The occasional work from home day is all fun and games—until a pandemic hits, and it feels more like a trap than a luxury. While having a job where you can work from home is something to be thankful for, being cooped up indefinitely can start to mess with your mind a bit. You begin to get antsy, distracted, and actually yearn to go back to the office—who would have thought? It’s especially hard when you factor in practicing social distancing because you can’t get a break by meeting up with your friends or heading to a coffee shop. Taking care of yourself is key to surviving this whole thing.
Whether you have a whole house to yourself or are stuck in an apartment with roommates who are also getting stir crazy, we’re here to help you make it through and practice a little self-care in the process. Read on for 12 tips on staying sane when social distancing and working from home stop feeling like a nice change of pace.
TIP #1. CREATE A DESIGNATED WORKSPACE
When working from home, it’s easy to want to curl up in bed with your laptop. Sure, this seems like a great idea in theory, but it’ll likely leave you slowly sliding your way down your propped-up pillows, closing your eyes for a mid-day snooze. Not too productive, right? The fact is, staying in bed isn’t the best idea when you work from home, which is why it’s important to create a designated WFH space. Whether that’s a desk in your bedroom, the kitchen table, or the couch in your living room, find what works best for you. Just be sure to keep sleep and work separate!
Editor’s note: It’s also a good idea to be prepared to switch things up. If you’re working from home for a long period of time, chances are you might go a little crazy being in the same place each day. Try working from different areas of your home to create the illusion of change.
TIP #2. LAYER ALL THE MASKS
When you’re super stressed out with nowhere to go, it’s the perfect time to indulge in self-care and break out all your masks. Before you settle down at your laptop, smooth on a face mask or three, like those in the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Clay Multi-Mask Clay Tripod Kit, and apply a hair mask, like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Total Repair Extreme Emergency Recovery Mask, to work on yourself while you work from home.
TIP #3. GIVE RETINOL ANOTHER TRY
There are certain perks to not having to see any of your co-workers for a while—and we’re not just talking about satisfying your introverted side. Some of our skin care holy grails can leave you with a less-than-desired appearance for a period of time while they work their magic—basically, things often get worse before they get better. One of those? Retinol! While known for tackling an array of skin concerns, retinol can cause your skin to be red and flakey until your complexion becomes used to it. If you’ve avoided adding retinoids to your routine because you don’t want to be seen with flaking skin, now’s your chance to give it a try and come out of the other side without anyone having to witness your peeling skin.
TIP #4. CREATE A WFH PLAYLIST
Lacking motivation? The right playlist can keep you lively and focused throughout the day. Create a designated WFH playlist on your favorite streaming platform. Do you like pump-up music that will keep you energized or something more Zen to help you get in the zone? Play around with what works best for you, then jam out!
TIP #5. DE-STRESS WITH A FACE MASSAGE
Couldn’t you really use a massage right about now? Even when heading out to the spa isn’t an option, you can relax and show your skin some love with a face massage. Apply a few drops of oil to your fingertips, then massage your skin with upward strokes.
TIP #6. PAINT YOUR NAILS
Does it seem like you never have time to paint your nails? Well, there’s no better time than a WFH day to swipe on a new nail polish color and give you nails time to dry while you type away. Consider giving a new trend like sea glass nails a try.
You can also use your newfound free time (after the workday is over) to master nail art. Maybe you can finally learn how to give yourself a leopard print manicure or create a cloud nail design.
TIP #7. SET YOUR OWN DEADLINES
It’s easy to get distracted when you WFH, so take it upon yourself to set your own deadlines. If you find that you’re always trying to sneak in an episode of your favorite TV show or taking too many snack breaks, you can even set up a reward system where you get something you want after finishing an important task. Once you wrap up that big project, how about using your jade roller for a few minutes?
TIP #8. LIGHT CANDLES
One perk of working from home? While you may not be able to burn candles at the office, you certainly can when your workspace is your own living room. Turn your home into one of your favorite places to be, starting with burning a candle that smells downright amazing. When relaxation is needed, we like cucumber scents!
TIP #9: MOISTURIZE DRY HANDS
You’re sitting at your computer all day, and you look down to find your hands are way too dry from near-constant handwashing and sanitizing.
Keep a hand cream, like the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey All Over Balm - Face, Neck, Chest and Hands, next to your workspace and apply throughout the day. You can also try applying hand cream liberally before bed and slipping on a pair of gloves to help lock in all that moisture.
TIP #10. GET DRESSED AND READY
It can be all too easy to lounge around in your PJs without a speck of makeup on when you WFH, but this isn’t the best practice long-term. We’re not saying you need to get dolled up on the daily, but try to change into a new outfit, brush your hair, and apply a bit of mascara each day. These little actions will help keep you from getting into a slump.
Since you're likely spending a lot of time solo right about know, you won't want to miss out on opportunities for face time, even if it's digital. To make being alone a little less challenging, get ready as if you were going into the office, so you can feel comfortable taking meetings as video calls whenever possible.
TIP #11: LOAD UP ON BEAUTY SLEEP
With nowhere to go, what’s stopping you from getting more sleep than normal? Go to bed a little earlier, and you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to have a productive WFH day. And to really make the most of your sleep, try using an overnight face mask like the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Triple Power Anti-Aging Overnight Mask. That way, you can re-emerge with your best skin ever when it's time to head back to the office.
TIP #12. MOVE AROUND
Chances are you aren’t fitting in your recommended daily steps while staying inside. To make movement part of your daily routine, try practicing yoga in the morning before you start working or at the end of the day to create a clear separation between work and your personal life. Check out our article on 10 Yoga Poses to De-Stress With to get started.
Looking for more options to keep you active at home? Here are 23 Easy Workouts for Women to Try in 2020—all of which can be done without going to the gym.