Healthy Habits for Working From Home
Sticking to healthy habits is tough under normal circumstances. With working from home, self-discipline can be even tougher. At least in the past, we were forced to get up a certain time, shower, and get dressed if we wanted to keep our jobs. Perhaps on the way home from work, we even stopped at the gym to work out. Now, we might even work our full-time jobs from our beds if we let ourselves. Forming healthy habits while working from home is more important than ever. Here are some habits to work on.
- Get up early as though you are leaving the house. Waking up early and starting your day like you would if you had to head to the office is one of the tougher self-disciplines. If your job doesn’t require specific work hours, it’s easy to keep getting started later and later in the day, especially if you’re not a morning person. There’s no way around this but to get to bed at a decent hour and set your alarm clock for an early hour. If you’re able to muster up the motivation to do this, you’ll have a more productive day.
- Dress like you are leaving the house. Also, as tough as getting up early is dressing as though you were headed to the office. While this seems like a waste of time and energy, it’s really a mental game. It’s much like feeling better about yourself when you know you look put together, such as getting your nails done or having a new haircut. If this is tough for you, start small by at least taking a shower before you work.
- Eat breakfast. Unless your diet prevents it, having a good breakfast is important to start off your day. Think protein-packed food like eggs, chicken, oats, and avocados. Make eating breakfast away from our desk part of your routine and not something you grab while you’re logging into your computer for the day.
Don’t eat at your desk. Speaking of not eating your breakfast at your desk, don’t eat any of your meals while sitting in front of your computer. While it may not seem like that big a deal and a time saver to work while you eat, overall, it’s not a healthy habit. Your body digests food better when you allow it time to process the food you’re eating. It also allows you to take a minute away from the computer.
Drink water. It’s easy to forget to hydrate while you’re working. Or, if you do drink a lot of fluids, they are caffeine or sugar-filled rather than something good for you. Do you find you get frequent headaches or feel tired? Lack of water may be the culprit. Working from home makes it easy to measure how much water you’re consuming, so grab a big cup filled with water and sip it all day.
- Throw away unhealthy snacks. Working from home also makes it difficult to not graze all day on whatever sounds good. The lack of activity and poor snack choices could easily be unhealthy and a reason you pile on the pounds. So, a healthier habit is to cut up foods that are better options (like fresh vegetables and fruits) and have them in the refrigerator ready to grab. You’ll inevitably get the munchies while working so make it easier to choose better options.
- Move around regularly. When you can even work from your bed, it will take some self-discipline to get up and move around regularly. Some tips include taking a walk before you sign onto your computer in the morning and setting the alarm on your phone to get up and walk around the house or neighborhood every 30 minutes. Make sure you’re stretching out your neck and back too.
- Take regular breaks. When you aren’t taking breaks to walk or stretch, take mental breaks too. This might include making a five-minute call to your mom or a friend. It might also include a break to check social media. Set a time limit for your breaks so you don’t get lost in your Instagram account or watching the news. If you’re really stressed, you might even take five minutes to meditate.
- Don’t work from the sofa. Having a dedicated workspace is also important. Sitting on your sofa all day is bad for your posture and harder to mentally overcome. It’s true that the sofa is much more comfortable, but a healthier habit would be to set up a desk in a spare room or at least in the corner of your living room. This practice will tell your body it’s time to work and be easier to detach yourself from when the workday is over. Sitting on your sofa all day does not allow for any mental separation between work and leisure.
Don’t slack on working out. Again, not driving to the gym on your way home from work makes it easier and easier over time to forget about working out. You’ll have to purposefully put it into your routine to make sure you get that workout in. Try to split your workout up if it’s difficult for you to get going. Put in a few minutes in the morning and then as soon as you log off from your job. Try not to work out late at night if it means you get to bed later and struggle to get up in the morning.
Have a social life. Not directly interacting with your co-workers can affect you socially. When working from home, it’s easy to get comfortable never really going anywhere. You’ll have to make a point of setting times to get together with friends and family. Other options would be to join a club that interests you or invite someone over to dinner at your house. No matter how you socialize, make a point to connect eye-to-eye with other people.
Working from home has so many advantages that it’s hard to see its downfalls sometimes. But living a more sedentary life is definitely one of them. It’s going to be important for you to know when it’s time to log off and have a life outside of work. Use these tips to develop a healthier take on working from home and make the best of all the advantages it offers.
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