Whether you’re a fan or not, these days, you are forced to work from home. And working from home, for some people, might be slightly challenging.
While in theory working from home may sound terrific, for those inexperienced, working from home implies tons of distractions, no real working hours, and a kitchen at the hands reach.
Creating and maintaining a healthy life while working from home may seem difficult right now, but it’s not impossible.
Take a look at all the ways you can maintain a healthy and balanced life while working from home.
1. Designated office space
Before you ever start actually working from home make sure you have an officially designated office space. If space is not a problem, you can take a spare room and set up an office in it.
On the other hand, if your place is too small, you can find a nook that will be used as a workspace only. Your workspace, regardless of how large or small, should have a desk, a chair, and all the necessary work equipment in it.
This office space should be a space where you’ll be able to concentrate on your work. So, choose a place in your home that gives you the best working vibes and make it your workspace.
2. Ergonomic office furniture
Once you’ve decided where your office space will be, you can move on to furnishing it. If your goal is to be productive while working from home, as well as maintaining a healthy life, you have to think about your overall health.
To avoid having back and neck pain after a day of work, you have to think about your posture. Maintaining proper posture can be achieved with ergonomic office furniture. A good, ergonomic chair will be able to support your back in the right way throughout the whole day.
Similarly, if you prefer standing, you can avoid the chair completely and invest in a standing desk. According to medicine, people who sit too much are in danger of various diseases such as diabetes, weight gain, and heart disease to name a few. A standing desk allows you to stand up while working and standing instead of sitting throughout the day has many benefits.
If you decide to give a standing desk a try, don’t forget to purchase a standing desk mat as well. Standing desk mats are supposed to give your feet comfort and support as well as lower aches and fatigue while increasing your productivity throughout your working day.
So, if you’re going to be working from home for an extended period, make sure you think about your health and invest in good office furniture.
3. Maintain your regular morning routine
Keeping your regular morning routine even though you aren’t going to an actual office is very important. When working from home, it’s easy to just get up and sit behind your desk still in your pajamas. The morning routine be damned!
Don’t do that. Remember your morning routine before working from home and keep it. Get up, get ready, dress, have breakfast, or whatever you did before.
The new morning routine doesn’t have to be exactly the same as your previous one, for example, you don’t have to put much makeup on or you don’t have to wear strictly professional clothes. It’s enough to just look presentable and put together.
4. Make a schedule or a list of to-dos
When working from home it’s easy to lose a sense of time. If that is something that happens to you, you can deal with it by making a schedule or a to-do list.
A good schedule or a list will help you keep track of all the things that need to be done throughout the day. Make time for work, for lunch, pencil in other tasks such as running errands, housework, and so on.
It’s really important to set working hours because working from home means not having them. Your whole day can pass by and turn into a long working day. For example, try to work your regular nine to five hours and then leave the rest of the day to whatever else needs to be done.
5. Meal preparation, lunch, and healthy snacking
Nutrition is highly important if we want to stay healthy while working from home. The proximity of the kitchen when working from home might be a disadvantage but we can fight it by doing meal prep, planning our lunch, and eating healthy snacks.
The good thing about working from home is being able to prepare your own meals in advance. When you know that a busy day is ahead of you, you can have a healthy meal prepared a day before. Similarly, you can plan your lunch breaks and in that way avoid skipping lunch.
Eating a healthy and balanced diet gives us energy and makes us productive. This is why we should try to eat regularly and eat nutritious meals.
Snacking is one thing we all do when we’re at home. To avoid eating unhealthy snacks, try stocking up on fruit, veggies, protein and energy bars, and so on. If you’re going to snack, at least snack healthy foods.
6. Drink enough water
Just like eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and drinking plenty of water is also important. Staying hydrated brings many benefits such as maximizing your physical and mental performance, and prevents headaches, to name a few.
This is why you should keep a glass or a bottle of water on your desk and slowly sip on it.
According to the 8×8 rule, we should all drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. The truth is that there is little evidence to support this rule but drinking enough water and staying hydrated is still important.
7. Exercise and going out
When working from home, exercise and physical activity are things we easily forget. That’s why you must pencil in a workout session in your schedule.
Exercising, apart from improving your fitness, can also increase your energy and performance. So, when working out our overall health is improving. You can schedule your workout whenever it suits you best – in the mornings, or the evenings, even in the middle of the day is completely fine. Just don’t skip your exercise.
Just like working out is important, getting out of your house is another thing that we should do more often when working from home. If you don’t have any real reason to go out, make some. Go for a walk, take your dog out, or just take a jog around the block.
Fresh air, just like social interaction can be of great help as they improve our mood and boost our creativity.
8. Make breaks
Taking a break every now and then can be of great significance. Working, no matter from where, can be stressful and stress usually affects us negatively. To avoid being stressed and to change gears for a while you can use several techniques.
One of those techniques includes mindful breathing which simply implies concentrating on your breathing – inhaling and exhaling. Focusing on your breath can be helpful when you’re feeling stressed or when negative thoughts and emotions creep up.
Meditation is another way to take your mind off work for a couple of minutes and regroup. All you have to do is sit down, close your eyes, and focus your mind on a certain object, activity, or thought.
Making these breaks regularly throughout your day will help you stay focused, less stressed, and in control of your thoughts and emotions.
9. Sleep enough
Getting up and going to sleep at reasonable hours will help you stay alert during your working day. When you don’t have regular working hours and when you can get up and go to sleep whenever it’s easy to mess up your sleep schedule.
What you should do is stick to the sleep schedule you had when you worked from an actual office. Go to bed early and don’t wake up too late. Sticking to a regular sleep schedule will contribute to your sleep quality and thus help maintain your physical and mental health.
The lack of sleep affects both the brain and our cognitive functions, our productivity and energy levels fluctuate making it difficult to concentrate on the work. Apart from that, sleep deprivation affects our overall health negatively.
So, the best recommendation would be to get at least 8 hours of sleep each day.
10. If you have kids, include them into your healthy life as well
Many people that work from home also need to juggle their at-home life – meaning children and housework. For many, this means distractions and a lack of productivity at work.
To avoid all this craziness you have to involve your children in your healthy life. This means that when you plan on having a break they could also have one – have lunch breaks together. When you’re working, give them something to work on as well – schoolwork, homework, projects whatever you see fit.
This way you’ll all have the same structure and you would be creating a routine. Don’t be too strict when trying to implement this structure into your lives, it will take time and getting used to before everything turns out the way you want it to.
11. Do something for yourself
Taking care of yourself is not selfish and after a long working day, it’s ok to indulge in small things that will make you relax and unwind.
For each of us doing something for ourselves implies something different. For example, some of us love taking long baths, others indulge in wine at the end of the day, and some simply enjoy listening to music.
Whatever brings you joy and pleasure – do it. That can be one of the benefits of working from home, the opportunity to take better care of ourselves, and our health.
Working from home has its benefits just as it has its downsides. The trick is to minimize those downsides by trying your best to implement a healthy lifestyle while working from home.
It may seem difficult and hard to get used to at first, but as you get going the routine will slowly fall into place. Designate your workspace, make a schedule, and try your best to stick to it. Eat a healthy and balanced diet regularly and drink plenty of water.
Also, don’t forget to do some exercises and get out of the house for a while. All of this may seem like too much but if you plan out your day in the right way, there is nothing you can’t do!
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