In theory, staying healthy while working from home should be easy. You’re able to cook healthy meals - there are no office donuts to tempt you. What’s more, you can also do some stretching whenever you want.
The reality is a bit different, though. Most remote workers stay in pajamas, slumped on couches with their laptops. They haven’t got the time or energy for cooking or working out. To make things even worse, there’s also the feeling of isolation.
In such a situation, staying fit and sane can be a daunting task. How to create a sound work-life balance? These tips should help you stay healthy, happy, and productive while working from the comfort of your own home.
Create an “Office Space” at Home
The first thing you’ll need to do is to create a designated work area.
Having one corner of your home as the “office space” brings several benefits. All of your materials will be readily available, and others will always know that you’re “at work”. What’s more important, a designated work area will trigger a working mindset.
Choosing which room of your home to work in can be challenging. You’ll have to consider factors like physical comfort, noise level, and lighting. We recommend picking a place that’s quiet, with minimal distractions. To feel even more motivated, keep it tidy at all times.
Get Out of Your Pajamas
Staying in pajamas for the rest of the day may seem tempting. Your working day shouldn’t become a daylong pajamas fest - that’s not a good recipe for productivity.
To get out of the lazy mindset, take a shower, comb your hair, and put some clothes on. This kind of preparation signals one’s brain that it’s working time. You don’t have to wear a full work outfit, though - keep it casual.
Get a Good Chair
You’ll be spending most of your time sitting on a chair. Therefore, it’s crucial to obtain a comfortable, ergonomically sound chair. A model that doesn’t support proper spinal alignment will surely cause you back pain.
Also, consider standing while working. It’s a healthier alternative, but still a taboo for many. Remember - long hours of sitting bring a number of risks. Consider getting a standing desk.
Take Regular Breaks
Whether you choose to sit or stand, avoid doing it for too long. While it’s important to stick to your schedule, taking breaks is just as crucial. Once the designated hours are up, take a break. Both your mind and body need some time to rest.
One of the best things about remote work is that you can set the time for breaks as you wish. Stay within reason - don’t take a nap, but do something relaxing. You don’t want your break to turn into an hour-long nap.
Skipping the “sweat sessions” when working from home is easy. However, making time for them introduces a number of benefits.
And it’s not only your body that will benefit. Research has shown that working out regularly lowers the levels of stress. This, in turn, helps one stay disciplined and focused.
An important thing here is to put these workout sessions on your calendar. Pencil them in when you see fit - in the after-hours, during lunch, or even before work.
Stock Up on Healthy Food
Nutrition is critical to staying productive, energized, and focused. The key to eating nutritious meals is in stocking your kitchen with healthy foods.
It’s important to limit sugary foods and drinks. Refined carbs, for example, provide a quick energy boost, but also cause low blood sugar. This can make one feel hungry, sweaty, or jittery, all of which leads to a general lack of concentration.
Instead, try stocking your pantry with veggies, lean proteins, whole grains, and fruits. Pre-portion your meals: snack on a tomato with a hard-boiled egg, or plain yogurt with berries, or an orange with a handful of nuts. This will prevent overeating and minimize temptation.
One thing that can easily compromise your productivity and alertness is dehydration. To avoid fatigue and headaches, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Simply keep a big cup or a bottle of water close to you. This will help you remember to hydrate yourself every now and then. If you’re working with sensitive materials, use a capped bottle to avoid accidental spills.
Communicate With Others
The feeling of loneliness and isolation is one of the worst aspects of remote working. After all, humans are social creatures. For that matter, it’s important to stay in contact with other people.
Consider joining a Slack channel or a Facebook group. In these online communities, you’ll be able to connect with other people in the industry. They could become your “tribe”, always being there for you when it comes to recommendations, support, or just hanging out. You’re not alone!