Have you recently become a remote worker? If so, you’re not alone. Because of the coronavirus, there are perhaps millions of workers who have set up shop at home. While your previous work environment may have offered a comfortable, organized workspace and a regular schedule to follow, today, working from home certainly brings a different approach to staying healthy and productive.
If you’re searching for ways to create that same positive environment and work schedule within your home office, there are a few things you can do to stay healthy and comfortable while working from home.
Try these four tips to boost your mental and physical health.
- Start your day with a calming exercise
Working from home may feel more stressful than working in the office. It makes sense. You’re probably trying to juggle multiple responsibilities and face multiple disruptions. Those experiences can add stress to your mind and body. Try to start your day with a calming mental or physical exercise.
Before sitting down to work, sit down to a meditation session. Giving yourself 15 minutes at the start of the day can help keep you focused and centered. If meditation isn’t an option, try yoga or a morning walk. These activities can help warm up your muscles and calm your mind for the day ahead. Physical activity can help boost your mood and even help you sleep better at night.
- Schedule breaks to get your body moving
Create a schedule for your day. Even when you work from home, it’s important to create a plan to help you remain productive. A schedule can help you build in time to take care of your own needs.
In addition to scheduling meetings and work time, schedule in time for other essential activities. For example:
Schedule time to get up and stretch every hour.
Schedule time for a 15-minute walk once or twice a day.
Schedule time to eat lunch or prep for dinner.
These small activities can help refresh you mentally and physically.
Although it’s important to be flexible, it’s also essential to schedule a start-and-stop time into your day. When working from home, it can be easy to allow the working hours to creep into the evening hours. When you get to your stop time at the end of your workday, turn off email notifications, shut your computer down and let your mind turn to other things.
- Invest in office furniture that works for you
Just because your home office is in the dining room, kitchen or bedroom doesn’t mean you can’t invest in a comfortable space. No matter where your home office is located, getting a comfortable, ergonomic chair can do wonders for your back and muscles. Make sure your chair supports your lower back and allows you to sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor and your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.
You could also try a standing desk or desktop that moves from sitting to standing height. Standing while working, even for an hour, offers many health benefits, including burning more calories.
- Stay social but from a distance
You may not realize the amount of face-to-face socializing that occurs in an office setting until you can’t do it anymore. Socializing is good for your mental health. It provides the opportunity to connect with others and helps prevent feelings of isolation.
Look for new ways to stay social with friends, family and coworkers — without being in close proximity to one another. For instance:
Lunch with a colleague. If you typically have lunch with a coworker once a week, schedule a Zoom, Skype or Facetime lunch at least once a week.
Walk with a friend. If you’re used to walking on your lunch hour, grab your headphones, call a friend and hit the pavement. Or take someone who lives in your household with you on your lunchtime walk.
Connect and celebrate. Congratulate yourself and your colleagues for a successful work week. Schedule a virtual social hour on Friday nights. Or end your workweek by playing an online game with friends or colleagues.
Working from home is an adjustment — for everyone. You’re not alone. Take time every day to care for your own physical and mental health. It will help you remain productive and healthy.