7 Ways to Work from Home Together

Just like many of you, my husband and I have been working from home for nearly two weeks, trying to do our part in social distancing. As well as realizing we definitely need comfier work chairs at home, we’ve found a few thing which is making it work for us, and wanted to share.

Go for walks

Getting outside, moving, and getting a change of scenery is so important. We’ve been going for morning and evening walks to help break up the monotony of the same walls and it’s been beautiful. It releases the extra anxiety I’ve been feeling and even though we’re over a week in, I haven’t gotten stir crazy which I expected to.

Have your own space

We both have confidential work, so this one is not optional for us, but it still makes a big difference. He’s set up in the spare room, and I’m in the dining area. We both have our workplaces in our apartment, and can close the door between us. I share my schedule each day so he knows when there is a window to take a break in the kitchen. I also tear down my work space for the weekends, to help our space feel normal.

Keep sharing about your day

This is such a great thing which brings you closer normally, let’s not give it up. I was so pleasantly surprised when he asked about my day after our second day of working from home. I didn’t realize I needed to share because I had seen him at lunchtime but I did, and it helped me process. I forgot we do such individual activities because we’re in the same house.

Book end your day

Working from home provides the opportunity to work long hours, and your brain starts to associate home with work. Having normal start and end times brings some normalcy and lets you sit on your couch without associating it with work. We’ve also left the living room as sacred down time, not bringing our work into it.

Do some things by yourself

Spending ALL of our time with one person isn’t normal for us, and it can cause some unnecessary annoyance. Even if you’re in a small space, find the opportunities. Watch tv separately, spend some time in the bath, go for a walk alone . . . you have options!

Have daytime & nighttime pj’s

Getting ready for the day can still be really helpful, and because I’m largely doing video sessions, I have motivation to continue doing my hair and make-up, though I’m definitely still wearing sweatpants. We’re at home, let’s be comfortable, but also know what helps remind your brain it’s worktime and leisure time.

Be Gentle

Be gentle with both yourselves and each other. Covid-19 & social distancing is something brand new to all of us and it is stressful, and everyone is experiencing losses. We are so thankful we are both able to transition to working from home, though our jobs both immediately got harder with figuring out technology, and adjusting to not having the right people or things easily accessible. Now is the time to be gentle with both yourselves and each other.

Karyn Zuidhof, Calgary Psychologist

As a Registered Psychologist, I have experience helping people with a variety of concerns including, but not limited to stress, anxiety, depression, self-esteem, parenting, and relationships. Together, we will use cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), and collaborate to find the thoughts and actions creating obstacles in your life, test them out, and combat them to decide if they’re helping or hindering you. Most of all, I want to help you reach your potential, and make the way there a little easier.

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