Unfortunately, not only were we forced to get used to working from home fast, but our everyday routines and schedules have been completely disrupted. All of these things can negatively impact both our mental and physical health.
How are you balancing working from home and keeping healthy?
It’s not what you expected, is it? While the benefits that come with working at home are many, keeping fit and healthy has become a lot more difficult.
Working from home is challenging, it’s often stressful and it takes time to get used to. Apart from that, finding the balance between work and private life has become much more difficult as your work has now become part of your at-home life.
If you’re trying to stay healthy while working from home, check out these things that can help you feel more productive, positive, and healthy.
1. Routine is important
Working from home means mixing work with your private life. It’s inevitable and it’s bound to happen at some point. To avoid this blurring of the lines as much as you can, you should create a schedule and try to stick to it as much as you can.
This implies setting strict working hours, work breaks, lunch breaks, and so on. Try to find a routine that will work for you. It will be difficult at first, but slowly you’ll get used to it.
If nothing else, try following your old routines but with slight changes. For example, there is no commuting to work so try using that time differently – squeeze in some exercise, go for a walk, or read a book.
Additionally, never work over your working hours. Once your workday stops, don’t go back to it – don’t check emails, or quickly finish projects. Turn off your computer and dedicate yourself to your home life.
If you retain or integrate some sort of routine in your life, you’ll get enough sleep, you’ll eat when you’re supposed and most of all you’ll remain healthy.
2. Set up a workspace
The worst part of working from home is the many distractions that often go on around you. To avoid being distracted and to stay productive and focused at work, set up a workspace.
Find a quiet corner in your home and create a workspace where you will be far away from distractions such as people, noises, and even the fridge. This space should be appropriately equipped with all the things you need to work – stationary, equipment, and so on.
Apart from that, you should also consider investing in ergonomic furniture such as desk chairs and standing desks. This kind of furniture is specially designed to give you comfort and to reduce the risk of back, neck, and joint pain, musculoskeletal problems, and blood pressure.
Similarly, investing in additional equipment, such as anti-fatigue mats, is a good idea. These mats can help you comfortably for a longer time. Stand up mats are ideal for those who have standing desks and who spend a lot of time on their feet. They will lower feet, back, and joint pain and provide you with a comfortable working environment.
Since standing is way healthier than sitting, if you’re desire to check out these kinds of mats, you can find them in Mat Shop, one of the best mat shops out there.
3. Set boundaries
As mentioned above, when working from home distractions are everywhere – especially when you have kids. That’s why you need to find a way to deal with them. Another way to be productive at work without any distractions is by setting boundaries with your household members.
Tell them clearly that you won’t be available at certain times and that they should act as if you’re not at home at all. Additionally, let them know that you need quiet to do your work. Share your schedule with them so you won’t have any questions and they will know when you aren’t available.
Similarly, you should set work boundaries too. Never get so carried away with work that you forget what time it is. When working at home it’s easy to stay logged on and work the whole day away.
Because of this, having set working hours is important. Once your work is done, turn off the computer, leave your workspace, and dedicate yourself to your family.
4. Make breaks
Whenever you’re working, whether that is at an actual office or home, taking breaks is important. Sitting for long periods is not good for our health. It raises the risk of heart disease, blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and many more health problems. Apart from physical problems, sitting causes mental problems as well.
However, this problem can be easily fixed and all you have to do is take enough breaks. You can take 10-minute breaks every hour. During that time, get up and move around, stretch, or practice breathing exercises. Taking a break from the screen is another reason why these breaks are important.
Use longer breaks like a lunch break to eat and walk around the block or squeeze in some exercise. Apart from moving around during breaks, it’s important to eat during these breaks as well.
5. Keep your nutrition in check
Keeping your nutrition in check can be difficult when working from home. Not only is your kitchen at hands reach, but you are also free to eat as much as you want unlike in an office environment.
Without even noticing your sedentary life and all the available food can wreak havoc on your waistline. That’s why it’s highly important to keep the nutrition in check.
When setting up your workspace, make sure you set it up as far away from the kitchen as possible. Staying as far away from temptation as possible is a good solution. Another good solution is scheduling and planning your meals. By planning and scheduling your meals, you’ll know exactly how much and when you’ve eaten. This will help you with eating too much all the time.
Make sure you take breaks and actually eat. Have breakfast before work and make a lunch break during working hours. Eating nutritious food is important as it will make you more productive and full so that you can concentrate on work and not on how hungry you are.
If time is an obstacle and you don’t really eat a balanced and nutritious diet because you don’t have enough time to prepare a meal, there is a solution. Prepare your meals in advance.
Do whatever you can to make sure that you eat nutritious foods that will give you energy and that will keep you feeling. That way you won’t have to reach for unhealthy snacks all day.
6. Get dressed
Believe it or not, getting dressed in the morning can help you transition to work mode easier. It’s incredibly easy to just get up and sit behind your computer still in your pajamas. However, it’s not ideal as this is exactly where the line between work and home life gets blurred, your productivity suffers as well as your mental health.
Instead, get dressed every morning, and start your work feeling ready. You don’t have to wear strictly business attire, business casual will do the job. Make getting dressed a part of your routine.
Apart from getting into work mode, getting dressed can have a positive impact on our mental health as well. Staying in pajamas the whole day can be negatively associated with laziness, lack of productivity, and low energy and activity. The longer you stay in pajamas the more you’ll feel lazy, demotivated, and without energy.
So, break this vicious cycle and start getting dressed in the morning!
7. Staying connected
Working from home with all its advantages has some downsides as well. One of the downsides of working from home is the feeling of isolation. Fortunately, there are ways to stay connected with friends and family and in that way boost your mental health.
Working from home is very different from working at an office. At home, there is no interaction with colleagues, there is no seeing people during commute time – nothing, no human interaction whatsoever. This can be a real struggle for those who never worked from home before.
So, don’t wait a moment longer, call your loved ones or your colleagues, schedule video calls, do whatever you can to keep in touch with your people.
8. Think about your mental health
Regardless of whether you have experience working from home or not, you should know that getting used to working from home can take some time.At first, you’re bound to struggle with organizing your time, making schedules, finding an ideal workspace, and so on. This all will heavily affect your mental health. You’ll feel confused, stressed, anxious – in the end, this is a drastic change to your life.
So, be kind to yourself. Yes, you’ll make mistakes and things won’t work out ideally at first, but give yourself time and space to deal with everything.
Think about your mental health and do everything you can to keep it. When you feel tired, slow down, when you feel lonely, call your loved ones, simply recognize your needs and do whatever you can to stay positive.
9. Your physical health is also very important
Another priority should be keeping your physical healthy. Working from home can either become one of the best things that happened to you or the worst – depending on what you make from it.
Working at home is indeed very sedentary and it doesn’t offer much physical activity, but you can do something about it. You can easily stay active even while working from home.
Schedule a workout, get out of the house as much as you can, and do outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and so on. It’s important to set realistic exercise goals. For example, doing 30-minute exercises every other day is pretty achievable.
Apart from finding ways to incorporate physical activity into your day, nutrition is also important. So, watch out for what food you eat and when you eat it!
While working at home can be extremely flexible and convenient, it can also negatively affect your mental and physical health. But thankfully, there are ways and steps that we can take to improve our well-being while working at home.
It will take time to find a perfect balance between work and at-home life, but once you do, you’ll notice all the benefits of working from home. By incorporating all these things that have a positive impact on your health, you can become healthier, happier, more productive while working from home.