For many of us, working from home has become part of our “new normal”, but how can we climb out of the pyjama-wearing rut?

The COVID-19 pandemic. It’s wreaking havoc on our daily lives, even now, almost a year after the first UK lockdown. Many of us (myself included) are finding ourselves still working from home, with no solid plans of returning to the office. Working from our kitchens, dining tables, or sofas, often without appropriate office equipment. Even those lucky enough to have a home office are finding that the mental strain of this ongoing situation is becoming harder to bear. Once we add the temptation to work in our pyjamas or pick at the fridge all day, it can knock your confidence, hard.

Thankfully, we live in a time of technology, so we feel a lot closer to one another than we are. Sadly, a video call is simply not the same as face-to-face contact with your team, friends or extended family, and “zoom-fatigue” is fast becoming a real problem. So how do we reignite that motivation we may have had this time last year? How can we make sure we’re keeping our minds stimulated? The answer will be different for every one of us, but hopefully the points made here will help you to find something that works.

One main theme you’ll find with almost all the points I’ll mention is that getting up, washed and dressed has a positive mental impact. It’s easy to fall into a rut of living in loungewear (or pyjamas) 24/7, and who could blame us, really? With no plans to go outside, except for the weekly shop or an exciting adventure to the pharmacy, we can absolutely be forgiven for embracing the luxury that is comfortable clothing. I think it’s great that women are leaning into this world of unrestrictive clothing. Personally, I can’t see myself wearing a real bra for a good long while!

Though this may have begun as a treat, the novelty is beginning to wear off. With no reason to get dressed, you may start to feel less confident, slipping into a more negative mindset. A great, easy way to give yourself a boost is to invest in gorgeous, comfortable, luxurious underwear like a beautiful new bralette or our Bloomin’ Sexy shorts. Not only will you feel sexy, supported and comfortable, you’ll also add a dash of true luxury to your working day. Beginning with a luxurious foundation for your outfit, you’ll feel more confident and ready to take on the day!

The Issue: You feel sluggish, lethargic and just cannot motivate yourself.

The Solution: The lines between work and home are more blurred than ever, especially if you’re not used to working from home regularly. It’s easy to roll out of bed and onto your laptop at the beginning of the workday, which may leave you groggy and not quite “with it”. In this case, you’ll benefit from keeping a steady routine. Wake up at your usual time (though the temptation of a lie-in is so strong), have a nutritious breakfast, wash and put on your favorite power suit and underwear, just as you would if you were going into the office.

If you usually commute, you might find that you strangely miss the time to get your head in the right place. Use this time to focus. You could start your day with a morning workout or simply a short walk. It will also be useful to plan your meals. Make your lunch in advance, just as you would for work, and stock up on nutrient-dense, energising snacks that will make you feel good when you do reach for them.

Lastly, ensure you are working with appropriate equipment. Hopefully, this far into the pandemic, you will have been provided with reasonable equipment to carry out your job, and undertaken a risk assessment. If not, contact your employer and request what you need, or if you’re self-employed, look over your budget to find space to invest in what you need. You’ll need to factor in how long this situation is likely to go on for. I know that many office settings have no firm plans to return and some are even looking at home-working, at least in part, for the future.

The Issue: You miss social interactions. Perhaps you live alone, or with a partner, and your children have flown the nest.

The Solution: There’s little to be done for physical interaction at this time, unfortunately. We can, however, schedule in regular contact with those we miss most. Be they friends, family or colleagues, it’s important for us as social animals to continue to keep in contact.

If you manage a team, why not arrange a weekly “coffee break” together, where you can all spend 15 minutes having a non-work-related chat? Those moments prove to be hugely important in maintaining morale in the workplace. Another great idea is to video call a colleague and work quietly together. Just having company - albeit virtual - can help you to feel far less isolated.

For your friends and family, you could arrange a weekly video or phone call to catch up. If you’re more inclined for a video call, you could get several people in and host a virtual quiz night, taking it in turns to play quiz master! We’re very lucky to be in a world so connected. You could even have a virtual after work drink with a friend or colleague whenever you would’ve done the real-life version pre-Covid.

If you live reasonably close to a loved one, you could also arrange a socially distanced walk or other form of exercise (ensuring you follow all current Covid guidelines, found here). Exercise is a great mood booster due to the endorphins released. Even a brisk walk clears your head and lifts your mood, and the change of scenery is a gorgeous bonus! We may be in the grips of winter, but it too can be a beautiful season. And with spring just around the corner, what better way to see nature blossoming?

The Issue: You feel burnt out, unable to switch between work and home modes.

The Solution: This is a key issue with working from home. The lines between your work and home lives blur, and you may find yourself not taking adequate breaks. It’s hard to switch off when your work is just in the next room and it’s easier to get up and send that email while you're thinking of it, instead of waiting for your usual working hours. This feeling of needing to be constantly present, available and working can lead to you burning out before long, so it’s important to schedule breaks.

Small, simple steps can be taken to protect yourself against burn out. Start by setting a timer at relatively short intervals to get away from your desk and screen. Every 30-60 minutes, take 5 minutes away. Make yourself a coffee or tea, walk around your house or garden, even put a load of washing on! You could also meditate or simply relax.

Try not to work in your bedroom if you can help it. Having a separate room in your home to work in is ideal, but if you don’t have the space, use a neutral setting, like a dining or living room. This will help you to keep areas separate for working and relaxation, and will help you to combat those work-related thoughts as you try to sleep. It’s also very satisfying to be able to literally close the door on your work day.

Lastly, always take your full lunch break. You’re likely to be more productive at home without any distractions, and it can be so easy to eat at your desk, especially if you would at the office. During your lunch break, turn off your computer and work phone (or at least mute notifications) and completely come away from it for the full duration of your break. You can return when you’re ready, feeling far more refreshed.

The Issue: You’re feeling low, depressed or anxious - more so than usual.

The Solution: Looking after your mental health is always incredibly important. Now, more than ever, you may be finding that your mental health is suffering in ways it never has before. If so, I’d like to remind you that it is normal. To use the popular phrase - it’s okay not to be okay. Even people without a history of mental health struggles are now finding that they need a break, a rest, or even medical intervention. It’s important to listen to your body, and visit these links for more advice: NHS, Mind UK, Samaritans and Talkworks (Devon).

Reach out. To friends, family, colleagues. Talk to your GP if you start to notice unhelpful or negative thought patterns affecting your daily life, and know that you are not alone. None of us (except maybe epidemiologists) expected to live through a global pandemic and especially not for this long. It’s bound to affect us mentally.

Getting yourself dressed each day will also help to curb these thoughts and feelings. Think about how powerful you feel in your favourite suit, and how accomplished you are to have gotten to where you are in your career. Pair this power outfit with a brightly coloured top and your most beautiful underwear, like our no-VPL Spirit design, which sits beautifully underneath any garment.

Remember your self-care, and realise that it’s not all bubble baths and fancy mud masks (though they are wonderful). Sometimes, self-care is saying no to a video call when you’re just not in the mood, or taking a day to do absolutely nothing and recharge. If you prefer to be as busy as possible, try working on an existing hobby or even trying a new one during breaks or in the evening instead of watching TV. If you love reading, why not start or join a virtual book club, or take an online course in something you’ve always been interested in?

How Luxury Lingerie Can Help

Your choice of clothing can have a huge effect on your mood, as we’ve already touched on. Wearing clothes that empower you and help you to realise your inner potential will lift your spirits and remind you that you are a strong, capable, beautiful woman. Think about how you feel walking into a boardroom in your best suit, ready to deliver a presentation or host a meeting. How would you feel doing the same in loungewear?

It’s clear to see the difference in this imagined scenario. You’d likely never dream of heading an important client meeting in leggings and a dressing gown! Your clothes are a tool to show yourself and the wider world who you are, whether you’re in a suit or your favourite summer dress.

And it’s not only your outerwear that changes the way you hold yourself. Imagine walking into the same boardroom wearing that same power outfit. Now imagine your suit underwear is ill-fitting, drab and downright uncomfortable. Perhaps you favour skirts over trousers, and usually wear tight, sweaty shapewear or uncomfortable tights. How do you feel? Now picture the same scenario wearing our luxurious anti-chafe shorts.

Hot flushes are handled with ease, absolutely no VPL plus a perfect fit means you’re not having to adjust yourself every time you sit down or pick a specific angle in which to sit or stand. You’re supported, you’re not squeezed into a shape-altering garment, and you’re enrobed in premium satin and lace. How do you feel? Confident. Comfortable. Sexy. Empowered.

Sumptuous elegance whilst curing a practical problem!

I love these knickers and look forward to long walks in a dress.

Thank you, Bloomin' Sexy.” - R

Incorporating this feeling into your everyday life, even when that meeting is happening over Microsoft Teams or Zoom, will be your first step to reawakening the Goddess within.

Choose your favourite style to go with your most empowering outfit and start your journey with Bloomin’ Sexy’s elegant lingerie.

How are you finding working from home? Do you have a trusty power suit/underwear combination? Let me know in the comments or contact us for more information on how to find your perfect pair. We’re here to help you.