It's official. Kids are not going back to school to finish this school year in New Jersey.
Many people are feeling isolated, unmotivated, unfocused and utterly exhausted; they also find it hard to separate “work time” from “home time.” It’s important to remember that this is a time of major stress and transition. Some of us will continue working remotely while we have children in the house throughout the day, making it hard to find the physical and mental space to get their work done.
What follows are some strategies to help you navigate working from home during this Quarantine.
1. Create a Routine
Set aside time to eat breakfast, shower and change your clothes before starting the day. Set alarms on your phone to signal break and lunch times. Set an alarm to signal the end of the workday, allowing about 30 minutes to wrap things up and to prepare for the next day.
2. Transition from "Work" to "Home"
At the end of the workday, take a 15 or 20 minute break to transition from “work” to “home.” Taking time to decompress will result in a more relaxed evening for everyone.
3. Pace Yourself
Figure out when you have the most energy and ability to concentrate and plan work tasks around your patterns. Do the most challenging tasks at your “peak” times of day and save the more menial tasks for when you have lost steam.
4. Play to Your Strengths
Identify the length of time that you are able to maintain your focus and concentration. Plan to work in short bursts if this works best for you, or work for longer stretches to get things done.
5. Stay Connected
To combat isolation and loneliness, plan some virtual lunch dates with colleagues or friends. If you have family at home, plan to have lunch together on some days.
6. Get Plenty of Sleep
Establish a bedtime routine so you will get to sleep at a reasonable time. Try to end screen time, a brain activator, about an hour before bed. Do something relaxing, such as taking a hot bath, drinking some sleepy time tea, or reading a book.
7. Eat Well
Eat healthy and nourishing meals. Eating well will provide you with the physical energy and brain power you need to get through each day. Stay well hydrated since dehydration can cause symptoms like fatigue, sluggishness, problems focusing, and irritability.
Try to incorporate some exercise into your days. A few walks, or a short workout can be a great stress reliever and may also help you to fall asleep more easily.
9. Take Time to Replenish
If you find yourself getting into a rut during the day, taking a break to replenish yourself can go a long way toward helping you get through the rest of the day. Go for a walk, snuggle with the family pet, or connect with a friend virtually. Watch something funny on Youtube or listen to an energizing song. Use some aromatherapy. Light one of your favorite scented candles or dab yourself with some of your favorite essential oils or hand cream.
10. Have Self Compassion
Go easy on yourself during this stressful time. When you feel that you aren’t being as productive as you would like, remind yourself that you are doing the best that you can.
Remember that if you are struggling and want or need additional support, virtual therapy is a really helpful option.
Be safe and stay healthy.
Lukin Center Psychotherapy Offers Tele-Therapy
To help support our community, we are offering a 15% discount for new patients that are interested in getting started with tele-health to help manage feelings of anxiety and isolation during this time.
Dr. Elissa R. Gross, Psy.D., is a Clinical Psychologist at Lukin Center Psychotherapy and the mother of two teenage sons who specializes in the treatment of children, adolescents and adults experiencing depression, anxiety, eating disorders, self-injury, posttraumatic stress disorders, couples' therapy, family therapy, and issues related to adoption and blended families.
Konstantin Lukin, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist in Ridgewood, Hoboken, NYC, Jersey City and newly opened Englewood. He has extensive clinical and research experience spanning individuals of all ages, in both inpatient and outpatient settings. He specializes in men’s issues, couple’s counseling, and relationship problems. His therapeutic approach focuses on providing support and practical feedback to help patients effectively address personal challenges. He integrates complementary modalities and techniques to offer a personalized approach tailored to each patient. He has been trained in cognitive-behavioral, dialectical behavior, schema-focused, and emotionally focused therapy, and has also been involved with research projects throughout his career, including two National Institute of Mental Health-funded studies. He is a member of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, New Jersey Psychological Association, Northeast Counties Association of Psychologists, New York State Psychological Association, The International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy, The New York Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy, the International OCD Foundation, the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACSB) and a regular contributor to Psychology Today.