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Tips on staying sane and healthy while working from home

With more and more people working at home, the question is how to maintain your sanity and actually get things done. Brian Barrett from WIRED joined Seattle’s Morning News to discuss tips, much of which involves boundaries.

“In terms of just trying to focus on your work, the most important thing for me is drawing boundaries and knowing when you’re working and when you’re not. And that sounds simple, but it’s harder than it seems … It’s really easy to sort of wake up and roll over and grab your laptop off your nightstand and just start working before you get out of bed,” he said.

“You’re sort of not quite focused on what you’re supposed to do it at work, but also you never out of work. You end up feeling like you’re on the clock all day, every day, and that’s just another level of stress that I think people don’t really need.”

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Barrett even suggests acting as if you’re heading to work so you feel like you’re in work mode, as you long as you also make sure to actually feel like you’re leaving work at the end of the day too.

“It sounds silly, but get up, have a shower, get dressed and put on clothes that are pretty close to what you would wear for a normal work day. It’ll get your mind right. It’ll make you feel like, ‘OK, I’m at work.’ And at the end of the day, if you’re using a workplace tool like Slack or Microsoft, quit out of that so that people don’t see your little green bubble and come talk to you.”

Because you’re no longer commuting and don’t have that barrier before and after work, it’s important to take breaks, go for walk, anything to create that distance. But the one thing it’s hard to create a distance from while working at home is the inevitability of snacking.

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“The thing I’ve heard the most from friends is that they are snacking more than they ever thought … Part of it is it’s an easy way to procrastinate … I think there are certain stresses. You don’t have someone to talk to next to you, so instead you just go grab some chips,” he said.

“I don’t really buy peanut M&Ms anymore because I know that if I did, the bag would be gone … We’re all stress eating now in general,” he said. “Just find something that you can eat a lot of without feeling terrible about yourself and your body afterwards.”

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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