protips for people like me from cupcakes and cashmere

Cupcakes and Cashmere has an article about working from home today; there are ten tips and I find them applicable to my own study-from-home gig. I have bosses, technically, but they’re very hands-off. Independent study really is independent.

I have recently been making myself get dressed every day and work somewhere other than bed. Depression, for me, includes letting my self-care slide. If I get into better habits in that respect, and make myself follow the routines, somehow the rest of the day falls into place that much more easily. As for working outside my bed, well, a) I can’t very well stop for SVU breaks in a room with no DVR, and b) one important component of sleep hygiene is reserving your bed for activities performed in a bed. Currently, for me, that’s sleep. Okay, and a brief morning check of my email from my phone, but only morning. It helps me transition into wakefulness.

Since Eleven and I split, I’ve been making sure to schedule things with other people, or at least stick to the things I already had scheduled. The SCA is my main social outlet, and once I think of places I’d like to go, I’m sure I’ll find more. I did give the local church choir a try, but I can’t with the Praise and Worship-style music that’s taken over (dude, we are Catholics; we get to DO high church). I want to go to something Saturday night at RIT where the price at the door goes straight to MSF, plus I get to dress in pretties and dance.

And all of this takes advantage of my flexibility, and I do give thanks for that flexibility. It lets me see doctors without angering my supervisor or leaving holes in a schedule. I have had reason to see a lot of doctors. I have fibro. I have a mouthful of consequences of self-neglect (and until December 9, one of said consequences is a great gaping hole — we learned yesterday that I can endure one! hour! in the chair.) I have depression and anxiety, for which therapy and medication are essential, and the best times to obtain both are during the day. I wonder what people do when they need to see doctors outside standard business hours? I guess when I hang out my shingle, my hours will be different from most.

I keep things tidy in my own way — all my useful stuff in a carry-box or my purse, so when I come downstairs for the day, there it is, right where I need it. I also have a day planner so I can chart out my to-do list according to when things need doing.

There are tips that don’t quite work for me yet. In terms of getting outside, I do that in summer, but past a certain temperature threshold, my body yells at me. I do, however, enjoy the sunlight that streams in through my bedroom window. I make sure, instead, to stay physical somehow, and if I find I need a light boost, I do own a sun lamp. I may even go for a short tanning session at some point, if I find myself getting too wan.

I am all about being smart with my money, but I’m nowhere near having enough to invest for retirement. Maybe when I’m earning. 😉 I moderate my spending. I balance needs and treats. I look for deals that will still yield quality. I’m currently deciding whether to buy or to piece out a cloak, for example. I’m totting up the price of muslin enough for the layers I want for my next set of garb, plus linen for the undergown, panne for the overgown, and this one delicious brocade for a sideless surcoat — and notions! It’ll fit me better than bought and look just as it does in my head.

Two things that don’t work for me right now: healthy snacks and setting hours. I don’t know when I’ll have energy to do what, and my circadian rhythms are decidedly wonky. Aside from scheduling things that must be done when they must be done, I have to allow myself flexibility. The reasons behind the snacks are perfect for people whose bodies can put on weight, but mine can’t. I wish I had reason to “avoid overeating on an hourly basis”. I need food that’ll fill me, and at this point, I can’t afford to be picky.

I can anticipate that there will come a time when I’m working from home, but for a boss (hope springs eternal), and these will still work fine when it happens. It’s great advice. You should go check it out for yourself if you’re interested.

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