Over the past couple of years, more of us have transitioned from the daily office commute to working from home. While working from your home office can have many benefits, it can also be tricky to switch off and unwind at 5pm – even after you close your laptop, you are, after all, still ‘at work’.
With many of us navigating new routines in more challenging surroundings, it’s important to embrace the elements within our control and utilise the tools we have available to best serve ourselves. Stress and angst are understandable during uncertain times but fortunately, we hold a lot of power within ourselves to help alleviate this.
Having founded wellbeing platform ALMA, Priyanka Lugani works closely with experts across Ayurveda, Acupuncture and Naturopathy as well as Scientists, Creatives, Biologists and other researchers. Here, Wellbeing Expert Priyanka has drawn upon this collective wisdom to create a selection of useful truths and tools that help us to unwind after a hard day’s work…
1. Wake up slowly when working from home
The nervous system is built to respond to the quality of the morning so without a commute, allow yourself the gift of rising slowly. Instead of leaping out of bed with an irritating alarm, blink open your eyes and consciously breath to stimulate a balanced nervous system. Turn over onto your side and ease yourself into a seated position before rising.
I would also suggest drinking something other than a morning coffee – your body doesn’t want a caffeine jolt first thing in the morning. Perhaps try an infused water. Our favourite is crushed coriander seeds in water– simply crush 3 teaspoons of coriander seeds before placing in 1 glass of spring water and leaving to infuse overnight, ready to consume when you wake.
2. Create a working from home playlist
Everything in our world vibrates to different frequencies and we humans are no exception. The music we choose to listen to influences our thoughts, emotions and energy so pick mindfully – we recommend a soft frequency such as classical music or mantras when starting your day (and when you’re ready to unwind from it). If you’re unsure where to start, try Beautiful Chorus.
3. Incorporate fresh air and movement into your day
Every person has their own unique way of getting their energy flowing. Whether you favour yoga, running or walking, be sure to fit this in daily.
Fresh air and movement keeps us grounded and when we are grounded, we recharge energetically. I also highly recommend Sun Salutations (yoga) for when the sun rises and sets. However, an afternoon walk where you can soak up some sunshine is also a brilliant practice.
4. Eat consciously throughout the day
The gut is so important to our overall wellbeing so nourish it wisely. For breakfast, your body will ideally have fasted for 12 hours to give the digestive system a rest and allow the body to detox/maintain balance.
What you put in the body after fasting is as important as the fast itself. Opt for concentrated minerals such as Quinton Hypertonic x 2 and seasonal fruits/coconut water. Smoothies are also a great way to boost immunity with adaptogens like Ashwaghanda/ginseng, available in powder form.
What to have for lunch when working from home:
For lunch, your digestive fire is the strongest and the body is able to digest more sugars like complex carbohydrates and starchy foods. We like dividing complex carbs (such as whole grains, pulses, beans) and starchy vegetables (which are also complex carbs) into two groups as eating them together results in a plate too rich in starches and sugars. Avoid simple carbs completely.
After lunch snacks could be fruit, on its own, with at least an hours gap. Fruits are alkaline by nature – a great source of energy and a wellbeing booster for the body.
What to have for dinner when working from home:
Lastly, for dinner, keep it light and try to eat at least 3 hours before sleeping so the body can best digest some of your meal and perform other essential functions whilst you sleep. Something like a wild fish (sustainably sourced) salad with kale, lemon, cucumber and fennel is ideal as it’s rich is proteins and vitamins as well as being seasonal.
5. Create a bedtime routine to unwind after working from home
After signing off work at a reasonable hour, pack away the laptop and adopt an evening routing. This could include mediation (tune into our ALMA Audio Meditation) to help switch you from work mode to relax mode. Winding down your thought and emotions are key for a sound sleep.
Utilise your sense of smell with incense such as lavender and notice it infusing the air. Draw a bath and use essential oils to massage your skin to take this to the next level.
Practice gratitude – what are you thankful for that happened that day? When we express gratitude our brain releases dopamine and serotonin. These are the two neurotransmitters responsible for our mood and emotions, making us feel happy.
Detox digitally – if you can, switch of the WIFI in your home and pop your phone on airplane mode. Wireless energy emits a frequency that can deplete your body’s energy, so try and limit it as much as possible – especially during your restorative period. You’ll also be away from any notifications that might prevent you from unwinding. Rarely is there anything that cannot wait until the next working day.
More inspiration: An introvert’s guide to video calls and meetings