With my move to Seattle came a significant career shift: I work remotely, from home. There are pros. There are cons.
Pro: I can work in my comfy clothes
Con: Sometimes I forget to shower until noon
Pro: I can do laundry while I’m on a conference call
Con: I go through a lot of toilet paper
Pro: Morning commute is the distance from my bed to my coffee maker in the kitchen.
Con: I have to keep out of the damn kitchen.
The hardest part about the WFH situation: staying away from the fridge. It is very easy to snack all day, and it’s very hard to not. As a naturally compulsive eater, one who can eat whether she’s hungry or not and who continuously plays mediator between her stomach and her emotions, restraining myself from eating all day long is truly the toughest part about working from home.
Being in a brand new city and still getting my bearings, I experience moments of loneliness, unsureness, those ephemeral, nuanced dips in hard-earned self-confidence, and just straight up anger (as I had with IKEA today on the phone because the legs to my couch have still not arrived – $50 gift card was provided as resolution, though). Those emotions are now much more pronounced because I don’t have the distraction of my colleagues or the daily runaround to get me out of my head. I am dealing with me, all of the time. All. The. Time.
Snacking all day would be an effective soothing device to these tiny emotional ups and downs, and once in a while, it’s fine to indulge. But not every day. That’s just not good self-care and I know better. I am a GAW, after all.
There’s a ton of freedom in working remotely and it requires glacier-sized self-motivation to stay focused and take care of myself. I am in tune with self-care – I work out, I eat good foods, I don’t drink all that much and smoke not a thing. But I’m discovering an entirely new layer to self-discipline, one around which I don’t feel super successful. There’s an inherent aloneness to working from home. So, I have developed both offensive and defensive techniques to keep myself off the eat-from-boredom highway.
- I have taken to liquids – drinking water, seltzer, and lots of decaf coffee (caffeine gets my thyroid 50 shades of hyped up). They don’t necessarily take the place of the act of chewing, but they help, sorta-kinda. Note: this excessive fluid intake is why I go through TP at an alarming rate.
- I leave. I go downstairs to my coffee shop and work between breakfast and lunch. The energy of the space and people talking and working gives uplifts me, even if I only chat with the barista.
- I get to a yoga class around the time my NYC-based colleagues are at lunch. Break up the day, get some sweat out, flow.
- I muscle through. Watch the clock while I work and just deal with it. For those of who either don’t work from home or don’t know what being a compulsive eater is like, well, this seems like it’s NBD. I will tell you, it’s kind of a BD.
Yo, other work-from-home people, what sorts of non-work BS do you deal with by working from your couch or desk or bar or floor or bed?