We had a chat with Jess about her top tips for being a homebody whilst working and studying from home, and how simple things boost our mental health and wellbeing.

Jessica Holsman is an Australian YouTube creator, entrepreneur, and best selling author.

With over 25 million views on her YouTube channel ‘Study With Jess’, Jess continues to shed light on the important issues affecting many students and young adults today and offers her ongoing support in helping them increase their productivity and boost their mental health and wellbeing.

Jess is also the author of the Amazon best selling study skills book, The High School Survival Guide, founder of the educational stationery line for students; Educationery, as well as Self Love Club Gift Boxes; a brand promoting self love and wellness.

Jess shared with us her top tips and thoughts about all things productivity, mental health, and self-love!

Working from home can be a difficult adjustment, so what are your top 3 tips for staying productive when working or studying from home?

I mean it really starts off by having a healthy morning routine, because it really sets you up for the day ahead. For me, I’m really trying to stick to the routines I had in place before having to work from home again, so I’ll still get up at a consistent hour, I’ll have a shower and get dressed, even if I’m getting dressed into tracksuit pants, I’m still getting dressed! I think if you want to be productive, it’s about starting your day off on the right foot. Having a really consistent routine in the morning really grounds you.

My second tip would definitely be to plan out your days. I have three types of planners that I use! I have my weekly planner with a to-do list, where I write down the main things I want to accomplish each day for that week. I then have my diary, so I schedule things in hour to hour, making little appointments for myself, so I know when each task needs to get done, and that helps me structure my days. And then I have a monthly planner, where I can just see my month at a glance, and I know that I’m spacing out my work in a healthy way. Scheduling out your days helps to reduce procrastination as well as burnout!

My third tip, whilst it might sound counterintuitive to some, is to take regular breaks. Being productive isn’t just about all the work that you’re doing, it’s also about the downtime that you’re allowing in your day and creating for yourself. Breaks are like our mini-opportunities to recharge our batteries!

In a world that's always busy and buzzing, lots of us sometimes find it difficult to find time to put habits in place to take care of ourselves. What's one simple thing we can do each day to boost our mental health?

Hands down meditate! There are so many kinds of meditation out there, so if someone’s not really used to meditating, my advice would be to start with a mindfulness meditation! Often it’s just about noticing our breath and doing some deep breathing. I like using apps like Calm – that’s probably my favourite one! Some meditations go for 5 minutes and they’re really simple, and then there’s meditations that go for 45 minutes that really require a lot of focus. Start with something easy…it really helps to oxygenate your body, increase your focus, and reduces our stress hormones. Remember, you need to start your day off breathing!

Working from home is the dream for many, so now that we have the opportunity, how can we make the process of moving our work/study online work in our favour?

I hear a lot of people saying that they’re more productive now that they’re working from home and going online! I think it’s so important to still stay in touch with your colleagues or peers. Use those Zoom call opportunities, or have digital group study sessions! Something I’ve done with two of my friends is having digital co-working sessions over Zoom, where we have a chat about our plan of attack for the day or the week. It really helps to boost our motivation and still feel like there’s a sense of community and support. It makes working from home less daunting, because we don’t feel like we’re completely alone – everyone’s still just a call away!

Now that we've got some extra time, we can finally get on top of our 'to read' lists! What are your top book recommendations for positivity?

There are so many, this is tricky! On the Self Love Club website, we have an online Book Club, where we have a bunch of suggestions. If you’re a teen, I have an absolute favourite book from one of my dear friends, Amanda Rootsey, released a book called ‘Shine from Within’. It’s all about teen empowerment, positivity, confidence, being your authentic self, and looking after yourself inside and out. It’s such a beautiful book! Another book I’ve recently read was Gabrielle Bernstein’s ‘Super Attractor’. It’s all about working with our emotions, and it really helps us to be more mindful of the thoughts that we tall ourselves, and almost how to choose again. It’s a beautiful read, especially now where I feel like it’s quite an anxious time that we’re living in at the moment.

At Homebodii, we believe everyone should feel beautiful, on the inside and out! What are some simple habits we can put in place to promote self-love?

To me, self love is such a broad term, and there’s so much to talk about! When I think about self-love, it comes with self-acceptance, and self-compassion. Right now when we’re working from home and trying to work through our own emotions - whether that’s fear of the uncertainty at the moment, or just trying to adjust to the new lifestyle, it’s important to just go really easy on ourselves. Saying okay to just do the best that I can, and I give myself permission to just go easy during this turbulent time. Some days we’re going to feel amazing, and some days we’re just going to want to sit in our comfy Homebodii pj’s in bed, and nurture ourselves, and that’s fine as well! Take it day by day. Of course, there’s the physical pampering that I think is a lovely way to practise self-care! I think that’s the main stuff to focus on with self-love! Just know that every day is going to be different, and just take it one day at a time.

Chatting with Jess gave us so much insight into how what we can do each day to take care of ourselves, as well as how to make our transition to online home work the best possible! Head to her YouTube channel HERE to learn more about Jess and her pearls of wisdom.

April 21, 2020 — Lilly Thompson

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