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How to stay productive (and sane) working from home

"It’s not going to look the same. show yourself some grace because you’re not in the same environment."

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Many Americans have been ordered to work from home during the COVID-19 chaos, and that can be a difficult transition. Breaking from your normal routine can be stressful, overwhelming, even lonely.

“I think that shift is huge I think we are just seeing the beginning of it," said Coach Cayme, a certified life and career coach based in Charlotte.

She’s helping clients transition to a new normal.

“You have individuals who are getting used to being isolated and still have the expectation of being productive while they’re home," she said. "It’s a familiar environment, you’ve got TV, you’ve got laundry you’ve got a list of things you could possibly be doing — on top of what do I do with the kids?”

She has some tips to help people transition to working from home.

First, disconnect if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

“It's really easy to get caught up in all of what is happening," Coach Cayme said. "Stay informed but don’t let that be your focus. Do what you need to do for self-care and to lower that anxiety level.”

Second, go easy on yourself.

“Set some realistic expectations what being productive looks like over these next couple of weeks," Coach Cayme said. "It’s not going to look the same. show yourself some grace because you’re not in the same environment so just know you might not be able to go through your list the way you want to.”

Third, stick to your normal routine as much as possible.

“If you’re used to getting up at a certain time and getting dressed, get up at that time get dressed at that time. Make sure you’re staying on a routine and keeping yourself on a regiment, that will help stabilize some things.”

And finally, give yourself time to socialize – even if from afar.

“The thing that’s fundamentally important is still human connection, we thrive on that, we need that," Cayme said. "Pick up the phone and text or call a friend. You may not be able to meet someone face-to-face but what if we said at such and such time let’s get online and play this game together. Take a 20-minute walk with the family.”

And remember – you do have control over your life, even when things feel chaotic.

“We really don’t know what’s to come over the next few weeks, so flood your mind with positivity as much as you can," Cayme said. "Your mind can make a hell out of heaven or heaven out of hell.”

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