4 Ways To Stay Sane When You Work From Home

Work the job, don't let it work you.

Workin' Girl

In addition to the fact that I can now proudly say that my dream job is my day job and vice versa, since becoming Managing Editor, my wish to work from home has been fully actualized in the process. With the rise in prominence of remote work, more and more of us are indulging in the inclusive ability to clock into our 9 to 5s while rocking our PJs and "bumming" it on the couch. It's a blessing I don't take lightly because I've worked through some crazy-long commutes, paid for lunches daily (which added up and caused me to gain the Office 20 in the process), and depending on where you work, investing in a wardrobe is a requirement that's no easy (or budget-friendly) feat.

However, while convenient AF and cost-effective as hell, working from home is not without its drawbacks. Although I don't struggle with productivity, in my work from home life, I do sometimes teeter the boundaries between work life and home life, as well as being faithful to a routine. But in the past year, I've gained some valuable insight and tips on how to rock this work from home life. Check them out below.

Establish Work/Home (Life) Boundaries


You know the workaholic who loves to work and, in that regards, puts their pleasure over matter? I'm totally that girl. I've always known I had the potential to be a workaholic, but I really became privy to my somewhat dangerous habit when I started working from home. That tendency of course lent itself to how I went about my day and often, that meant not allowing there to be clear boundaries between when I worked and when I lived because of how blurred those lines were.

I would wake up, unlock my phone, open my email app, and start work before I even brushed my teeth or washed my face. I'd feel obligated to work whenever I was near my laptop. I'd feel obligated to work whenever I got a text message or read a message while I was out for a couple of hours. That's not the way to live, sis. Since then, I've made it a point to draw clearer lines between Work Sheriden and Home Sheriden. Work Sheriden now only works when she considers herself ON. I "clock in" and I "clock out", and once I've clocked out, I don't have to feel like I'm in work mode just because my home is my office.

Create A Space You Love Working In


If you're going to set up shop in your home, you might as well make it an inviting space to be in. I don't have a traditional office sectioned off. Instead, I work from my couch. Sometimes, I offset the monotony with a seat at my desk in my bedroom, but let's face it, a couch is so much kinder to the body.

I like to set the mood with a bit of aromatherapy to help calm my senses by having soy candles burning. Lavender anything is a favorite of mine and has healing properties that include improving the mood, treating stress, migraines, and anxiety, as well as stimulating the brain. Music is another favorite of mine. My Feel Good playlist is such a vibe-setter and can definitely add some life into an otherwise quiet space. Podcasts and interviews are also great audio-stimulators that provide motivating ambience while I work.

Be Loyal To A Routine


A routine will be your best friend and your greatest ally when working from home. I don't have my day super detailed to the T, but there are some things that are mainstays – twice-a-week meetings and a once a week mandatory check-in call are examples of that. Additionally, there are tasks that stay the same throughout my week too. I've learned to do my best to adhere to a to-do list for the most part when it comes to tackling the day-to-day tasks and leaving room to give my energy to other things as they come up.

Perhaps even more important than that, was my commitment of keeping certain elements of my day the same and making sure to create a routine out of it:

6:30 a.m. – Wake up, wake up

6:30-7:30 a.m. – Relaxing in bed, sometimes doing nothing, sometimes reading, sometimes just catching up on a show or two that I like

7:30-8:30 a.m. – Brush my teeth, wash my face, shower, and make some breakfast

8:30 a.m. – I usually begin my workday around now, even though I prefer to wait until 9

8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. – Editing, uploading, writing, emails, meeting(s)

The remainder of my day follows that rhythm with the occasional hour break to eat and fit in a quick workout routine. My work day usually ends around 8, 10:00 at the latest. Having some sort of semblance of a routine allows me to understand my day in pieces versus being overwhelmed by anxiety of always being go, go, go and do, do, do.

Isolate Time For Meaningful Breaks


As you can see in the aforementioned tip, I really value my breaks. When I worked traditional desk jobs, I was accustomed to the obligatory 15- to 30-minute breaks companies allot their employees but I didn't realize how easy it would be to forget all about those necessary pauses when I was doing what I love full-time. For the first few months (read: six months), I forgot to pause.

I'd work 12- to 14-hour days, barely stopping for bathroom breaks but my daily water intake wouldn't let me. So, you can imagine that lack of care went double for making the time to eat. When I'm busy, it's very easy to forget to eat and a couple of hours can quickly turn to five without me even realizing it. But it is vital that you isolate time for breaks. Thus, nowadays, I try to have a minimum of three half-hour breaks each day.

Unplug. Chat with a friend. Take a walk. Read. Cook for yourself. Whatever you do, place your work day on a time out and do so as frequently as you need to.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

How I Make My Home A Sacred Space For Productivity

8 Realities About Working From Home

Should You Keep Your Personal & Work Life Separate?

6 Ways Being A Stay-At-Home Mom Is Like Having A "Real" Job

Featured image by Getty Images

Gabrielle Union is not here for the label stepparent. While she became a stepparent after marrying Dwyane Wade in 2014, that doesn't mean that she wants to be defined by it. The actress spoke about the dislike of that term during her appearance on Glennon Doyle's "We Can Do Hard Things" podcast.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

It was actually pretty close to this time last year when I penned the piece "How To Get Through The Holidays If You Don't Observe Them". Unlike some of the other articles that I write for the site, I pulled that one from very personal experience. Being that my personality is very wired to "be good" on something once I know its origin, holidays are something that I tend to take a pass on; this includes Thanksgiving (some insightful reads on its origin are found here, here and here). Still, this doesn't mean I'm not aware of the fact that many people use this time of year to reflect on their blessings and to say "thanks" for all the good that has come their way. Since I like to write on relationships a lot, I thought to myself, "Why not come up with ways for people to show gratitude to their significant other?"

Keep reading... Show less

I didn't want to say that I was having bad luck. That's not something I'd ever want to speak into existence over my life. But I will say something wasn't right. I had a few coins stacked in my purse from a one-time project as well as from an ongoing one. Then I received emails from not one but two publications within days apart asking me if I'd like to contribute a few articles every week. Opportunities and money were flowing in. If you follow the law of attraction, you'd say I was vibrating on a high frequency.

Keep reading... Show less

Tinashe has learned a lot about her mental health while growing up in the entertainment industry. The singer/songwriter began dancing at four years old and had her first movie role at five years old.

From there, she went on to be in a girl group The Stunners and act in TV shows like Two and a Half Men. Now as an independent artist focusing solely on her music, the "All Hands on Deck" singer opened up about the struggles she faced in the industry.

Keep reading... Show less

My favorite time of the year is the start of the official boot season which begins during the transitional period between summer and fall. What's most exciting about the sudden drop in temperatures is stepping back into those sleek pair of boots for the first time in months. Whether zipping up oldies but goodies or investing in a new fall 2021 boot trend, this year is all about the calf boot. Specifically, this is the best option when easing your summer clothes into the appropriate fall looks.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

'David Makes Man' Star Arlen Escarpeta Believes Love And Accountability Go Hand In Hand

"While we are quick to judge others, we really have to look at ourselves and call out some of the things that we do."

Latest Posts