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Sarah Jessica Pinarker in Sex and the City

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#WFH Survival Guide

From a Seasoned Work-from-Home Pro — By Kelly Florio Kasouf

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I work from home, have worked from home for quite some time so, basically, I’m a quarantined pro. My patience right now, however, is thin—unlike my eat-my-feelings waistline. With my children and spouses now working and schooling under the same roof, life is cramped. I've put together what I've learned so far—plus my years of #WFH experience—into a survival guide to getting to the other side with ease and lots of meditation. And when I say meditation, I mean wine. Wine helps.

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Think of this time as renewal—stripping away the layers of the unnecessary and realizing exactly what you need to focus on in your lives. Let’s all take a deep breath, and—if you can—get in the car and drive. Drive to the beach, drive to town, or simply drive around and look at houses. Take a second for yourself and breathe, drive and listen to loud music. Feel the fresh air on your face, hold your hand outside the window and forget, for a second, that they are so insanely dry and sore from incessant washing. OK. Can you breathe again? Took a second away from it all? Time to go to work.

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Top 14 Tips

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Conference-Call Mullet: Pair a cozy sweater or dickey blazer on top (business) with pajama pants on the bottom (party.) It’s what we call in the #WFH industry the “well, duh.” Sometimes you need to get ready and look fresh as fast as you can. Sometimes that just doesn’t involve a full look, and that’s OK. Mist some Santa Maria Novella Rose Water on your face, throw back your hair in a high pony, grab some Balmex lip balm and attack your day.

Spotify Playlist: Personally, I need to work in complete silence (refer to the "Close the Door" tip below for further details). I get completely distracted, so when it’s time to check off some chores, I listen to something that takes me outside my work world. I love me some Trevor Noah and the Ears Edition of The Daily Show. Folding laundry will never be the same without his charming South African accent.

Hats & Headbands (A.K.A. Full Coverage for Full Grays): Much like the Conference-Call Mullet, but in reverse. My hair is struggling at the roots, but the rest looks pretty good. I went fully gray at 26 years old so a trip to the salon has been part of my “me time” since the iPhone debuted. Yea, chew on that. Grab a headband, pull your hair away from your face and, remember, Gloria Steinem went gray and she is a badass. You are a badass, too.

Clockwise from top left: Lonny linen jacket, Addie jeans, Griffin loafer and Alabaster lotion dispenser by Kassatex

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Pair a cozy sweater or dickey blazer on top (business) with pajama pants on the bottom (party.) It’s what we call in the #WFH industry the “well, duh.”

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Close the Door: Lead on your terms. Pick a time frame and go into Do Not Disturb mode. Check in when you need, but let everyone know you need complete space, even if it’s for an hour. You need space. They will survive.

Houseparty App: Absolute necessity app. I will wait—go download it right now. OK, you’re back. Houseparty lets you pop into video conferencing with friends and cry over the current situation together.

Loose Layers & Forgiving Pants: Listen, if the kids have to get somewhat dressed for homeschooling, lead by example and wear pants, with buttons. The good news is that VB jeans has so much stretch, and the high waist on my body always makes me feel put together.

Set Zoom Meetings to 40 Min: Nothing needs more time than that in quarantine.

Internet Hoax: "Oh, my service is bad. You can’t hear me? Oh, no, let’s try another time for this call. So sorry." You can only use this card once!

Organize Your Space: If you have to work from home, and even if it’s in a makeshift area, at least make the space inviting. Swap out with bath accessories from Kassatex and Office Ambush yourself for an easy upgrade. I like to keep Tenoverten Rose Oil on hand and massage my sad-looking cuticles as I think better when I take a moment in between projects.

Clockwise from top left: Eleanor sweater, hammered silk headband by Lorelei, Nessa pants and Nile tray by Kassatex

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Give yourself an end time for the day. Even if emails come in, make sure your family knows you can turn off, too.

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Movies: Pick a theme for the whole family for an end-of-day adventure. But whatever you do, do not watch Downfall with your husband. A. Fight. Will. Always. Ensue.

Job Listings: Give out chores and make them count. Make one adult responsible for groceries. And guess what, kiddos? Time. To. Learn. How. To. Do. LAUNDRY. There’s always a price attached. Every chore in our home has a price. The art of negotiation is learned at a young age.

Turn Off: Give yourself an end time for the day. Even if emails come in, make sure your family knows you can turn off, too. Of course, some projects may need a bit more attention but, remember, it will get done. You are wearing lots of hats. Give yourself a break.

WWGD (What Would Goldie Do): I’m not partial, but if a terry blazer with gold buttons that hits you at all the right parts can take your day from AM to PM by looking helplessly chic, then sign me up. After a long day—post-tub, post-homework, post-dishes, post-emails—escape and be like Goldie.

Eat a Gummy: Lord Jones (CBD Gummies), praise thee. Thank you for the full night’s rest I’m about to participate in. Amen.

Clockwise from top left: Goldie terry jacket, Bea tea, Kate high-rise skinny and Santa Maria Novella Rose Water

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Kelly Florio Kasouf is an author, essayist and longtime magazine vet. Read her other work on VB Edit here.

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