Many of us have found ourselves working from home thanks to the coronavirus. Having to make this transition would be difficult at the best of times, but it’s even harder during a pandemic. It’s all too easy to stop taking care of yourself when adjusting to working from home and dealing with the stress of living through a pandemic. Here are 7 self-care health tips for working from home.
- Maintain a Consistent Sleeping Schedule
Even if you don’t have to do anything until the middle of the day you need to get up on time in the morning. Make sure you turn the TV off and go to sleep on time as you would any other day. Sleep schedules can disappear when trying to adjust to life at home, but letting your sleep go is a bad idea.
Sticking to a consistent bed and wake time is an important part of self-care. Sleeping on a consistent schedule contributes to healthy sleep. Healthy sleep means you are less groggy in the day and have less energy fluctuations. Avoid the urge to take a nap by getting to bed – and waking up – at a consistent time.
- Put Your Pants On
Don’t neglect the more literal aspects of caring for yourself. Set aside time to comb your hair, have a shower, and get dressed. There’s the perception that working from home means that you can do all your work in your pajamas, but just getting dressed helps you to transition to working from home.
Taking the time to put some pants on – and shoes – tells your brain that you aren’t sick and it isn’t a weekend. You’ll get your brain moving and acting like it’s a workday, which it is. You don’t need to get all business smart either. Even yoga pants are fine. The key is to get changed out of your bedclothes and put on something else.
- Create a “Commute”
Much like having a shower and taking time to get dressed with tell your brain to get into “work mode”, so too will having a “commute”. The great part about having your own little home commute is that it could be anything you want.
You could take a quick walk, read a bit of a book, do some yoga, or just sit and listen to the birds. The goal is to make time for something that registers as a transition to working, just like a commute. Even going from one room to another can count.
- Create a Workspace
While you will most likely be doing all of your work out of your computer or laptop, you should still set aside part of the house to use as a work area. Even covering up the kitchen table and working there can help. This is one more bit of self-care that tells your brain it’s time to get to work.
You should also sit in a real chair instead of sitting on the couch. Using a real chair works wonders for attention and energy. There are plenty of apps and devices you can use to maintain proper posture too so that your back stays healthy. You can also add remote working tools such as Virtual Desktop or Windows Virtual Desktop to your workspace to maximize your productivity.
- Don’t Forget to Take Breaks
You should try to create a simple schedule that lays out everything you want to get done, along with when you’ll do it. That includes setting aside time during the day for some breaks. It’s helpful to be intentional when you work from home. You could have to work a different schedule and have breaks at specific times.
There are plenty of apps out there that give you reminders of when it’s time to get up, stretch, and have a quick break. Play with your schedule until you find one that suits you.
- Eat a Proper Lunch
Snacking is a real problem people working from home have to deal with. It’s often surprising how tempting it is to snack away the day when you’re at home surrounded by all your food. Having to make the transition to work from home, especially because of a pandemic, is also stressful and likely to cause even more snacking urges.
Take care of yourself and eat a proper lunch. Give yourself the nutrients you need to keep working throughout the day and stay healthy. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water during the day too. Once again, apps can help here.
- Set Aside time to Relax, Refresh, and Have a Workout
Creating an effective work-life balance can be difficult even when working at an office, never mind when working at home. Make sure you set aside some time for exercise and relaxation. Regular exercise boosts your immune system and mood and gives you a fresh perspective on your work.
Even taking a quick fifteen-minute break, like you’d take at work, can do wonders. Just stepping away for a few minutes can help.
Don’t forget that self-care is not selfishness. There’s nothing wrong with taking care of yourself. Take having to work from home as an opportunity to take better care of yourself.