It’s been a little over a week since many throughout the Bay Area have been asked to stay at home, yet it already feels like an eternity to some. Regardless of whether you are going into the office or working from home, things are bound to be different. Your office may feel empty without the hustle and bustle of the entire staff commuting in or if you’re working from home, you could be in a confined space and may have children yearning for your attention throughout the day. 

As our name says it, Off the Grid was founded on the idea of turning unused spaces into community places without permanent infrastructure, ultimately off the grid. With this notion in mind, we’ve been gathering tips and tricks on how to successfully adapt and stay stimulated as the current situation continues for the foreseeable future. 

Create a schedule, including breaks. Set an alarm to get up and stretch every hour or so. Try taking a walk around your home or the block while chatting on the phone with a colleague. If you have the space, create separate areas in your home to work in one area and eat lunch in another. Breaking up your day and moving around gives you the ability to refresh and can increase your productivity. 

When setting your schedule, help set boundaries by scheduling office hours and communicating them with your team. This will help with staying connected and prevent you from working excessive hours. 

Pro tip: Use a bookshelf or a step stool as an at-home standing desk. Avoiding sitting too much during the day has been proven to improve mood and energy, may reduce back pain, and can lessen the risk of developing heart disease or diabetes.. Check out a few ridiculously simple set-ups you can create at home here.

During this time of mandated sheltering-in-place it’s understandable that you may feel lonely, isolated, and stressed, but it’s important to stay connected to everyone you normally would. Would you typically grab drinks with friends after work? Have a virtual happy hour via FaceTime, Skype, Zoom or Facebook. Want to have a movie night with friends and family around the country? Download Netflix Party—a Chrome Extension to watch movies together from the comfort of your socially-distanced couches. 

Staying connected in your work life is just as important as your personal life. With COVID-19 sweeping the globe, it’s more important than ever to overcommunicate and increase transparency. We no longer have the luxury of walking over to a colleague to ask a question or run into someone at the break room. Individuals are no longer traveling to different sites and visiting their extended team. With these changes, it’s important to set up some clear modes of contact. Weekly, even daily team meetings can help to keep everyone connected. Consider having a virtual office hour, where anyone can jump on the call if they have a question during those set times, or just to say hi. Set up walk and talk meetings, where each person walks around the block while discussing work.

Pro tip: Create a shared Spotify or Apple Music Playlist, so people can jam out to the same tunes and stay connected through music that keeps them productive. 

When it comes to working from home, there are a few key things you need to remember in regards to your health; ergonomics, hydration, food intake, and movement. 

Wherever you may be working from, try to use the most comfortable chair you can with back support and position your computer or monitor at optimal height and distance, so you are’nt straining your eyes or back. 

When working in the office you may use a large water bottle and fill it up regularly, as a way to get up and stretch your legs. Consider doing the same at home. Fill up a glass of water and force yourself to get up every time it’s empty. 

People always say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but lunch is the real meal that gets you through the day and breaks up your 8+ hours of work. If you’re walking distance to a restaurant or food truck, use your lunch break to get some steps in and support the local businesses who are suffering during this time. Don’t have time to get out? Many struggling food businesses are now on various delivery platforms, including many of our mobile-food Creators. Use your time to support them and save yourself from having another PBJ sandwich or canned soup. 

Pro-tip: Many creators are offering free delivery and are delivering frozen meals that you can defrost or reheat. 

The key to getting rid of the dreaded ‘Cabin Fever’ is to keep yourself and your family busy with fun and unique experiences during this time of sheltering-in-place. We’ve created a running list of activities you can add to your daily life to mix things up and not get bored of being inside: 

•  Rent an Ebook

•  Visit PBS and PBS Teaching Materials for ideas on educating children during their time off from school.

•  Learn a new skill like coding or knitting.

•  Learn more about the oceans with different educational materials for children

•  Visit Khan Academy to learn just about anything, from language to computer programming to art history.

•  Visit your favorite animals via live cam at the San Diego Zoo, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, or some darn cute puppies

•  Just because you can’t travel, doesn’t mean you can’t visit a museum.Take a virtual tour of the Louvre or one of these other 12 museums. 

•  Have an indoor campout with a virtual tour of Yellowstone!

•  Try Virtual Volunteering: CareerVillage gives you the opportunity to support students as they navigate the current uncertainties during the shutdown of schools, providing them with connection and comfort.

•  Feel like you have a celebrity in your house with these famous actors/actresses reading children’s books! What else could a child ask for?

•  Find your new favorite at-home workout routine. Many workout apps are offering discounted or free classes during this unfortunate time. Planet Fitnesss is offering a daily free class on their  Facebook page at 4pm. Belong to another gym? Many are offering access to online portals of recorded classes. 

•  Get outside and take a walk, just remember to stay 6 ft away from people and wash your hands when you get back home!

•  Spring has sprung and with all the time sheltering at home it’s the perfect time to spring clean. Put on some jams and channelMarie Kondo.

•  Live stream a dance class with Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet.

Protip:  Don’t exhaust all options on the first day. Schedule the activities out so you have something to look forward to.