Throughout 2018 I’m working as an ambassador for Olivia Burton, the British accessories brand founded by two best friends. They’ve just launched a new, Semi Precious collection featuring rose quartz, and the watches and necklaces were all designed to remind us that time is precious.
It’s a message that I’m delighted to get behind. And I find that because I work from home my downtime is something I treasure more than ever, as it’s so hard to define where work ends and my personal life begins.
Rose quartz is the stone of love, forgiveness and healing. And it’s the crystal to turn to when you need to focus on self-care. So, with that in mind, I thought I’d celebrate the Olivia Burton Semi Precious collection by sharing my tips for carving out “me time” when you work from home…
1. Set clear work hours
This step sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s really important (and often gets forgotten). Working from home makes it very easy for your job to become all-consuming. After all, you live in the office, so it’s hard to determine exactly when work ends and play begins. And that’s why I think it’s so important to set some clear boundaries.
From Monday to Friday I try to stick to a 9am to 5pm schedule. However, I’ll allow myself some flexibility. For example: if I want to take a yoga class one morning I’ll balance things out by working until 7pm, for a change.
But, for the most part, once 5 o’clock rolls around I know that it’s time to start winding down and focus on “me time”. And if I’m tempted to start firing off emails at 11.17pm I’ll remind myself I’m not in “work hours” and save it for the morning.
2. Separate your work and living spaces
Just as the lines between work and relaxation get blurred, when you work from home, it also becomes difficult to separate your work space from your living space. But it’s absolutely vital that there’s a clear difference between the two.
It might seem tempting to work from the comfort of your bed, all day. But, given time, your bedroom will no longer feel like a relaxing haven, and instead will become the space that houses all of your work stress.
Even if you don’t have space for a separate home office you can still carve out a little corner for a desk and create a designated “office area”. West Elm have a great selection of small desks (I like this corner style and their unassuming ladder shelf). And if you’re working with a smaller budget IKEA have some great options too (check out their bureau and versatile mini desk).
3. Move your body
This tip really applies to everyone who sits at a desk all day – whether you work from home or not. To quote The Intern movie, “sitting is the new smoking“, and sitting for prolonged periods actually increases your risk of developing multiple illnesses. (Side note: why is everything a health risk?!)
So, for this reason alone, it’s really important to break up your day with some movement. That could be going for a walk during your lunch hour, taking phone calls while pacing around the office, setting an alarm to go off at two-hour intervals and then doing 60 seconds of jumping jacks (admittedly more acceptable if you work from home), or investing in a standing desk.
Yoga is one of my favourite ways to relax, and I try to practise at home a few times a week – even if it’s just for 10 minutes at a time. This helps me switch off from work, and also gives my body a much-needed opportunity to move.
View and shop the Olivia Burton Semi Precious collection here
4. Escape into another world
I love working from home, but sometimes it can become a bit repetitive. You’re looking at the same four walls every day, and there aren’t any crazy co-workers around to spice things up and change the pace of the week. So I always like to have a good book or TV series on the go, which allows me to dip into another world at the end of the day.
This provides a healthy escape from the mundane elements of my 9-5. And I also find that the more I read the more creative I feel. So it actually helps me perform better at work. It’s a win-win!
If you’re currently searching for a juicy read I recently listed every novel and memoir I’ve read, so far this year, and there’s sure to be something that catches your fancy…
5. Make sure you have reasons to go outside
When you work from home it’s really easy to become a hermit. Because there will be days when you don’t have a single reason to leave the house. And, let’s be honest, that’s really unhealthy. So it’s up to you to make reasons.
Getting out of your bubble, breathing some fresh air (or not-so-fresh air, if you live in a city) and being around other people – even if they’re complete strangers – will help reset your brain and recharge your energy.
If I don’t have any meetings, photoshoots or social plans lined up on a specific date I’ll allocate a few errands to that day instead. Or I’ll go and work from a coffee shop for a few hours. I find that if I’m inside all day, with no other humans in sight, I become quite lethargic. And by the time 5pm rolls around my energy levels are low and I struggle to unwind. So, unless I’m unwell, I force myself to get outside every single day.
Style Credits: Semi-precious rose gold watch by Olivia Burton | Semi-precious rose gold necklace by Olivia Burton | Bee ring by Olivia Burton | Zebra T-Shirt by Baukjen | Pink knit jacket by Winser London
How do you switch off when you work from home? And will you be trying any of these techniques? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts…
~ This post was sponsored by Olivia Burton – a brand that I love and will be working with throughout 2018. Thank you for continuing to support the sponsors that make Coco’s Tea Party possible. ~
Photos by Kylie Eyra