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Working from home? Our tips

We operate QÄSA QÄSA from our two homes, Aniqah in Surrey and Naeema from Kent, and it was a learning curve for us both to move from the buzz of demanding offices environments to managing that time ourselves. As current circumstances mean a lot more people will be working from home over the foreseeable future, we thought we'd gather some quick tips for those starting this journey.

Create Calm

We both respond really well to aromatherapy at home. Burning oils or candles can help you focus and instil calm. For me, fear of not leaving a candle burning unattended also keeps me at my desk and stops other distractions from creeping in. I'm currently burning rosemary oil as it clears the mind and is antiseptic.

Decluttering is calming once it's all finished, so slow it all down, and where possible try to get rid of one thing a day, a pile of old papers, toys, unused products. Sell on to others or give to charity shop. If you have lots of unused/unwanted hygiene or beauty products Beauty Banks work in a similar way to food banks to redistribute essential personal care item to those in need.

Do something unusual

Its always nice to do something at home that feels like a bit of a luxury and also a bit naughty, something you couldn't do in the office. Put a face-mask on, oil your hair, play cheesy music, something that makes you feel vibrant but allows you to work at the same time.

Turn down TECH noise

Its distracting having notifications from your personal email, work email, whatsapp, the news, social media etc. Turn off anything unnecessary for the job at hand. News is particularly distracting at the moment so try to limit access when working. (As a side note, we also liked this positive news website which highlights all the good things that are happening.)


Social distancing is isolating, schedule time in for calls with colleagues or friends. Talk to people who make you happy, don't just rely on social media or whatsapp. There is a lovely movement for children to paint rainbows and display it on your window of your home. It's a lovely way to connect with your immediate community, hopefully bringing smiles to passers by and those still working to get things to our doorsteps. After work, host a dinner party, everyone can attempt to cook the same meal of sorts and virtually dine together. Or take advantage of apps like Houseparty and Zoom to rival friends with pub quiz nights in, or just a good boogie. Laughter is also medicine.

Cook & Eat

@melissa.hemsley@localsaucefood We both make sure we take time to cook have a proper lunch break away from our screens where possible. Having a break to cook, and eat is a nice motivator and one of the luxuries to be enjoyed and cherished when working from home. Times are changing, and we've got to start being a bit more creative with our meals. As such we've been enjoying these free daily updates from these cooks with quick, batch-cook, store cupboard recipes - follow for daily inspiration. They are usually flexible to what you may have to hand. Anna Jones also has some lovely ideas of things to throw on toast.

We also like to lay out healthy snacks on our work-desk first thing in the morning to stop us reaching for the biscuits whenever in need of a fix.

Fresh air If you are lucky to get out for your once a day exercise or have an outdoor space its a lovely time to go out and look for signs of buds, blossoms, nests and tadpoles. Theres so much to be said for nature's medicine.

Buy some bird seed and place somewhere you can see from your desk for some welcome wildlife interruptions.

Let us know if you have anything to add to this list, will be interesting to share.

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