When the stay at home order took effect, I had already been self isolating for two weeks since returning from Paris Fashion Week, so I feel like I'm getting the hang of this Work-From-Home life. That's not to say it hasn't come with some challenges, like creating structure. It's very easy to wake up, work all day and night and realize you haven't gotten dressed or eaten much of anything. But I'm learning that being productive means being clear on some non-negotiables. So let's chat about that.
Get Some Nourishment Before You Start Working
I've been trying to incorporate daily rituals and the first is eating a good breakfast to fire up the brain. If I'm not feeling very hungry, I will make the warm oat milk/Moon Juice Sex Dust drink (recipe here) and for days where I'm looking for more, I'll either make oatmeal or go for the Rawnola I shared the other week (recipe here). It's easy to make a batch to last the week and I add coconut milk yogurt and berries. It's delicious and something you can snack on throughout the day.
Get Dressed For the Day
I'll be the first to admit how easy it can be to stay in my pajamas all day while working from home. But the simple act of getting dressed really helps to keep my office hours in check. To take things up a notch, I'm turning to chic, yet cozy alternatives like this kimono and pant set. It's comfortable, yet put together and looks professional enough for all those Zoom meetings that have become the new normal.
Take a Mental Break
Staying at home for days on end can make anyone feel a little stir-crazy. Add in the current health crisis and it's no wonder we all feel a little anxious at times. When I'm feeling cooped up, I try to take a mental break with a change of scenery – like moving to a different room in the house or stepping outside. Lately, my go-to has been gazing out at our backyard while sipping on a cup of tea and reading a book.
Don't Leave Yourself Unprepared For Dinner
I find it challenging with a team all working in different locations at the moment to have a sense of time. It's easy to keep answering the phone, just one more text and email, but it's really important to not hit burnout. My husband and I are trying to make time for each other by setting a time at the end of the day to go on a beach walk or hike with Nala and then making something simple for dinner. We're really enjoying this time in the kitchen and it's reminding us how our early date nights typically played out - cooking together, sharing stories from the day and then tucking into Netflix (Patrick Melrose was our latest binge and now it's season 3 of Ozark). This simple lentil soup has been a favorite for years and it's on weekly rotation in our house these days. It's so easy to make:
Add these ingredients to a large pan:
4 cups of water
1 cup of lentils
2 chopped large carrots (quarters)
2 chopped zucchini (quarters)
Large handful chopped green beans
1 chopped red onion
4 cloves minced garlic
Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes or until vegetables are soft (not mushy). Turn off heat.
Add the following:
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp white miso paste
Large pinch of salt
Cup of chopped fresh cilantro
Mix well and serve. 4 to 6 servings
Go On, Pamper Yourself
Hair and nail appointments may be a thing of the past – for now, but that doesn't mean you can't pamper yourself from home. Mani-pedis done in the comfort of your home can still be luxurious. I'm loving Smith & Cult's non-toxic nail polish. The is my current favorite shade – it makes me feel put together without committing to a color.
And let me finish with what might be a silver lining in this whole thing. While staying in can feel isolating, I have definitely craved connection with friends and loved ones more and more as the days go by. And aside from the obvious ways to reach out through video chats and phone calls, text messaging and social media, we've found it particularly fun to have FaceTime happy hours at the weekend with friends across the globe. It's one of the best ways to let the stress we're living with melt away. There's even good old fashioned snail mail. What a treat for someone you care about to receive a "just because" postcard or letter from you.
As we all continue to navigate social distancing, let's remember that it's one of the most important things we can do right now – for ourselves and our communities. If you want to reach out, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org because, as always, we're here for you.