Everyone knows the classic L. Frank Baum quote, "There's no place like home." He was right then, and he still is now. There’s no place that can protect and comfort you like the home you’ve built with your loved ones. It’s where you lay your head at night, where you eat your dinners, where you make your memories.
It’s also the place that you’re spending more and more time in due to COVID-19 lockdowns, social distancing guidelines, closed schools, and more. And even though most states are slowly reopening, it’s still recommended to stay home as much as possible.
There may be no place like home, but that doesn’t mean it can’t get chaotic when you and your family remain indoors for extended periods. We want to help make things easier for you during these strange times, so we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on how to optimize your space for social distancing.
At-Home Social Distancing Tips: Optimizing for Work
Working from home is difficult for many people because the line between home and the office becomes confused and blurry. You can start to feel like you're always at work... or like you're never at work. Neither of these feelings is ideal. Carve out a space for you and your work by doing the following:
Keep “going” to the office. Just because you’re at home for work doesn’t mean you should act like you are. You’ll find yourself the most productive when you’re still keeping certain routines. Brush your hair, brush your teeth, change clothes. You don’t have to drive around the block as a makeshift commute, but if it helps… go ahead!
Take inventory of what you need beforehand. We don’t often think of the amenities of an office until we’re some place that doesn’t have them. Consider your office space and the things you liked best about it. If you always worked best when your feet were warm, consider placing a warm area rug under your desk or investing in a pair of work-from-home slippers. You want to give yourself the same amenities so you can deliver the same results in a new setting. As an added bonus, you can use this blog post as a reference if you’re trying to convince your partner to go in on a fancy espresso machine with you.
Organize a workspace. This seems straightforward, but it’s important. If you want to be as effective at home as you were in the office, you’re still going to need to “go” to work. Don’t work on your laptop while hunched over in bed. Don’t decide the couch is as good a place as any. Choose a desk, corner, or table that is meant for work and don’t sit at that space unless you’re working. It’ll help your brain differentiate between home/work.
At-Home Social Distancing Tips: Optimizing for School
If you’re a working parent who now has a child in need of homeschooling due to closures, don’t feel bad if you’re a little overwhelmed. You’re not alone. Here are a few things you can do to help the both of you succeed during online at-home schooling.
Create a specific space that's only for schoolwork. Depending on how much room you have, it can be a corner, table, or entire room. Wherever it is, make sure this space is only for your child to do schoolwork. That way they'll be able to associate this space with focus and work instead of anything else.
Keep the space decluttered. This will be tough, especially if you don't have a lot of extra space, but it's important. You want to keep things functional and organized so that assignments don't get missed or messed up. It can be as simple as a few desk organizers and binders for each class.
Hang a calendar. Organizing your space is one thing, but organizing your child's learning is important as well. A large wall calendar will help. You can add due dates, important holidays, and school-based events. You can break things down into a weekly schedule your child will be able to look to if they need guidance. Breaking big goals into smaller day-by-day ones will make it easy for all of you to keep up. It'll take a few hours of initial work but will save you lots of time down the line.
At-Home Social Distancing Tips: Optimizing for Relaxation
One of the most difficult things about being in the midst of this pandemic is the feeling of tension. You’re worried about your job, your family, your health. That’s a lot of weight to carry and it’s no surprise that it’s worn on individuals both nation and worldwide. How can you stop the growing malaise? By attempting to give you and yourself dedicated, organized relaxation time and space. Try these tips:
Give everyone their own space. If you’re able, make sure everyone in your home has a space that’s their own so that they’re able to get alone time.
Devote a corner to meditation. Do you have an unused corner of your home that could be converted into a quiet space for everyone to use as needed? You can use oil diffusers and candles in relaxing scents like lavender. You could add a yoga mat to stretch out on or a weighted blanket to sit with. Laying out individual areas with specific intentions can help you give relaxation the room to grow in your house.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Simple as can be. Give yourself a break. Don’t make yourself feel bad if things get a little unorganized or out of whack. The world is going through a lot of stress right now and it’s okay to step back when you need to.
Make Your Home the Best It Can Be
The tips above should help you create productive, individual spaces for work, learning, and relaxation within your home. If you’d like to spend time working on updating your home in other ways, you can check out one of these DIY tutorials.
Otherwise, hang in there and hang tight. Time heals everything, but while we wait stay safe and healthy with the above social distancing tips for the home.