Working from home can be both a blessing and a curse. Most of the time, you dictate how you spend your hours in the day. You get to wake up whenever you feel like, take a break on your terms, and wear whatever you want. However, this extra freedom can overpower your own health. Having a home office doesn’t mean that you should forget about taking care of yourself just because it adds a little independence in your routine. Here are 10 ways you can keep your independence and your health while working from home.
Anyone who has a healthy relationship with working at home knows the importance of setting boundaries for yourself. These boundaries can come in many different forms. You should clearly designate your workspace from your home space. That’s why many people enjoy investing in a home office, even if it’s a small nook in the room. Find a place that motivates you, and use that as your home office. Do work within your workspace and times, not anywhere else.
Plan and Take Breaks
Many people justify their poor work-from-home schedule by saying that they can literally do anything while they work. While it’s true that you can technically eat while you’re at your desk, are you really doing either of those activities with full focus? You’re not enjoying your meal, and you’re also not working wholeheartedly. Planning a few breaks and actually using them without any work interruptions keeps your mind fresh and focused. You’re ready to work when you come back because your brain had a little time to rest.
Get Up and Move
Working from home often means spending at least seven hours at your desk. That’s a lot of time sitting, and while you may get up and move in an office setting for a meeting or two, you don’t even have to do that at home. It’s recommended to get up and move for at least five minutes every 30 minutes. Remind yourself to get your heart pumping by setting an alarm and keeping a jump rope nearby. Jumping rope is a great way to get your heart rate up with minimum movement.
Stock Healthy Snacks
Since we’re talking about exercise, let’s take a look at food. When you work in an office, you have a designated time to eat lunch, and you may even have some complimentary snacks available to you. But at home, you can literally eat whatever you want whenever you want because your fridge is two feet away. Do yourself a favor and stock up on healthy snacks to avoid mindless unhealthy chomping.
Create a Solid Morning Routine
People underestimate the power of having a good morning routine. Going through the motions of a routine helps set your mind and body up for work, even if you don’t feel like it is. Build a routine around things that are important to you, whether that’s eating a hearty breakfast, getting some time to journal, or going for a brisk walk outside. Going through your routine every morning switches your mind on for productivity when you sit down for work.
Those who work from home successfully swear by the power of getting dressed in the morning. Dressing like you’re heading to work physically wakes up your body and mind. Everyone enjoys lounging around in their pajamas, but true work takes true effort. Some people may get by and work just as effectively in their onesie either way, but most people find that putting on pants helps them get stuff done for the day.
It’s easy to forget that you need sunlight when you work from home. Spending time in front of a screen is physically and mentally draining, even if you don’t feel like it. Heading outside while you’re on your break allows you to get a breath of fresh air and stretch your legs. Even if it’s not sunny, getting outside helps take your mind off of stress related to your work for a bit.
Speaking of stress relief, it’s important to let your mind relax every day. The best way to do this is by meditating. Many people think that meditation is a special process that requires certain chants or motions, but meditation is simply clearing your mind and body of stress. Spending at least 10 minutes a day allowing your mind to empty of everything builds a greater connection between your mind and body. In a way, meditation treats your mind to a 10-minute stress-relief massage.
Perfect Your Sleeping Schedule
You’ve probably heard of the importance of sleeping on time by now, and that’s because it’s absolutely true. Getting at least eight hours of sleep is imperative for performing at your best. Even though you technically can work at any hour of the day, following a strict work schedule helps keep you productive and well-rested. Spending just 30 extra minutes on the computer when you should be sleeping takes away from the precious Zs that your mind and body need.
Finally, remember to take time for yourself during the day. It’s easy to get caught up in your workload and allow the stress to overtake you, but you have to let loose from time to time. Actively plan times for your relaxation and use those wisely. Reading a book, taking a hot bath, and cuddling with your pet are all great ways to chill out. With these tips, you can get the best of both worlds by working at home and taking care of your health.