2020/2021 has been a unique time in history. The pandemic has taught us many lessons, one of which is that we do not have to leave home to be gainfully employed. A shocking 43% of the U.S. workforce are working from home.
While the commute is awesome, the hours are good and daycare is free it can still be very challenging to maintain a life-work balance. This is especially true for those that are juggling their household duties with work duties, being a substitute teacher and a care giver to aging parents. If you are anything like me you feel like you have a million balls in the air with one hand tied behind your back.
No worries! here are some wellness tips designed to take some of the stress out of working from home and help you keep your life in balance.
START YOUR DAY RIGHT
As much as i adore my pajamas and fuzzy slippers it does not promote productivity. Put yourself in work mode by getting showered and dressed in work appropriate apparel. Mindset is everything and you would be surprised at how much clothing influences your mood and focus.
MAKE A WORKSPACE DEDICATED TO STRICTLY WORK
So, I have a bad habit of wanting to drag my lap top and coffee to my oversized recliner to work. However this can actually have a negative affect on productiveness. Set up your work space in a quiet area of the house. Don't forget the basics like your daily planner, phone charger, maybe a small oil diffuser to aid with focus. Being comfortable, but not too comfortable, in this workspace is the target here. Be comfortable enough to be able to focus on work without being so comfortable that you end up snacking on last nights leftovers while watching soap operas.
HAVE YOU HEARD OF THE HAPPY LIGHT?
Natural light boost productivity. Unfortunately there is not an abundance of natural light in most homes. If you are blessed with beautiful views from your work space and sunshine floods your home by all means - enjoy! your views from the window and have some greenery or nature outside, enjoy! If not maybe you should consider a Happy Light. A Happy light is basically a box of sunshine. It emits a bright, full spectrum light that mimics daylight. It will do wonders for your mood and focus.
LET SOME FRESH AIR IN
Crack some windows and let in some fresh air (Unless you are in Michigan in the middle of winter. Then just buy some plants). Poor air quality can sap us of our energy and be detrimental to our health. Consider for a second what is floating around in your home on a daily basis: dust, mold, oil, household cleaning products and more. Constant exposure to unventilated air can cause headaches, fatigue, dizziness and trouble concentrating. Whenever possible go get some fresh air. Open a window or take quick walk during lunch. If that's not possible invest in some house plants like a spider plant or jade plant.
MANAGE YOUR TIME
It can be so tempting to wake up late and work random hours, I tried that and it was the most unproductive time of my life. Setting a schedule will not only help you to focus and be productive but can also support your mental wellbeing. Clearly defined schedule will help you to develop good habits and allocate time for fun too! Not having a schedule and working long hours is usually counterproductive, so do stick to your planned schedule.
CHECK YOUR POSTURE
Get comfortable! Position your computer screen at an arm’s length distance and at eye level. You want to look slightly downward when looking at the middle of the screen. Aim to sit with your feet flat on the ground and have some space between them. Relax your shoulders down and be conscious of your back, try to keep it straight. It will become more natural the more you do it, I promise. Good posture helps to support your blood circulation, which is always a good thing.
GET UP AND STRETCH
Aim to get up from your chair every hour, walk around, stretch, move, do some twists, neck stretches, etc. You can do a little dance, but the idea here is to get some fresh blood flow, to bring nutrients and oxygen to your body. If you forget to do get out of your chair, try regular stretching, the idea here is to change position to avoid any stagnation of the body. Notice if you are clenching your jaw, I tend to keep my mouth slightly open, it helps me a lot.
TAKE A PROPER BREAK
I know it will take some time to get used to. You might feel more distracted whilst working from home and will find yourself taking more little breaks in between, so when the time comes to take proper lunch, you might find yourself eating in front of your computer and working (hello guilty feeling). That is why it is important to stick to the schedule, as mentioned above. Proper lunch break is important, you really want to allow your mind to rest and mindfully enjoy your meal, without any rush, ideally. When you take your time to eat, you will enjoy your meals are balanced and also you feel satisfied with your meal. Mindful eating ensures your brain registered the fact you have been fed and that will help avoiding getting hungry really quick again and keep you from snacking.
STOCK UP ON HEALTHY SNACKS & HYDRATE
The best secret of avoiding junk food? Not to have any at home! I know this might be cruel, but it works for me. This way you keep temptation at bay – out of sight out of mind. Instead, stock up on nuts, fresh fruits and barriers, oat biscuits and hummus is a great snack too. Keep yourself hydrated, I usually have my coffee in the morning. I do love coffee for the taste, so if I crave one in the afternoon, I will have a decaffeinated instead. Keep in mind, coffee is diuretic, so you will need to up your water if you have too many. Then stick to herbal teas like hibiscus, matcha or peppermint. Good hydration is great for your wellbeing, your skin and will also make sure you take your regular breaks, at least bathroom breaks.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WORK-LIFE BALANCE
Don’t let work overtake your personal time and other way around, neither of which improves the quality. Avoid working on weekends, times where you would usually socialize or do other activities that make you happy. Track how much time you’re spending on work every day, remember that quantity doesn’t mean quality. Instead of overworking, do something soothing for your mind and soul, you will feel more inspired and motivated as a result!