Your day begins as your newborn cries….at 4AM in the morning. It’s not the way you may have wanted to start, but that’s the story of a work from home mom. You get the baby settled and then it’s time to make the hubby breakfast before he leaves to work. You kiss him out the door and now you’ve got five minutes before your staff meeting and you’ve got a diaper to change. Nothing like a headset on and a baby on your lap, again the life of the work from home mom. It’s rinse and repeat for lunch and dinner and before you know it, it’s time for bed, it’s nearly midnight, and you’ll have to do it again tomorrow….or in four hours if not before. Your stress levels are through the roof, you have no time for yourself, and it seems never-ending. This is the typical story of the work from home mom, but it doesn’t have to be.
Maintaining balance in this type of environment is a bit challenging, but not impossible. There are a few things you can do throughout the day to not only reduce your stress levels, but keep a steady routine as well.
- Plan a schedule. You probably have normal working hours that you follow. Use a digital calendar from Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar to plan your day. Use a separate color for work, time with your child, time with your spouse, and time for yourself. If you are a spiritual person, add that in as well. Block out your time with things you will do that fit those categories. The hardest part is sticking to it! Having a daily plan will allow you to put what’s in your mind on paper, so you aren’t thinking about a million things at once. You +1, Stress +0.
- Prioritize your time. Now that you have a schedule, it’s time to figure out what comes first. 98% of people get this answer wrong. If you thing the first priority is work, that’s probably why you are stressed. My schedule follows these priorities in this order: God, Spouse, Child, Work, Me. It wasn’t always that way, but since I’ve changed it, I’ve reduced my levels of stress enormously. This is not the proven solution, but it works for me. Tailor it to you.
- Take small breaks. Set an alarm to go off every 50 minutes. When it does, stand up and walk around. Get a quick stretch. Drink some water. Small breaks can really help you clear your mind and refresh your focus. When you get back to your desk, you’ll be surprised at how rejuvinated you’ll feel.
- Cook in bulk. I suggest doing this on an off day. Cooking is an activity that takes a lot of time, so you might as well make the most of it. Pick three or four meals that you can balance throughout the week for lunch and dinner. Alternate them to break up the monotony, or even mix and match. You’ll save on the waistline and in the purse. Use your freezer for anything leftover. Some things like soup and chili can stay in a freezer for a few months.
- Exercise daily. If you put it in the schedule, you’ll do it. This is one of the biggest stress relievers out there and I can’t recommend it enough. There are many programs out there that give you the flexibility to exercise in your own living room, and some can be done in less than 30 minutes. If you can plan your child’s nap time, this would be a perfect place to fit in exercise. Daily exercise will keep you in the game and on your toes.
These are just a few things you can do to create balance in the whirlwind life of the work from home mom. Feel free to share your tips and suggestions below