated In Coronavirus Quarantine

4. Have virtual coffee meetings

Be honest, while you may have saved a fortune in meeting up for coffee, you miss the chats. Having that time to meet up with your friend for a coffee is a chance to offload, de-stress, listen, and talk.

If you are anything like me — I am the go-to friend to help solve problems and it makes me feel great to have helped them — then this can be a vital connection that may have been lost in the lockdown situation.

Did you meet up with friends after your gym sessions or for lunch together? Along comes the virtual café!

I've been doing this with my girlfriends weekly where we both make our drinks (English breakfast tea with milk in my case!) and meet online. You can do this through Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp, or the latest fad of Houseparty.

Take the time to have a natter just as you would have previously. Set a time limit in the same way you may have met for 30 minutes before and support each other at this time.

Be sure to share your wins and laugh about any incidences that have come up. It’s much easier to laugh about exactly the same thing you may have been crying about a few days earlier when we share it with our friends.

Bonus Tip: Turn the morning coffee into a late-night glass of wine and book out the bedroom for your exclusive use so you can talk to your heart’s content without being heard.

5. End the day on a high.

It's all too easy to focus on what you didn’t manage to achieve in a day, as opposed to what you did. It’s too easy to remember the stresses, arguments, and feelings of discontent.

If you go to bed with those feelings, it can impact your quality of sleep, which will only then contribute to stress the next day, and so it continues.

Try to end your day with something fun. As a family, we take turns to choose a song, blast it out loud, and all dance around the living room crazily — even the puppy joins in!

Writing down your wins in your phone or a journal helps you focus on achievements. Wins can be as simple as doing your hair and putting on makeup that day!

Expressing gratitude for everything you have — your health, money, and each other — can also be a wonderful way to raise your energy.

Bonus tip: Start a gratitude list and create a group chat with your friends where you can all share your positive experiences daily.

So much of how to balance is about boundaries, communication, and time management.

It’s more than just making the best out of a difficult situation. It’s about turning a challenging circumstance into a wonderful opportunity.

Home truly can be a haven again!

RELATED: 15 Self-Care Tips For Balancing Mental Health While Isolated In Coronavirus Quarantine

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Dr Rana Al-Falaki is a life and business coach helping women take steps to feel successful and create balance in a fun, practical way. She is the author of the number one best-seller "Women Who Want More: How To Create a Balanced & Fulfilled Life." You can contact her directly via her website.

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