Life hacks

Postcards from the Inside – Work

Whether you find yourself running your business from home, are part of a team that is now interacting virtually or in charge of daily school for your children, you are most likely faced with new challenges + may be struggling to find your groove.  The key to success will be understanding expectations, setting yourself up for success + finding balance.

Understand Expectations

Knowing what is expected of you – or of your children – during this remote existence is the important first step that will allow you to plan accordingly. Are you expected to keep business hours or be online + accessible at exact times or do you have flexibility to set your schedule up to suit you? If you are required to maintain essentially a traditional work or school day, then follow your regular daily routine, and enjoy the bonus time you gain from not commuting. While we find we can be a little more leisurely with the start of our day, it is helpful to get dressed each day – even if it is just in exercise clothes! You’ll just feel better.

Know yourself + Set Up for Success

How do you work best or what environment will be more conducive to learning for your student?  Do you need a separate desk area or are you able to work from the couch with a coffee table as your catchall? Whatever you need, get that reset before you head off to sleep each night, so you wake ready and inspired to go. If you are working in a common space, pack it up at 5 o’clock (or whenever you wrap) so that you can make the transition to leisure time.

Block Time + Honor The Weekend

Make a “block” plan either the night before for the next day or on Sunday night for the week ahead. We find it helpful to separate out Monday-Friday and the weekend in our scheduling. Plan around any “mandatory” events – such as meetings or if you have class at specific times or any “live” exercise classes you want to join or any household chores you need to do – and that will give you a basic framework. You will find you are more energized for your week if you honor the weekend with a more relaxed schedule, if that was your normal protocol in real life – and if it wasn’t perhaps now is the time to embrace the recharge. 

For me, I definately ease into my day – a little breathing, intention setting + quiet thinking tome before bounding out of bed. I work in the early morning hours on emails + writing with a cup of coffee or tea in the comfort of my PJs. Mid morning, I get dressed and do a live exercise class, followed by a smoothie break + a work block. Around noon, I hike with my puppy and shower + have lunch after. The afternoon also features a block that I can use for work, chores or relaxation with a clear “cut off” point to prep + enjoy dinner with my boys, and the evening ahead. My last step is to reset for the next day. If I end up off schedule a bit, that’s okay – it is important to be compassionate with yourself and adjust accordingly.

Stand, Fuel + Hydrate

Some people have added challenges when they are home and struggle with sitting in front of a screen more, snacking often + hydrating less. These challenges you will have to meet mindfully – head on – and use cues if necessary. 

Sitting has often been called the new smoking and that is no exaggeration. The best way to combat the pain and stiffness that comes from prolonged sitting – is to stand often! You can use a timer or free app to give you regular alerts – these are good times to also give your eyes a rest. A general rule of thumb is every 20 minutes take 20 seconds to look 20 feet away.  

You want to fuel for your day and snacks can be a part of that, especially if you are exercising more than usual,  but grazing all day is only going to leave you grumpy. We have a smoothie mid-morning each day and that sets us up well for the rest of the day and leaves the mid afternoon or after dinner open for a little something. You will eat what you stock your pantry + fridge with – so just keep that in mind.

Staying hydrated is one of the most important things for good health. Start your day with a full glass of water, or lemon water and keep a bottle of water on your workstation that you can sip from as you take breaks (see above note for tips).

Accept + Enjoy

My meditation this morning was on acceptance. “Sometimes there is simply nothing we can do about our circumstances – and when we can’t leave and the situation won’t change. All we can do is accept, because if we don’t accept we’re resisting and that resistance simply amplifies our suffering.”   The current state of the world is frustrating, I know, but temporary. Accepting and moving thoughtfully with the current restrictions rather than fighting against them, will make the experience more enjoyable. Trust me, I know a little something about this. Be well, Sarah

15 Comments

  • Mary L

    I love these tips! So great, finding a new routine can be hard! I also love my daily meditations and walks 🙂

  • Sarah Lucas

    A new routines can be tough – important to try new things and keep what works! Meditating is such a lifesaver during this time especially.

  • Cristina L

    Thank you for sharing this practical wisdom! I’m constantly struggling to build structure and get in a “groove” these days, so I can’t wait to incorporate these recommendations into my daily routine … including compassion for myself and acceptance when I feel yet another day has gotten away from me. Keep the wisdom coming, please!

  • Sarah Lucas

    Cristina – I am so glad you found some helpful tips! I just was on a zoom talk on Nourishing Your Soul During Uncertain Times with the incredible David Baum PhD, DMin – and one of the things he reminded me was to view this time as transformational – meaning what can I do to transform at this time. A powerful reminder to move with this time of great loss and grief, rather than against. We ended our time with him by saying first for ourselves, then for you, then for the collective universe: “May we be filled with love + kindness, may we be well, may we be peaceful + at ease and may we be happy.” I wish the same for you! SL

  • julie brody

    Dearest Mrs. Lucas – thanks to InMenlo today, I found out about your blog. You are my HERO. You, my dear, have had a lot of experience with transformation of late and I am stunned by your amazing ability to go forward and to enlighten others with your exuberance in the face of difficulty.

    Thank you for creating this beautiful blog with its reminders to be kind to ourselves, each other, and the earth. XOXO

  • Sarah Lucas

    Julie – thank you for your note + your incredibly kind words. Someone very wise once said, “The only way out is through,” and I always try to remember those words as we all navigate this time, but I hope to always be proud of the way I am traveling through + hope others are inspired too. Stay safe + healthy and I will see you on the Yoga Source zoom! xo

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