"Exercise, shower, and wear real clothes." This was my personal work-from-home policy for over a decade... until 2020 came along.
I've since modified it to: "Exercise and shower (most days). Wear comfy clothes you didn't sleep in." Because things are hard enough right now without giving ourselves unnecessary rules, amirite?
I put on jeans today (all my leggings are in the laundry), and I feel like I deserve a medal. What is this lower-body prison?! 1 star, would not recommend.
Melia and I have collected a few of our favorite WFH recs to share with you, since we know many of you are also spending a lot of time at home these days. These aren’t sponsored products, just things we genuinely love.
We hope they give you a bit of calm and comfort amid the chaos 🤗 💕
🎙 Latest Episodes:
Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021!
We talk about what we’re taking forward with us from last year, and what we’re happy to leave behind. We check in on how our 2020 goals ended up going in spite of it all, share how we’re paring down our goals for the new year, and offer a few tips to help you think about your own goals.
Do you ever feel anxious about not knowing what your calling is, because you’re interested in so many things? Well, you may be a Scanner, and the good news is that you don’t have to limit yourself to just one thing.
Gill: Anker Soundcore Life Q20 – I bought these a few months ago after reading a Wirecutter review (best budget pick). They’re comfortable and work great for my purposes. I don’t need anything fancy, just decent sound and noise cancellation for when Brian is on a call in our small shared office, or the city noise gets out of control. They also give me a psychological signal that I’m in my “writing cave” and ready to work.
Melia: TaoTronics Bluetooth Headphones - This was a NEED IT purchase the first week Darren and I were working from home while quarantining with the kids. They're affordable, block out most sound, and have served us well.
Tomato Timer 🍅
Using the Pomodoro Technique has been a game-changer for both of us to get past mental hurdles and get things done during the work day:
- Pick a task. - Set a timer (Melia loves this one) for 25 minutes, and work until the timer goes off - Take a short break (5 minutes) - Every four work periods, take a long break (10 minutes)
It’s easier to get started because we know we have breaks coming up soon. It also builds self-care into our day so we don’t forget essentials like drinking water, or neglect to do the things that bring us joy, like playing the guitar (M) or ukulele (G), or dancing. Little bursts of exercise help the brain re-focus, too. Melia’s go-to dance songs are Eve’s “Tambourine” (explicit lyrics warning) and Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls).”
All the Comfy, Soft Things 👕
Gill: This is my winter uniform:
Big tunic-y top – Uniqlo (US/Spain); labeled “sport utility wear,” though I'm def not doing sports in it.
Hoodie – Uniqlo (US/Spain); I want one in every color.
Thermal plush leggings – Calzedonia (US/Spain; I can’t believe I’m just now discovering these. They’re so warm and wonderful.
Melia: Pretty much ditto what Gill said. WFH means I change from my night pajamas into my day pajamas and don’t need to wear real shoes. 🙌
Slipper shoes: Erryday I’m bustlin’, and eventually the hardwood floors in my house make my feet sore. These slipper shoes are a godsend, with thick soles and enough traction to step outside.
Tunic-y top: I have several soft tunic tops (some with pockets!) and am in love. My search for a few more yielded this gem:
Avery, on the other hand, saw it and said, “I love all those catties!”
Long, soft cardigans: Basically a wearable blanket that’s cuter than a Snuggie. I bought this one in two colors.
Hoodies: Shortly after I bought one of these hoodies, I ordered two more, because why would I wear anything else this winter? Fleecy inside, with phone-sized pockets inside and outside, plus thumb holes!, it’s perfect for jogging in cold weather or lounging around watching Netflix.
I was curious that this hoodie could be “Part of a look” and clicked this button:
Which I hoped would lead to this:
It turned out to be sporty inspo boards – but if that passes for style, I am here 👏for 👏it.
Leggings and yoga pants: These are the softest, comfiest pants I’ve ever owned. And now that Gill has told me about thermal leggings, I want some, too. I was looking at the ones she recommended, and the following style was featured just below. You, too, can leap about your house in leather leggings.
Gill's Recs 🌟
Yeti rambler: I routinely forget about hot beverages until they’re ice cold, and this insulated mug works SO WELL. I fill it with hot tea in the winter and iced tea in the summer, and it keeps them the right temp for hours.
All the soup: If I have my act together at the beginning of the week, I make a giant pot of soup and it gets us through many a weekday lunch. Soup + grilled cheese sandwich = ❤️ - Spicy carrot soup (also very good with squash and/or sweet potatoes instead of carrots) - Creamy tomato soup - Hot and sour soup
Melia's Recs 🌟
“Do the steps”: This is my 2021 mantra. I get distracted if I don’t break down my tasks into the smallest elements and write them down. I have a checklist on a Post-It for the steps to get into work mode (including “Close any task-irrelevant browser tabs”), and on a mini white board I write down the ONE task I will complete before moving on to the next. Finishing one thing before starting another...mind blown!
Spotify playlists: Lo-fi beats and instrumental ambient chill are my go-to’s for keeping me focused and alert and not distracting me with lyrics. My faves: