Being a remote worker is a dream of many. But setting up shop in your home can be challenging. When working from home, one can easily slip into bad habits.
Unless you take the necessary steps to ensure everything goes smoothly, you may end up being disappointed with remote work. For a successful and productive work-at-home life, self-care is essential.
Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Does your conference call start at 11 AM? It doesn’t matter, get up at 7. Stick to a reasonable bedtime as well. Maybe you don’t have to catch a shuttle bus early in the morning, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to binge-watch Netflix shows in full force past midnight.
Just like at the office, there will be times when you’ll have to do some overtime. But, when you’re staring at a computer screen all day long, it can really mess with your sleep. Consider installing a blue light blocker on your computer. Taking a science-backed natural sleep aid is also a good idea.
When work is slow and you have more time on your hands, resist the temptation of a long nap. If you don’t stick to a consistent sleep schedule, you could end up feeling groggy all day long, every day.
Put Some Pants On
If you think remote work is a good excuse for a day-long pyjama fest, you’ve got it all wrong. When your home is your office, it’s important to set boundaries. So, comb your hair, take a shower, and put some pants on.
Maybe you don’t need to commute anymore, but you will need to transition into work mode each morning, and self-care can really help with that.
You don’t need to wear a suit, sweatpants or yoga pants will do, you can still keep it casual, but it’s important to nurture some healthy work-related rituals. When you start your getting-ready-for-work routine, it’s a signal to your brain that you are not sick and that it is not the weekend, so it knows it’s time to get busy.
Again, some days, you probably will be working odd hours. You might receive a message in the middle of the night from a client that lives in a really inconvenient time zone or you might need to chase a deadline, but try setting “office hours.”
And even though you are working from home, it doesn’t mean your home is your office. Instead, your office should be in your home. Meaning: it’s best to set up a corner in your house that you will use solely for work.
Your living room may be the place where you feel the most comfortable, but if you turn it into your workstation, you might get sick of it very soon.
Eat a Proper Lunch
Junk food and sweets can offer some momentary relief from work-related stress, but they can also ravage your health if you let them become your regular snacks.
Since you won’t be commuting to work every morning, you can use that extra time to cook a healthy meal. If you are in the habit of snacking, stock up on carrots, apples, and legumes. To stabilize your diet and your routine, snack around the same time every day.
Make sure to stay hydrated as well, and try to cut back on the coffee. When you’re loaded on caffeine and trapped in your home office for the better part of the day, you are bound to get the jitters.
Instead, opt for a healthier beverage, such as turmeric tea. Drinking turmeric tea is a great way to boost your immune system. Keep a bottle of water at your desk at all times. You can use an app like WaterMinder or Hydro Coach to keep track of your hydration.
Set a Workout Time
Sitting for long periods of time carries many health risks. By working out regularly, you will combat the downsides of a sedentary lifestyle.
Even a light workout can improve your mood, keep your mind sharp, and boost your immune system. If you want to approach every workday with a fresh perspective, do a few jumping jacks and push-ups when you wake up.
Every now and then, take a break and go out for a 15min walk. A few minutes in the sun will ensure you get that much-needed vitamin D.
When you’re locked up in your house all day long, vitamin D insufficiency is a real threat. During those grey winter months, it’s a good idea to take vitamin D supplements or to eat foods rich in vitamin D such as eggs or fatty fish.
If you could use some guidance and encouragement, there are many personal trainers and gyms that offer live online classes and programs.
If you lack motivation, you can find an accountability buddy and sign up for an online group fitness class together. This way, even when you feel like being lazy and cancelling your workout plans, you won’t do it because you won’t want to disappoint your “accountabilibuddy.”
Working from home has its perks, but it also carries many challenges. By exercising self-care daily, you will improve your overall well-being and continue to enjoy both your work and your “you” time. The work-from-home dream won’t come true without a proper work-from-home routine.