Asian woman in athletic wear with notebooks and sitting by the window

Stuck in a rut? Being indoors does that to a person. Numerous studies have also shown that the lack of exposure to natural sunlight can mess with the body’s circadian rhythm, which can affect everything from sleep, mood, energy, and appetite. How to be productive in this kind of atmosphere, right?

Extensive research, including one conducted by the University of East Anglia in 2018, found that spending time outdoors, especially near green spaces, has both physical and emotional benefits – from reduced risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease to enhanced sleep quality and lowered stress levels.

Moreover, a 2010 Journal of Environment Psychology study by the University of Rochester revealed that exposure to natural environments improved vitality by 40%. Unfortunately, the reverse happens when you’re indoors. 

So yes, you’re feeling down, stagnant, and burned out. Your physical well-being is affecting your emotional mood and vice versa. We’re with you. You don’t need to build a home-based baking empire while you’re confined to your house. To move forward and get on, you need to make small steps. Here are some ideas on how to be productive.

Avert Your Eyes From the Screen

Rediscover hobbies that don’t have anything to do with screens or gadgets.

What did people do before cell phones? Mobile devices like smartphones and tablets are nifty entertainment units. With physical interaction limited, they’ve only become more necessary as a way to connect with friends and relatives, and they’ve become essential tools for working from home. From work to leisure, our faces are in front of a screen.

However, based on the 2018 study “Mobile Phone Use and Mental Health. A Review of the Research That Takes a Psychological Perspective on Exposure” published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, extended mobile phone use not only leads to anxiety and depression, but it also distracts you from performing mental health and stress management activities that can boost your mood.

Pro Tip: Dedicate at least an hour without screen time (nope, the time you are asleep does not count). Schedule this before bedtime so you’ll have an easier time falling asleep. The blue light from mobile devices can interfere with your sleep cycle.

Adopt Some Working From Home Boundaries

Setting up boundaries is crucial for your mental health.

With work and home converging in one space, it’s easy to forget where your professional life ends and your private one begins. The simplest way is to draw a line between office hours and personal time.

Talk to your boss about this plan since it benefits everyone in the long run. Set an internal clock-in and clock-out time frame. Get ready as you usually would when you used to work in an office, including wearing business attire, following a morning routine, and assigning a lunch break. Schedule video calls during this period as well.

Having designated work hours will help you remember your boundaries, but make sure to focus on output over the duration. When you're learning how to be productive, understand this: research has shown that an hour of deep work is better for productivity than five hours of distracted, shallow work.

Come Up With Self-Love Habits

A little self-care does the body, mind, and soul good. Based on a 2019 study in Health Psychology Research, women who pampered themselves had a lower chance of being depressed. It may not seem like much, but we’re not talking about grand gestures here. Once you get into the habit of taking care of yourself, you’ll also begin to appreciate yourself more.

Create a me-time regimen every day and make sure to follow through. Another study, published in Lancet Psychiatry in 2018, found that people who had inconsistent routines throughout the day were more prone to depression, mood swings, loneliness, and sadness. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Take a few extra minutes during your bath.

Bath time is an ideal way to steal a few quiet moments for yourself. Whether you take your shower in the morning or evening, use the Love Beauty and Planet Argan Oil & Lavender Smooth and Serene Shampoo. Its soothing lavender aroma will help you start or end your day in a relaxed mood.

Then, indulge your skin with some body wash. Dove Care & Protect, which has green tea and Anti-Bac, softens and nourishes your skin while protecting it as it washes away 99% bacteria.

Find time to exercise.

The benefits of physical movement, whether it’s doing household chores or jumping rope, are well-known. Working out stimulates the hormones and neurotransmitters that improve mood and happiness. Moreover, it also helps increase productivity. Based on a Harvard Health study, exercise enhances your mental faculties, which may lead to boosted creativity, better focus, fast learning, and sharper memory.

Before you get moving, pat on some Rexona 3-in-1 Deo Powder Peppermint Cool in your body, particularly your underarms, back, and feet. This gentle powder protects you from odor and sweat and prevents sweat stains on your clothes. That’s one less thing to worry about!

Do something pleasurable at least once every day.

Our best advice on how to be productive while being stuck indoors? Not everything you do has to have a measurable goal. Sometimes, just doing things you enjoy without rhyme or reason can motivate you. Go ahead, eat a slice of chocolate cake, extend your Netflix time for another hour, paint, go crazy. Finding joy in the little things will help life feel more fulfilling.