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How to create a working from home ‘coffice’ for creativity

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How’s your creativity during these isolating times?

We need to be proactive towards our mental health maintenance and implement self-care strategies.

Let’s face it, as we advance further and further into tighter lockdown restrictions, our ability to find that creative space has been progressively stripped away.

I used to create time every Friday, where I’d sit in a coffee shop and create new ideas for my Hydrotherapy business. I’d call it my “coffice”—the coffee shop office.

Three rules:

  • No kids.
  • No dogs.
  • No husband.

Just my laptop, and a warm drink. It was the best part of my work week.

It’s now been three weeks without my coffice.

When you own a business, you need to have space in your week to problem solve and create new initiatives, to stay ahead of the game.

Being in isolation, at home, while breastfeeding a nine-month-old, juggling a three-year-old and homeschooling/entertaining a five-year-old is NOT conducive to creating new content. It’s conducive to being stagnant as a person, and as a business!

Being too full (“busy”) is bad for my creativity. So, this is what I’ve created to stay calm and creative in an isolated fantastic mess…….

ONE ½ DAY A WEEK IS SACRED.

I don’t schedule Zoom meetings.

I don’t see my one friend for a social distancing jog.

I don’t book in Zoom catch-ups for the kids.

I don’t clean.

And I certainly don’t have my phone on.

All of the above kills my creativity. Instead, I drive to the clinic (which is closed during these pandemic times), and:

I write.

I think.

I create.

THEN I IMPLEMENT.

Creativity is like a muscle that needs to be worked. I’d love to work this muscle every day, but I’m a realist—once a week is realistic while I’m living in the Fantastic Mess.

If you don’t have a clinic to escape to, and you’re stuck at home, here are three tips to help engage your creative muscle.

1) Schedule it

If you have kids—a “quiet space” needs to be scheduled. If you don’t have kids—a quiet space needs to be scheduled!

For me, at least one kid needs to be on a day nap, one needs to be at day care, and one needs to be distracted with her favourite craft. That’s a hard juggle to manage if you only have day care two days a week. But I try to make it happen.

Or, I ask my husband to schedule his work week, with a ½ day being flexible (on a day care day), so I can lock myself away for a few hours. Or, I schedule one night a week, that is sacred for creatively.

I prefer not to use the night time option, as I try to keep my brain free from anything productive in the evenings (otherwise I can struggle to sleep!).

2) Move it

Movement is medicine, and helps us to regulate the energy balance of the body and improves creativity (and reduces stress).

I need to exercise before I can get creative, and preferably in the morning. My brain needs the increased blood flow.

Personally, a quick 25min HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is best, or a bodyweight circuit or a 20min jog, with a few sprints thrown in the middle.

That way, I start the day fresh, motivated and not fatigued. Easter is just around the corner, try this bodyweight circuit for fun:

HER EASTER WORKOUT

1) EASTER BUNNY V-SIT

2) SIDE LEG LIFT BUNNY BALANCE

3) SQUAT & HEEL RAISE

4) 4 POINT LIFT AND BUNNY BALANCE

5) SEATED DIAGONAL RAISE

You can print the program here with all the ‘how to’ details and keep an eye out for the two-minute IGTV ‘how to’ video on HerCanberra’s Instagram later today.

If you’re healthy and fit, I’d recommend doing the 5 exercises, with 10-12 repetitions, and 3 sets.  4-5 days a week. If your fitness needs some nurturing, try for 6 repetitions, and 2 sets to get you started.

Also, every Tuesday at 11 am we are going LIVE on the Capital Hydrotherapy Facebook page with a new 10-15 minute stay-at-home workout, or follow Capital Hydrotherapy on YouTube for free exercise workouts.

3) Write it down

Your creative time is limited. I’ve got one shot every week, so I want to make the most of it.

Throughout the week I create a list of things on my phone that I want to follow up on during that creative space. That way, once I’m sitting down, I get straight into it.

Fortunately, this current coffice-less quarantine isn’t going to last forever. Slowly, but surely, we will eventually be able to go back to our regular active flexible lifestyle. And when we do we’ll be much more grateful for the sweet freedoms we may have taken for granted previously.

Until then, let’s do what we can, with what we do have.

Do you miss your office? How do you create some space for creativity during isolation?

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