taking old lexapro

moving image of a woman walking past a window, holding a cup of coffee

The pandemic has changed the way that many of us work, perhaps forever, with a huge portion of the population working from home for over two years now. 

While those of us able to carry out work from the comfort of our homes are very fortunate, and there are many upsides, there’s no denying that the lack of boundaries, natural routine and real-life contact with colleagues can be hard to navigate sometimes. 

But there are lots of things you can do to keep yourself motivated, productive – and, tylenol while vomiting most importantly, stay sane.

One of the most crucial is to make sure that you get out of the house and create routines.

So, with that in mind, I decided to trial building in a ‘fake commute’ to my working day each morning, to see how it impacted my mood, productivity and general wellbeing. 

The idea is that I’d get up each day, shower, get dressed and go for a walk that would act as a replacement for the ‘commute’ part of my day, giving me a sense of routine – and a reason to leave the house. 

This technique makes sense, for lots of reasons. 

Marilyn Devonish is a remote working implementation consultant. One of the first things she always shares with employees and staff, when advising them on how to work effectively from remote locations – including home – is the need for ‘boundaries and the demarcation of spaces, and the importance of creating a separation of the space both physically and psychologically’.

She explains that ‘getting dressed for work is like a neurological anchor, which signals to your mind that it is time to get to work.’

‘It also definitely helps to leave the house, even if you just walk around the block,’ she tells Metro.co.uk. ‘This is because it can mark the end of a segment or block of time and leave you feeling more refreshed as you embark on the next job or task.’ 

The same applies to marking the beginning of a block of time, or a new day.

In essence, it helps you transition from getting out of bed to just going straight into starting the working day – it gives a sense of distance and marks a transition between the two. 

Productivity coach Moyra Scott backs this up.

‘Managing transitions well is a skill that can be used to improve how effective you are,’ she says. 

During the pandemic, when working from home, Moyra explains that many people discovered that, with their commute gone, they’d lost their time to transition from home to work and back again.  

‘So, if you find that you are now working from home, all the time or even some of the time, it can really help to create that time for yourself,’ she tells Metro.co.uk,

‘It is like a physical intention setting; “I am leaving behind one state of being and stepping into another.”

‘Morning routines, in general, are a boost to productivity,’ she says. ‘In fact anything you can do, to stop and think about what you are about to do, helps.’

So, with buy-in from the experts, I decided to give it a go. 

My week of fake commutes

Monday

I didn’t sleep well last night but I get up after only snoozing my alarm twice (a record for me) as I’m excited to try my new challenge, and – surprisingly – full of enthusiasm for the first day. 

I shower, get dressed into actual clothes that aren’t joggers and a hoodie (it’s only tights and a T-shirt dress but still, I feel like a real person) and make myself a flask of tea, to trick myself into thinking I’m out and about ordering fancy hot drinks from cafes – a la the good old days. Of course, I could structure my ‘commute’ so that I can do this for real but I decide to save myself the money and see if a home-made drink still gives me the same satisfaction.  

I head out and plan to walk in a loop past the train station I used to get into the city centre every day – but instead of getting on, I carry on and take an exit that leads me along a ‘nature trail’ (aka a path next to the railway with lots of overgrown weeds and flowers, but it’s nicer than walking on the main road). 

I put on some music – a bit of Idles to get me pumped up for the day ahead – and, it works. I can feel the endorphins surging through me and wonder why I haven’t started doing this sooner.

It’s a brilliant start to my morning and I feel very awake and ready for the day ahead. 

I get home, make another tea, and I’m ready to start work at 9. I have a really productive day, particularly in the morning, and get lots ticked off my to do list.

I still go out for a quick walk at lunchtime, for some fresh air. So far, so good.

Tuesday 

I wake up this morning seemingly having forgotten how good my early morning ‘commute’ yesterday made me feel, and I struggle to get up.

It’s drizzly outside and I almost consider not going but I force myself into the shower, get my tea made, and head out into the grey. I listen to a podcast about writer’s block today, and feel like I’m using the time wisely. 

Half way round my newly established loop, I bump into an old friend who I’ve not seen since before covid. I knew she’d moved near here but we’re not super close so we haven’t met up since. 

Initially, when I spot her, I consider averting my eyes, or starting at my phone, to avoid having to talk to someone pre-9am – but I shove that thought aside and greet her with a smile. We chat for about ten minutes and agree to meet up for a drink sometime soon.

Whether it happens or not remains to be seen but it’s nice to see a familiar face and I get a pang for office life, where off-the-cuff chats like these are ten-a-penny. 

Reasons to give a ‘fake commute’ a go – from Juliet Landau-Pope, productivity Coach, virtual organiser and study skills consultant

‘Working from home means you don’t have a boundary between your living space and work space. So, taking a walk at the start of the work day can help you to create a buffer in your mind, a fictional boundary to demarcate “home time” and “work time.” You leave the house after getting dressed and having breakfast and re-enter it ready for work.

‘A short walk outdoors can help you to clear your head, to declutter your mind, at the start of the day so you’ll be able to focus more on work when you return.

‘It also creates a useful structure that can be especially useful for anyone who works alone and needs to motivate themselves to get started.

‘Getting outdoors, breathing fresh air and being near nature – noticing trees, plants and grass, if you’re lucky – can boost your mood and energy.

‘For anyone struggling with procrastination, physical movement is a great way to boost energy and kickstart you into action. Taking a short walk outside, jogging around the block or even just strolling to the end of the road and back can shift lethargy and lift your mood. 

‘Evidence shows that going for a walk at the beginning of the day can set you up for a positive and productive day at work.’

Wednesday

I wake up easily today, enjoy my walk – and even do fifteen minutes of yoga when I get back. Then, in very rare scenes, I make myself a smoothie. I’m not a routine person and I’m pretty bad for skipping breakfast, and eating last night’s leftover tea mid-morning instead.

But it’s like this new routine of leaving the house and getting some fresh air has really increased my motivation and overall desire to be a bit healthier in my habits. 

I can 100% notice an increase in energy and I’m enjoying having lunch times to either pop out for another bonus walk, or run some errands.

Thursday

On reflection, I see that I was feeling a bit smug yesterday and might have got carried away with myself with the smoothies and yoga.

I stayed up laaaaate last night binging Ozark and snooze my alarm for a long time this morning. I get up and shower but don’t have enough time to complete my full ‘commute’ loop, so I just go around the block. Still, I feel better for getting out of the house. The fresh air and a blast of music, or a podcast, is a brilliant way to set up the day. Plus, I think the act of getting properly dressed is really helping with my motivation. 

I do 15 minutes of yoga stretches at lunchtime and then go and complete my longer loop.

Have a productive afternoon. Is it down to my fake commute? Probably not but mentally, I feel better and I have a definite clarity of mind. 

Friday 

Today I decide that, as it’s Friday, I’ll treat myself to a tea and an almond croissant from the cafe down the road. The croissant is delicious, the tea is tea. But the lady who owns the cafe is lovely and we have a nice chat about what we’re up to this weekend, giving me water cooler vibes. 

The sun is shining today and I sit outside to eat my croissant before completing my loop. It doesn’t feel long enough but I’m short on time after my cafe stop, so I have to get in and get logged on.

I start work feeling energised and in a good mood, and sail through the day, before signing off bang on time (unusual) as I’ve got tickets to a gig tonight and I’m meeting a friend for some food before. 

Conclusion

The ‘fake commute’ can stay. Not only has it seen my steps rise, it absolutely boosted my mood and possibly my productivity too. I think the main difference that I’ve noticed, though, is my general sense of wellbeing.

We all know that getting outside and exercising is good for mental health and I’ve definitely noticed the benefits of that this week. It’s a solid 10/10 for the fake commute.

Do you have a story to share?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected]

Source: Read Full Article