Working from home can be beneficial in a number of ways, but it also has its fair share of challenges. Your work environment and daily routines can have a profound impact on your mental and physical health. When working from home, it can be more difficult to find the right work/life balance, which is critical to good health. Here are some simple ways to make sure your health gets priority when you’re working from home.
1. Eat mindfully
When working from home, it is easy to grab the closest food at hand and eat at the computer rather than taking a break to eat. Train yourself to eat more mindfully and savor your food away from your computer at lunchtime. Make sure you have plenty of healthy food choices at hand. Unhealthy foods don’t give you the nutrition you need to keep your energy levels high. Start your day with one of these healthy vegan breakfast ideas.
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2. Structure your day and include breaks
It helps to set up a routine as though you are going to the office, structuring a regular start time, end time, and specific break times. Working at a computer all day without taking any breaks can be very harmful to your health. Taking regular walks during your work hours will enhance your mental well-being, relieve stress and make you more physically fit.
Try to incorporate more physical activity throughout your day by taking mini-breaks. You can do a 10-minute online exercise routine or a little gardening. You may feel you don’t have the time for short exercise breaks, but your productivity will improve as a result. Exercise stimulates your circulatory system, and more blood and oxygen flow to your brain.
3. Maintain a consistent sleep schedule
Sticking to the same wake-up time and bedtime can contribute to getting quality sleep. Without a consistent sleep schedule, you may find your energy levels fluctuating throughout the day. Rather than taking a nap in the afternoon when you feel less energy, try going outside for a brisk walk instead. This will help promote quality sleep at night that will help you feel refreshed.
Make sure you turn off your electronic devices an hour or so before bedtime, as the blue light messes with your circadian rhythm and could prevent you from falling asleep. Create a relaxing routine for the time before you get into bed so you can switch off the stress of the day and clear your mind.
4. Get ready and dress up
It may be a novelty at first to work in your pajamas and slippers all day when you first begin working at home. However, this is not a healthy long-term practice. Maintaining personal hygiene and self-care habits is important for your mental health. Taking the time every morning to shower and get dressed can help improve your confidence and your mood.
5. Get access to sunlight
If you get greater access to sunlight during the working day, you produce more melatonin which can help you sleep better at night. This can enhance your sleep quality and help relieve symptoms of mental health problems like depression. Make sure you work in a spot where you have access to natural light, and you could also take a stroll outside a few times a day to soak up some sunshine.
6. Think about the ergonomics of your home office
Using the right chair in your office that supports upright posture can help to prevent and reduce back, shoulder, and neck pain. The seat height should allow your feet to rest on the floor, and your hips and knees should be at a 90-degree angle. Your computer monitor should be about an arm’s length away from you with the monitor top at eye level.
7. Nurture your social connections
When you work from home, you tend to feel more isolated, which can negatively affect your mental health. Socialisation doesn’t happen naturally, and you need to make an effort to initiate and participate in conversations with your colleagues. Consider using video chat software instead of a phone call when possible. Scheduling game nights or other outings with coworkers and friends can help break up the monotony of the work week and give you opportunities to socialise.
It's really important to ensure you stay healthy when working from home.
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