Some people prefer to work from home, while others thrive on splitting their time between the office and home. But these days, many folks don't have much of a choice. So for those who are still in the work-from-home life (whether you like it or not), it's important to keep a few things in mind for your health and well-being. Here are some great ways to stay healthy while working from home.
It's easy to get stuck seated for too long when you're focused, so give yourself some structured time to get up and stretch, walk around, and generally move your body a bit. If you find it too easy to forget to get up and move around, you may want to set an alarm or timer to go off every hour or so as a reminder.
In order to avoid the allure of junk food in the cupboard that can lead to unhealthy snacking, you can set yourself up for healthy eating by prepping your snacks ahead of time, whether in the morning or the night before. Food like fruits and veggies, multigrain crackers, hard-boiled eggs, and smoothies can fuel your body and brain for health and productivity.
When you're working from home, you have the freedom and flexibility to switch up your workspace and try something new. Though it hasn't been rigorously studied, standing at a desk rather than sitting has the potential to help regulate your blood sugar, and it's certainly a way to change up your work-from-home routine.
This can be as simple as putting your computer monitor on top of a stack of books, so it's at eye level when you're on your feet, or you can invest in a dedicated standing desk setup. But if you do try out this work method, it's a good idea to start small—maybe 30 to 60 minutes at a time—to avoid back and foot discomfort. You also want to be aware of your body alignment to prevent neck and wrist strain.
Consider more than just your physical health when you're working remotely. Mental health is a vital part of the wellness equation, too. One strategy for productivity and motivation is to get dressed for your day, even if you don't wear traditional work attire. Changing out of pajamas and into dedicated work clothes can give you the mental space you need to stay focused.
Even when you're not commuting, you should try to get out of the house for a walk and a breath of fresh air as often as you can. It may help to start and end your day with a walk around the block, giving you space between your work time and break time. You can even go for a short drive or a run, listening to music or a podcast, as a way to incorporate some solo commuting time into your day at home.
If you don't set a mini commute for yourself with a walk before and after work, it's still a good idea to establish some boundaries between your workday and your home life, even if they both happen in the same place. Be sure to power down your computer and turn off your work phone at the end of the day, and it's a good idea to tidy up the dirty dishes before you hop on that call, so they're not a distraction.
It's also a good habit not to have your relaxation space in plain view of your workspace. Even if you are in a studio apartment, you should try to use concealment or a rearrangement to make attention focus centers for different activities. Your desk area or computer in plain sight, while you try to work out, eat dinner, or watch your favorite show, subtly and subconsciously keeps your attention slightly on work things, blurring the boundary line between your time and your work's time.
No matter your work-from-home situation, you have plenty of tools and support to find the ideal life balance. If you have questions about staying mentally and physically healthy amidst the life changes of the COVID-19 pandemic, CHP's clinical staff can help. Find the clinic closest to you and schedule an appointment today.