Remember the days when the biggest daily frustration was the traffic you hit as you made your way into the office or the public transportation delay you faced en route to work? With stay-at-home orders imposed or remote-only operations still being practiced in the majority of states, many of us are in a situation where the workday is still happening sans commute.
Your commute time could’ve been five minutes or five hours, either way, that time you took to get to and from work is now spent within the four walls of your quarantine location as the professional you begins the day. Besides digging right into work, what can you do during the now nonexistent commute time you have?
Perform Good Mental Health Practices
Whether this includes a sweat-filled yoga workout, a few minutes spent in meditation, or the act of sitting down and doing some quick breathing exercises, any time spent working on your mental health is a plus. Yoga helps to reduce stress and anxiety, and during a pandemic, it’s safe to assume that both are in high supply. Meditation and staying focused on breath have shown to result in better sleep for individuals and can be used as a coping mechanism for symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. Best guess is that everyone is dealing with insomnia, depressed feelings, or anxious thoughts as we navigate this time of unknown, so trying out any of these practices is worth a shot.
Improve or Maintain Physical Health
With gyms included in lockdown orders, anyone dependent on working out at a specific health or fitness center needs to find a new outlet. Physical activity can be one way people release mental tension, so it’s important to find a different way to get the same benefits. Going on a social-distancing friendly run in the neighborhood, creating an in-home workout program in any spare or unused space you might have, or simply taking a walk around the block can fill this void. If the idea of figuring out an in-home workout that can mirror your gym-based weight-lifting session is daunting, YouTube is where you need to be. Search no-equipment workout at home, and you’ll find a plethora of options to help create a workout that fits your needs best and boosts your mood.
Become a Bookworm or Binger
This activity can be far-reaching. If you’re someone looking to develop professionally, personally, spiritually, or intellectually, the options are endless when it comes to finding the right book for you. An added bonus is that reading has been proven to strengthen your brain, literally. If you’re a parent of younger children, reading to, and with, your kids falls into this benefit for all parties involved, and if you’re a parent of older children who are part of your quarantine crew, you can lead by example. More of a book on tape kind of person? Open up whatever app you can get your podcasts from and take a look at what’s out there to keep you entertained. You can search by title, podcaster, or even topic. If you prefer having something visual to pair with it, get your Netflix, Disney+, or Hulu binging session on, whether it’s Tiger King or The Lion King.
And remember, if some days you feel like spending your “commute” time by sleeping in, go for it. Sleep is essential in keeping us all healthy and sane during the days now and ahead, so sometimes it’s good to read your body and know when the extra shuteye is needed.
What have you been filling the commute time with now that you’re working from home? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out Working from Home During the Coronavirus.