While we move indoors to manage the threat of coronavirus, working from home with limited time outdoors has brought a significant dose of new first world problems. Dealing with work deadlines, juggling homeschooling and keeping your insanity in check can send the best of us into routine meltdown.
As we adjust to this new norm, working remotely takes some planning, self-awareness and a certain amount of flexibility to retain the lines between work and personal life. Getting your work done is important for businesses, but staying mentally and physically healthy is just as important for at-home workers
Here are some strategies to survive.
How to Integrate Healthy Habits While Working From Home.
Be realistic – With young children in the house, it can be challenging as it requires us to be hands-on. Aim to be flexible with your work hours which may mean beginning the day a little earlier than usual, before the kids are up to get a head start on things.
Set up a craft activity station next to your workspace so your child can actively (and hopefully quietly) amuse themselves while replying to emails etc and save the screen time for periods in the day you prefer not to be interrupted, say for perhaps a conference call.
Problems are not solved in the pantry – Yes, you heard it here first. It’s easy to procrastinate a decision or email by talking to a colleague in a normal work environment but when working from home, especially while stressed – it can strengthen a food snacking relationship.
Instead, create times to have breaks and eat meals in the kitchen. This will help you remain mindful with portion control and reduce snacking that may come through boredom or creative blocks. Have healthy snacks on hand such as fresh fruit, herbal teas, boiled eggs, yoghurts – and enjoy a snack with the children or take lunch out on a picnic rug in the garden to reconnect before diving into work again.
Schedule breaks – Take 15 mins to refresh your mind. Bounce on the trampoline, catch up with a loved one on the phone, or just simply step outside and take in the sunshine. Try to refrain from staying seated in front of a screen all day and don’t lose sight of still trying to reach your targeted steps in the day through incremental movements. An easy way to keep track of this is to set reminders on your phone.
Create a sustainable workspace – If you don’t have a dedicated workspace and need to remain mobile around the house to be close to your child, remember to think long term. Laptops may be versatile, but they are generally placed much lower and we tend to bend forward at the waist and curl over to look at the screen which causes lots of back and neck issues. Over a period of time, this can lead to muscular strain which is not ideal. If you use a laptop then it’s important to raise the screen up to eye level. Even if that means using a pillow while aiming to keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees.
Don’t forget to move each day
Realistically we now have more time up our sleeve each day as we are not commuting, taking the children to extracurricular activities or attending meetings. Prioritizing some physical activity whether it is an online yoga class, walking the dog, visiting the beach for a run or swim (1.5m distance) is important not just physically but for mental health to retain a perspective on what may be an overload of information during these times.
Working from home does have its set of challenges but it’s also a modern world privilege to be able to do so. Keeping up healthy habits will help make the most of your remote work experience.