Working from home comes with many advantages, but there are often considerable drawbacks to staying out of the office long-term. In many ways, there’s often substantially more of a challenge involved with maintaining a healthy routine and lifestyle when you’re staying remote long-term. Unfortunately, due to the Covid pandemic, many Americans are staying at home to work significantly more often. A standing desk, a new exercise routine, and an organized schedule can all go a long way in helping you stay happy and healthy while you’re working from home.
The challenges you face when working from home can take a significant toll on your mental and physical health, often without you noticing until it has become more severe. Several medical researchers have found that working from home as a result of the pandemic can increase feelings of isolation, increase burnout, and ironically make it even more of a challenge to maintain adequate exercise habits and routines. While it might at first seem like it easier to exercise more often when you work from home, and also easier to cook healthy meals, you’ll likely also find that it’s all too easy to relax the moment you’re done working, because you’re already at home.
Creating Your New Routine
Staying healthy while working from home always begins with developing a new routine. Without a schedule or plan that supports healthy living, you’re more likely to avoid spending time on managing your personal wellness subconsciously. The goal here is to create a plan that you can stick to without interruption. You might be surprised at how essential this initial step is to your overall success.
Eating a Healthy Diet
Managing your health often begins with monitoring your diet and keeping a close eye on what you’re putting into your body. Working from home means it’s easy to reach for the processed snacks throughout the day, whereas working from the office makes it easier to avoid them. To start, you’ll need to prioritize fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, with as much color variety in the first two as possible to ensure you’re taking in a healthy balance of vitamins and minerals.
Instead of thinking of healthy eating as developing a new diet, think of it as a series of choices that you have to make on daily basis. Instead of red meat, stick with chicken or fish. Instead of whole dairy products, opt for low-fat alternatives. Drop as much saturated fat as possible, and make sure to maintain your calcium and protein intake. Instead of eating throughout the day, schedule a set time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This process can prevent you from overeating, or in the reverse scenario, ensure that you’re getting enough to eat in the reverse scenario.
Schedule Time for Exercising
Exercise in this context isn’t just referring to lifting weights and jogging. It’s about moving your body and keeping the blood flowing. Chances are, you dropped a considerable amount of movement from your day when you started working from home. In many cases, exercising also has mental health benefits beyond the direct physical benefits. Even just a quick walk at the end of the workday can go a long way towards feeling happier and healthier. If you’re feeling up to creating a more in-depth fitness routine, it’s important to select exercises and practice habits that will motivate you. Ideally, your exercise plans won’t feel like a chore.
Working from home, particularly as a result of the Covid pandemic, can often be isolating, which can affect your mental health. Maintaining a close connection with your friends and family is critical, so your personal relationships aren’t falling by the wayside.
Consider a Standing Desk or Desk Treadmill
A standing desk or under desk treadmill makes working from home and maintaining your healthy lifestyle easier than ever. Fitness equipment that blends with your workstation makes it easy to combine working and exercising into a single action so you can save a considerable amount of time. Standing for just a few hours of the workday improves the health of the circulation system and promotes optimal blood flow. If you’re planning to purchase a standing desk, make sure you’re choosing a product with adjustable height to ensure you find the proper ergonomics for your back and neck.
Remember to Drink Water
Maintaining proper hydration levels is essential to looking after your physical and mental health while you’re working from home. While this piece of advice might seem obvious, it’s one of the most important points on this list. Eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day is a good place to start, though some researchers suggest that this number varies greatly based on the sex and age of the individual in question.
Setting Boundaries Between Work and Home
To work from home with optimal efficiency and avoid burnout, you’ll need to set some clear boundaries between your work and your personal life. A physical location that’s dedicated exclusively to working is an excellent place to start, but there’s so much more you can do to keep track of your time, manage stress levels, and avoid blurring the line between work and home.
Stick To Your Start and End Time
As mentioned above, scheduling your time is a critical part of creating a healthy work from home routine. Setting a start and endpoint to your work time, including small breaks throughout the day, allows you to tune out distractions and set expectations for your family members. When it’s time to work, you’re dedicated to what you’re doing, but when you reach the end of that time period, it’s essential to avoid the temptation to squeeze in an extra task or two.
Turn Off Your Phone
When you’re finished working for the day, consider turning off all notifications from work so you don’t feel stressed or harassed by what’s going on in the office. This simple practice creates a boundary that creates more personal time and improves your productivity when you’re working from home.