What to do when physical touch is baked into beauty and wellness.
Download the app
Fitness memberships, workout classes, wellness services, beauty appointments and more.
If you’ve suddenly gone from conference rooms to video conferencing from the couch, it takes an adjustment to become acclimated to this weird new work environment—trust me, I know. Now throw in your significant other’s updated schedule, cramped quarters, and both of you trying to conduct business as usual, and you’ve got a whole different outlook on love, patience (and relationships).
Whether it’s tackling space issues or timely snacking, here are nine things (and tips) we’re doing to stay sane—and avoid dueling Zoom calls—while co-working from home with your partner:
1. Set some ground rules. You may have the same approach to WFH as your partner—and that’s awesome— but odds are both have slightly different expectations about what working from home really means. One of you may prefer to work in silence while the other may like to keep the TV on as background noise. That could be a recipe for disaster, especially under stressful circumstances. Figure out what each of you needs to be successful when WFH and, yes, find some compromises (it’s the secret sauce to any relationship!). Maybe your TV-loving partner can tune into a podcast through their headphones. Ta-da!
2. Communicate your schedules.
Before reporting for WFH work duty in the AM, share your calendars for the day with one another. Maybe it’s a sticky note reminder or a Slack message—however you choose to communicate your daily plan (and any important meetings) will help you both avoid disruptions. Because we all know reviving up the smoothie maker during a call with your boss isn’t ideal for your working relationships.
3. Share the
If you’re both having video calls simultaneously (hello, WFH life), you may run into bandwidth issues. Not AOL dial-up issues, we’re talking about modern-day connection problems. Here’s a quick tech tip: try turning off your camera or dialing in from your phone to minimize interruptions. Also, reach out to your internet service provider about troubleshooting or upgrading your bandwidth (at least for the time being).
4. Find separate spaces. Apartment, condo, or home, if you have the room to designate separate workspaces, it’s a game-changer. Whether it be a guest room, home office, or living room, having one person in a different part of your humble abode will help to establish boundaries (and eliminate distractions). Is one of your spaces is significantly superior to the other (full of natural light, plants, and positivity)? Try switching spots every other day, so there is no feeling of resentment about getting the short end of the WFH stick. Remember, function and comfort are key.
5. Be intentional about your time off together.
Eight-hour WFH workday and only a room away? Make your downtime count! From disconnecting over a homemade lunch to grabbing some mid-day fresh air (and taking the dog for the walk), try closing your laptops and reconnecting without talking about work. It might get those creative juices flowing! Looking for a way to destress, together? Plug into a virtual yoga or HIIT class. You’ll burn calories without burning the midnight oil.
6. Don’t forget about me time.
Being cooped up with the same person for too long can put a strain on even the most bulletproof of relationships. I love you, honey, but…. Remember to schedule some alone time. By allowing yourself mental and physical space can provide clarity, balance, and make you a better partner. Get outside—take a short walk on your own—or take a break to read a new book. Your S/O will understand.
7. Don’t get hangry—keep snacks handy!
Here’s the recipe for relationship disaster: two hangry people (now WFH cohorts) who have spent all day together. Keep easy-to-grab, healthy snacks around to keep your mood and energy up throughout the day. Leave a treat on your partner’s desk, too, so they remember to eat between meetings.
8. Make sure your workout class isn’t high volume.
Do your work schedules (or interests) prevent you from working out at home together? If you’re determined to get that WFH workout class in, be aware of the noise level (and take your S/Os schedule into account). Turn on your Bluetooth headphones—or turn down the volume—so your better half can keep focused.
9. Establish a conducive quitting time.
Working from home can easily bleed into your downtime. When 5 o’clock rolls around, close your laptop and step away. You don’t want to experience work burnout, especially if when it relates to your occupational wellness. Unless you’re calling friends or checking the ‘Gram, it’s a good practice to try to leave your phone at your WFH workspace as well. Creating a strict divide between when you’re working and when you’re on your own time will help you to be more attentive to your relationship, your pets—and your own well-being!
Working from home, especially with your S/O, can be challenging—but it can also be extremely rewarding. From a better understanding of what your better half does to taking breaks together, sharing what you do every day with the one you love can only strengthen your relationship (as I work from my standup desk a room away from my husband).
Do you have any tips when it comes to WFH with your partner? Tell us (and tag us) on @mindbody!
Have you ever watched that oh-so-sweaty person leave their workout machine without wiping it down? Yuck. The Clorox wipes, paper towels, bottles of sanitizing spray are at your gym (and studio) for a reason— because no one wants to share bacteria. But now that our living quarters, even that tiny Upper Westside studio, have become our own personal fitness paradise, we’ve got one question: Is your at-home workout equipment *really* clean?
Research has found that bacteria can live on some gym equipment (weights, mats, you name it) for three days. That’s right, 72 full hours. And your yoga mat or those dumbbells you just got delivered from Amazon so you can slay that new virtual class you just booked on Mindbody are susceptible to the same stat. While it may seem silly to clean your own “stuff” because you’re the only one using it, think about where your hands have been before you pick up those weights. Perhaps your apartment complex’s keypad? Bacteria knows no boundaries.
From your resistance bands to your brand spanking new (and yes, most likely backordered) kettlebell, the gear you’re using at home could use a good wash, rinse, repeat—especially if you’re sharing it with someone you’re stuck at home with (like your S/O or stir-crazy housemate). Even if you’re the queen of clean (like me... just ask my co-worker, Natalie), here are six tips on how to keep your gear germ-free and looking good. Because we know all those classes you’ve been streaming are making you a fitness guru.
You not only want to clean the dirt off your workout equipment, you want to sanitize it. Clean gets the dirt, sanitizing takes care of the bad stuff (aka bacteria). Before you start getting crazy with the bleach or a DIY deodorizer, you’ll want to take into account the surface you are about to wipe down. Something like your treadmill, Peleton bike, resistance bands or bench press bench can be damaged by certain chemicals and at-home cleaners. If you’re worried about your equipment, opt for disinfectant wipes especially made for gym equipment, like all-natural Wipex. Plus, it’s never a bad idea to keep some hand sanitizer next to your workout station.
Clorox wipes have become the hottest household item of 2020—and we are guessing so has virtual yoga. If you’re not a huge fan of using chemicals you can’t pronounce and throw-away wipes on equipment like your Manduka mat, there are all-natural antibacterial cleaning options that will make Mother Earth proud. Who doesn’t want to make their cleaning routine a little more green? Companies like cleancult (we called them out in our 20/20 trends), offer effective, all-natural products delivered right to your door in recycled milk cartons —and they pair perfectly with your go-to disinfectants. Cleancult’s versatile All-Purpose Cleaner is my fave for wiping down workout gear, especially yoga mats (and almost everything in my home). The Saponified Coconut Oil acts as the “heavy lifter” without harsh chemicals. After working out, spray your surface(s), wait for a couple of seconds and wipe away with a reusable towel (or an old gym t-shirt you use as a rag).
While knowing what surface you’re cleaning is key, some of your equipment might benefit from DIY solutions. Before you roll up your sleeves and become the Harry Potter of cleaning solutions, invest in a glass spray bottle (or reuse an old plastic one). Oh, and break out the essential oils because they are about to boost your at-home fitness (and cleaning) routine. Most of the DIY cleaning “recipes” you find on Pinterest include ingredients you have at home—like vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. My must-use DIY cleaner is vinegar-based (with 10-12 drops of essential oils). It’s powerful yet natural enough that I feel more confident laying facedown in Savasana with my oh-so-sensitive skin after that yoga class in NYC I just streamed from San Diego.
Now that cleaning your at-home workout gear is part of your routine (hint, hint), letting your equipment dry is key. If you’re cleaning your more expensive exercise machine with some cleaning solutions that have a “smell” or you want it to dry faster, trying turning on a fan or crack open the window to keep the air circulating. If you’re just cleaned a more porous surface (like your yoga mat) hang it outside to dry—over a railing, a chair, bike rack... you get the gist. While fresh air is good, UV rays are not. Certain materials that make workout gear can breakdown in the sun, and you don’t want to get burned before your next workout sesh.
While cleaning your equipment might seem like a no-brainer, it can be easy to ignore the surrounding area where you work out. The title of this section tells you what you need to know—don’t forget to clean and sanitize the floor where you exercise. Just think of it this way, while you’re killing it in your virtual fitness class, your hard work is being noticed, by the floor that is, as your sweat beads go flying. And last time I checked; vacuuming doesn’t do the trick for dried sweat. After class, wipe down the area around your workout space with cleaning products that are conducive to the floor. Working out on carpet? Consider switching areas or look into sanitizing and deodorizing spray for material surfaces.
The most important part of cleaning and sanitizing your workout equipment is sticking to a schedule. If you’re forgetful (like me), keep your supplies adjacent to the area where you enjoy working out. And do it on the daily. Seeing the supplies will be a reminder to clean and sanitize before (and after) you get your sweat on—because who doesn’t love starting out their class on a cleanly note? Mother would be proud! PS: don’t forget to wash your hands!
Do you have any at-home cleaning and sanitizing tips you swear by when it comes to your workout routine? From DIY to cult-favorite products, we want to know! Tag @mindbody on Instagram to let us know! Stay clean, safe and sanitized our friends!