10 Tips to Maintain Your Health & Wellness Working From Home
Happy 2021! It’s hard to believe that a year ago we were all happily commuting to work, not a care in the world. Ok, maybe not that’s entirely true but what is true is that life looks very different now than it did a year ago.
With so many of us working from home, it’s important to make sure we are taking care of our health, physically and mentally. It’s very easy to forget to take a break, eat lunch, drink water, and get up, stretch, and get our bodies moving. Here are some tips to maintain your health and wellness while working from home.
Get Out of Your PJs
While it may be tempting to roll out of bed and throw a pair of yoga pants on, it’s so important to try and stick to your normal work routine. Get up, get dressed, take a shower, and put on clean clothes. You may be thinking, “Why bother? Nobody can see me anyway and my dog doesn’t care if I’m in my pajamas.” It may seem silly but it really is a vital part of your personal care.
We’ve been doing this for nearly a year now so you probably feel your home office is pretty well dialed in. Take a good look at your office space and do a quick inventory. Is there a stack of old post its? Maybe a couple of coffee cups? Do you have a stack of holiday cards staring at you? Take a few minutes at the end of your work day to rid your desk of clutter and unnecessary distractions. Whether we realize it or not, cluttered spaces have a negative affect on our anxiety and stress levels so clear off those desks!
Have the Right Tools
A comfortable chair is key so invest in a good adjustable and ergonomic chair. Kitchen bar stools are not going to sit it in your home office. Have a supply of pens, notepads, and post its handy. Also, having the proper lighting is key. Lighting is said to decrease depression and increase productivity so ditch those low watt lights and replace the bulbs with bright LED bulbs to reduce eye strain. If you can, situate your desk near a window as natural light is much easier on the eyes.
Headphones, good webcam, wireless mouse, Bluetooth speaker, a ring light, and blue light blocking screen protector are all good things to add to your home office toolkit.
This may seem obvious but it is easy to forget to drink water. Water helps your concentration, increases your energy, improves brain function, decreases stress, keeps you hydrated, is a natural headache remedy, helps prevent snacking, decreases stress levels, and improves your mood. There are so many benefits to drinking water so do what you can to get your 64 ounces in!
Take Frequent Breaks
This is another thing that is so easily forgotten while working from home. It’s so important to walk away from your desk and take a break. Use that time to stretch, eat, put a load of laundry in the machine, take a walk outside, or sneak a power nap on the couch with a furfriend. No matter how you use just make sure you do.
This one is especially difficult now that everyone is working or going to school under the same roof. Let your house mates or family know what your work hours are so everyone is on the same page. Of course, things may come up throughout the day like kids needing assistance with their online classes but at least everyone will know what to expect. You can put a note or sign on your home office door to let them know you are at work.
It’s just as important to set boundaries for yourself as it is for your household. Keeping your regular office hours, or as close to it as possible, will help you stay on track. Start your workday just as you would in the traditional office setting. If you got to work at 9am then try and start at that time as well. Whenever possible, leave work at work…even if it’s just a step away.
If you would like to use our free work from home signs, right click on the image, save to your desktop, and print.
Check in With Your Office Mates
One thing about working from home is that it can be isolating. Many people went from working with a building full of people and activity to looking at their own four walls day in and day out. Checking in with your workmates helps break up the monotony of the day and gives you a sense of community again. Use Zoom or Google Hangout to connect…they will probably be just as happy as you to see a friendly and familiar face! If you’re worried about showing them your messy room you can easily and quickly upload a Zoom background to hide all your stuff!
To use the free Zoom background image, right click the image below, save to your desktop, upload to Zoom or Google Hangouts.
Whether you stretch, take a walk, do jumping jacks, jump rope, join a virtual yoga class, or log into a fitness class, do something active everyday. It doesn’t need to be a tough cardio workout, just something to get off your chair, out of your office, and get your body moving. Physical exercise causes changes in the brain which can positively change your mood. The release of endorphins can impact your motivation and self esteem which ultimately make you feel good.
Use Your Vacation Time
Even though that European vacation isn’t going to happen, you don’t have to forego all vacation plans. If you’ve got it use it! Set up a lounge chair in your backyard, put on those heart shaped sunnies, don that oversized sun hat, and serve yourself Mai Tais under a heat lamp because you’ve earned it! It’s a proven fact that productivity and the economy benefit from employee vacations. Unused vacations have cost the U.S. businesses $224 billion a year so do your part and take that vacay! Even if you don’t leave your house (because you know, pandemic) you do need to leave your office.
Give Yourself Some Grace
Finally, give yourself a break. Life is challenging right now. We are living through an unprecedented time and we are still trying to figure out how to navigate this Covid world. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Eat that chocolate cake, have a glass of wine, binge watch “Tiger King” again, embrace the cuteness of Baby Yoda, pick a side: Cobra Kai or Miyago Do, connect with old friends, and sleep til 9a on the weekends. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others and enjoy the little things.