At first, working from home can feel like the perfect excuse to work from your bed in your pajamas, especially in the colder months. Whilst this can be cosy, after a while, this isn’t healthy for either your body or your productivity.
When the lines are blurred between your work and personal spaces, it is important to ensure that you are setting clear boundaries, otherwise your stress levels can rise and your mental health will be negatively impacted. Especially in the holiday season, you might book time off work to spend time with your family, but be tempted to just check in or look at your emails, meaning that you’re never fully switched off.
Here, we take a look at three top tips to stay mentally and physically healthy in life, but particularly when working from home.
It can be easy to forget to go outside when you’re working from home – especially if you also have kids to get to school and household chores to do in the lead up to the festive season, and it’s dark in winter at 4pm. However, it’s really important to try and set time to do this, ideally in the daylight hours, so that you can get both your daily dose of vitamin D and the health benefits of exercise.
Exercise has been shown to help with stress, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep quality, as well as offering the physical health benefits that mean that it lowers the risk of early death by up to 30%. Additionally, exercising can be a great way to start or finish your day, either getting your heart rate and attention levels up in the morning, or helping you relieve stress at the end of the day. Use your daily walk as a chance to practice mindfulness, noticing the changing seasons around you and breathing in the fresh air.
Especially if you live alone, it can be very easy to become isolated when working from home. Your days get into the routine of getting up, sliding into your chair, working, cooking and then going to bed. Whilst hopefully you do see friends, it’s unlikely to be every night and so not seeing your work colleagues face-to-face can be quite a big change from being in the office.
Plenty of businesses are aware of this too, with 44% of companies surveyed in a study by Thanks Ben saying they were going to add remote social activities to the calendar in the next 12 months. As well as company activities, make sure to schedule social calls with your colleagues, rather than just always having work related meetings. These ‘water cooler moments’ can be really helpful to build connections and reduce feelings of isolation.
Working at home can increase your tendency to head to the snack cupboard during the afternoon sugar dip, rather than pick up a piece of fruit. When you go to an office and you’re aiming to eat healthily, you can choose to just bring healthy snacks with you. However, when you’re at home, you likely have a wider food selection available, meaning that you reach for the thing that looks most delicious, especially if there are plenty of festive treats around.
On the other hand, it is also easy to skip meal times all together, especially in the absence of others around you getting up from their desks to get food as a visual reminder, which isn’t healthy either. In order to combat both of these issues, try planning or pre-preparing your food, and setting time aside to eat it. If you think it’s going to help you stick to your plan, schedule breaks into your work calendar so that you get reminders.
Author: John Bramer – Media Consultant | Digital Content