Mail Boxes Etc. UK & Ireland's blog

Working from home? 8 ways you can take care of yourself

With lockdown 2.0 well under way, if you are self-isolating, working from home or staying taking care of others, it’s important to look after yourself too.

There’s plenty of healthcare guidance online – both official and anecdotal – and we’re not health experts, so we won’t try to be. But we do have a lot of customers who are small business owners, who may be affected by the on-going unprecedented situation we find ourselves in with coronavirus or COVID-19.

As small business owners themselves, our franchisees serve the people in their local communities and many of them will feel involved in the lives of their customers.  We’re all trying to help each other, while keeping abreast of the evolving advice and guidance from the government and NHS designed to help contain the spread of this pandemic.

Whilst you’re staying indoors this winter and simultaneously juggling your business, remember to look after your mental and physical wellbeing as far as possible. Here are a few tips that might help:

Stick to a routine

Try to get up at a certain time each day.  Have a hot drink and some breakfast, take your shower and do whatever it takes to make you feel ready for the day.  People who usually work from home will tell you that sticking to a routine helps you make the most of your time and – importantly – it helps you feel positive and empowered.

Take regular meals

Tempting as it might be to get up late and sit for hours in your PJs, catching up on social media with a cup of tea, it’s a good idea to ensure that your routine includes regular meals, just as you would on a normal working day.  This can help if you’re looking after others, too, as people welcome having a structure to their day.

Stay hydrated

Sipping water throughout the day will help keep your brain alert as well as boosting your circulation, which could become a little sluggish if you’re sitting in front of your laptop all day.

Move about

Remember to get up and move about every half-hour or so – particularly if you are working from home.  It’s easy to forget to do this when there’s no need to walk to the post room, pop into a colleague’s office or walk between buildings for meetings.

Get some exercise

If you’re lucky enough to live near a park or in the countryside, go for a brisk walk or run every day.  If you need to stay indoors, there are some great exercise videos online to suit all levels of ability.  If your home has stairs, you could even walk up and down them a few times to get the blood pumping!

Stay in touch

We are lucky that most of us can stay in touch with friends, colleagues and family through phone calls, email, messaging, social media, and the occasional walk if your loved ones who live nearby. Keep up those conversations with those that you’re unable to see, and consider using apps like Skype, Facetime, Google Hangouts and Zoom so you can have face-to-face contact too.

Create boundaries

If you’re working at home, create boundaries between your work and home lives.  If possible, set up a desk in a spare room or an area that you don’t use for other things. This is particularly important if there are other family members and young children at home.  You need a quiet, dedicated space to work.  And at the end of the working day, switch off the laptop and move away from your work area.  That way, you keep a sense of rhythm and proportion that can be lost when your usual work-life pattern has to change.

Reach out

In the first lockdown, we saw many communities and business groups set up Facebook pages to help each other get through this difficult time.  Whether you just need a bit of local advice or want to offer your help, it’s worth looking out for any groups you can join.  

Business continuity can be hard to maintain when you’re confined to your home, but remember that your local MBE store can help by receiving your post and parcels, and we can arrange for them to be sent to your home address or anywhere else that’s convenient.  We can also collect post and parcels if it’s difficult for you to get to the store, and you can send us your print and copy jobs via email too. Our stores are staying open to help serve customers who will need their support more than ever at this time. Remember, we’re just an email or a phone call away. 

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