Be it the fear of an infectious pandemic, a WFH (work from home) maternity leave or your personal preference; the world seems to be ready to transition into working from home as a concrete alternative. However, women in our society face immense challenges while working from home. They are expected to manage a career as well as live up to society’s expectations of single-handedly managing a household. Thankfully, compassionate family members, technology, and easy access to resources ensure that millions of women who are working from home have the space to take care of their mental and physical health.
Here we have listed eight simple yet useful tips to ensure women’s health:
1. Set boundaries
This is non-negotiable. Be assertive when you tell your boss or peer that you will clock out at sharp 5 p.m. Tell your family members that household chores are everyone’s responsibilities. If you have children, ensure they follow the rules such as, ‘no shouting when I am on a work call’, or ‘no toys around the work desk’. When you are WFH, your personal and professional life can be easily enmeshed. Boundaries help you keep both separate. Working from home and mental health can co-exist only when you set effective and reasonable limits.
2. Create a workspace
A laptop on your kitchen counter often becomes your work station while prepping for lunch, or your bed doubles up as a conference room table while working. Either way, it is unhealthy. Before long, your brain will start associating your bed with work, and you will have difficulty sleeping. To prevent that, designate a specific area in your house as your workspace. It doesn’t have to be a full-fledged desk with a chair; it can be your coffee table that you turn into an office desk, and your sturdy living room chair could become your work chair.
3. Set a routine
Even for the most spontaneous souls on the planet, a complete absence of structure and routine can be distressing. While you are working from, it is better to set a routine, and strictly adhere to it. This routine primes your brain for work and makes you more productive.
4. Set goals
When you don’t have colleagues around all the time to tell you what’s the next task or to remind you of a deadline, you may become lax with your goals. Make SMART goals- specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound. Start your day with setting your goals, and at the end of the day or week, see how much you have accomplished. You can also use the Eisenhower Matrix to manage your time and tasks better.
5. Remember birth control
Having sex in the middle of the day may sound an exciting prospect, but remember your birth control! Many women prefer taking contraceptive pills such as Mankind’s Unwanted -21, which has three weeks of active pills, followed by a week of inactive pills. Unplanned pregnancies can have an adverse effect on women and mental health, so ensure that you have birth control accessible at all times. In case you do have unprotected sex, you can take Mankind’s Unwanted-72 emergency pill within three days of unprotected sex. It is widely available and considered India’s No. 1 Contraceptive Tablet.
6. Schedule ‘me-time’.
Self-care is important. Whether it is to ensure women’s physical health, mental health or spiritual health, you must take time out every day to engage in self-care. Sitting in the balcony listening to the birds chirping, going for a walk, meditating, exercising, cooking, giving a self-soothing massage, making life goals, or quietly sitting by yourself without your devices and people around can be ways of caring for self.
7. Staying connected
Solitude is healthy, not isolation. If you live alone and going to an office was the only way you interacted with others, then WFH can be a risk factor for loneliness. Make it a point to call your friends and family, have video calls, play virtual games with them to stay connected.
8. Ask for help
Asking for help makes you stronger. So, if you are struggling to manage your WFH and household chores, ask for advice from your family members, neighbours, friends, or even colleagues. Try to find a solution instead of keeping all your worries and stress to yourself.
Incorporate these well-being tips into your daily WFH schedule to ensure that your productivity and health do not have to compromise.