Are you new to working from home? You’re not alone—so are millions of other people around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic created a whole new remote workforce in March of 2020.
While many people dream of working from home, when you’re not ready, a transition to remote work can be a challenging one. When you’re in recovery from addiction, being newly isolated and experiencing a change in routine can be incredibly difficult. We’re here for you with some tips on maintaining your productivity—and your sanity—when you’re working from home.
Keep Your Morning Routine
Going to the office every day requires certain tasks you probably took for granted, such as waking up early, taking a shower, and eating breakfast before you start working. You may have been in the habit of going to the gym on the way to work or stopping for a coffee at your local café. Working from home makes it all-too-easy to let some of these habits slip away in favor of rolling out of bed and starting up your computer.
Try not to let all of your habits go out the window when you’re at home. You may not be able to go to the gym or the coffee shop as usual if you’re told to stay at home and practice social distancing, but you can continue your normal routine by:
- Waking up at your normal time. It’s tempting to use your commuting time to get in some extra winks, but having some personal time before your work starts is healthy and will make your day feel a little more normal.
- Showering and getting dressed. Get out of those PJs! We swear, you’ll feel better.
- Eating breakfast as usual. If you usually eat with your family, continue to do so. It can be tempting to take your food to your home office and lock yourself away, but getting in some time for connection before you start work can help every member of your family during this time.
Don’t Forget Your Lunch Break
It’s easy to lose track of time at home and work through your lunch, but your need for a mental break is just as real as it is in the office. Eat some fresh food and give your brain a little rest. You can try getting out for some fresh air, even if it’s just a walk around the block.
If going to the gym is not currently an option, this is a great time to fit in a brief workout like a run in your neighborhood or even a yoga class in your living room. You can easily find a number of exercise classes on Netflix or YouTube.
You can also check out some of the virtual activities offered by local establishments to focus on something other than work during this time. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the New England Aquarium is offering virtual tours, videos and activities. If you have children home during this time, this is a fun way to do something new with your kids during your break. There are also several Massachusetts museums giving virtual tours and interactive activities, such as the Museum of Our Industrial Heritage, the Berkshire Museum, and the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art (another great option for kids).
A lunch break is also a good time to join a virtual 12-Step or other group meeting if you’re in recovery from addiction and unable to go to your normal in-person groups. If you usually go to meetings twice a week, try to keep the same schedule when you’re at home. American Addiction Centers makes it easy to do this by hosting free remote support meetings.
Communicate, Communicate, and Communicate More
Working from home can feel lonely, and not being able to leave and go run your normal errands or see friends can make you feel even more isolated, more stressed, and more anxious. At the least, this can make you less productive and at most it can put your recovery at risk.
Even if you’re physically isolated, reach out. Doing so is easier than ever before with video conferencing (Zoom, GoToMeeting), messaging applications like Slack or Skype, and apps like Facetime.
When you’re remote, you’ll need to proactively communicate with your coworkers more than you did in the office, because you’ll have to coordinate on projects, clarify requirements, and check-in on progress to ensure that you continue working as efficiently with your team as you did when you had face-to-face time in the office. Not only will this help you professionally, it will help to ease feelings of loneliness that may have you craving a return to drugs or alcohol.
Alone and On the Verge of Relapse?
If working from home isn’t working for you and you’re in a crisis situation feeling like you are going to relapse, we are here to help you. We are continuing to stay open during the COVID-19 quarantine to provide essential life-saving treatment to those who need it. Call us at 1-866-739-7692 to speak with someone today.