How to Wind Down During Lock Down

How to unplug when working from home

How to Wind Down During Lock Down

Don't let the days run on (and on). Break up your hours and unplug.

By now, social distancing and shelter-in-place have become the norm. And that means many of us are working from home. Depending on where you're reading this from, you could be entering your third full week, or approaching the start of a third month in isolation. Waking up and working under the same roof is our present-day reality, and we've all developed ways to cope and adapt to our new quarantine work routine.

But, what about when the last meeting is over, your checklist has started to thin out, and the need for fresh air takes precedent over getting that last email out? There's been debate on the internet as to how to spend our “free time” in quarantine. Some propose it's a great time to build a new skill or hone a hobby. Others claim it's fine to not feel guilty about using this time to relax—after all, we're heeding doctor's orders and saving lives by staying inside alone. But, no matter which route you choose, you're going to have to find a way to wind down your work day and build a barrier between the salaried version of yourself, and the “off the clock” one.

In order to log out, it's best to find those nightly rituals that worked for us before this all started (remember those days?). You need to wind down at the end of a day, otherwise you'll feel like you're spending the night at the office. Here are our recommendations to balance the daily transition from work to life.

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Log off
and shut down

The simplest first action might be the easiest to overlook. When you typically return from the office, you don't re-open your work email to see what you've missed from commute to kitchen. So, don't let working from home separate those two distinct parts of your life either. Yes, we're all reliant on our phones—and the Slacks and emails never truly cease, but save the real work for tomorrow. Your inbox isn't going anywhere either, so if you can, keep your laptop shut.

New clothes,
new mindset

Fortunately Zoom only captures us from the neck up, because we've all worn the same few pairs of sweatpants since taking self-isolation head-on. But no matter what you wore "to work" today, it's important to physically shed that outfit (however casual) and change into the off-duty-attire that aids relaxation. This is a good time-slot for a quick workout and/or a shower too.

Stop grazing and
have a proper meal

We already covered how to fix “quarantine skin,” and one of the most uninvolved fixes is drinking more water throughout the day. On top of that, meal kit services like Blue Apron and Freshly can deliver quasi-custom healthy meals to your home to help avoid people altogether—our main objective during this time. It's easier to avoid unhealthy snacking all day when a dinner of Curried Chicken, Poblano and Figs with Mustard Seed Rice is waiting at your doorstep.

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Less stream,
more print

Netflix has made it easier than ever to know what the country is binging by ranking shows based on popularity and offering "parties" to replicate viewing with friends. Yes, streaming services are helping us take our minds off the current news, but it's not going to make getting to sleep any easier. Limiting screen time and shifting to print is an excellent way to relax your mind. Try something substantial but not stressful like Good to Great or Shoe Dog.

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Good to Great,
$14.99 by Jim Collins

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Shoe Dog,
$10.73 by Phil Knight

Calm before
the slumber

Twinings Nightly Calm Tea

Nightly calm tea,
$4.75 by Twinings

As the Wall Street Journal reported, sales of alcohol at liquor and grocery stores jumped nearly 25% compared to last year, so it's a safe assumption everyone isn't developing the best habits. It's fine to still indulge—a nice bourbon in the bathtub, perhaps—but too much will negatively impact sleep patterns. Instead of that last cocktail (we won't ask what number), switch to something like a Twinings herbal bedtime tea, which blends camomile, spearmint and lemongrass, for a more reliable nightcap.

Twinings Nightly Calm Tea

Nightly calm tea,
$4.75 by Twinings

A good
night’s sleep

The days blend together as we all live out our own version of Groundhog Day. There are better days ahead, for sure, but it's tough to know when exactly’most things are out of our control. But, sleep is important, personal and the key to staying on top of our mental game. A weighted blanket can help start the REM cycle while an illuminated alarm clock gently ends it.

Casper Weighted Blanket

Weighted blanket,
$179 / $161 by Casper

HeimVision Sunrise Wifi-Connected Smart Clock

Sunrise wifi-connected smart clock,
$46.99 / $39.98 by HeimVision

NOTE: Items featured in this story are independently selected by the editorial team. Purchasing via our links may earn Valet. a portion of the sale, which helps fund our editorial mission.

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