Whether we like it or not, working from home is a reality most of us share in light of recent global events.
Working remotely can be extremely rewarding when you are able to maintain high levels of productivity, digitally facilitate positive business relationships, all whilst keeping a healthy work-life balance.
Follow the tips below to ensure you are maximising your potential working or studying from home, and focusing on your health and happiness.
Keep Hydrated and eat a balanced diet
It sounds simple, and we know it’s certainly essential, but a shift in your environment and work schedule can mean you are focusing on everything that has changed. You will be surprised at how easy it is to get caught up in the day and forgetting to drink your recommended intake of water!
To assist in keeping your water intake up make sure that you;
- Always have a water bottle at your desk
- Set an alarm every hour as a reminder to drink water
Women should be consuming around 2L of fluids a day, and men should be consuming around 2.6L a day. This number can vary from person to person, and can be affected by factors such as exercise level, pregnancy, weather etc.
A balanced diet ensures you are consuming all the right nutrients so your body can function effectively. When working from home and in short proximity to the kitchen, it is very easy to fall into a habit of snacking all day. Try planning out your snacks and meals for the day, and dedicating times to eat.
- Eat whole foods
- Reduce processed foods
- Reduce sugar consumption
- Eat fruit and vegetables daily (try to make these your snacks!)
Exercise and get outside
We all know how vital exercise is, and the benefits of spending time outside in fresh air and sunlight, especially if you are stuck in one environment for the majority of the day. One of the very common barriers to avoid exercise that everyone experiences is the feeling of being unmotivated and deflated.
Some ways to overcome barriers to exercising every day:
- Get a family member or friend to exercise with, and hold each other accountable. Dedicate time each day to walk or workout together.
- Join free workout sessions online, these can be found through Facebook Groups, with many gyms transforming their classes into free online workouts.
- Begin every day with a 20-30 minute walk. Build this into a routine, and you will be left feeling refreshed and set up for a positive day!
- Replace the time you would commute to work with a walk, bike ride or workout
Follow a daily routine, and allocate specific work hours
When working from home it is very easy to lose schedule structure and routines. In order to maximise your productivity and potential, try to maintain a consistent routine. It doesn’t have to be the same routine every day, but ensure you allocating time in the day for work, and time in the day for your own hobbies, exercise, relaxation and family time.
Make sure you are taking the time each day to ‘switch’ your brain off and let your mind and body relax.
Incorporating a morning ritual helps you set up your day to be prepared and motivated, and creating a night-time routine allows your body and brain to slow down, relax and have a good nights sleep.
Create a separate work space
It is vital to have a dedicated area for work or study, away from your ‘relaxation’ area if possible. Ideally this should be the study, dining room or kitchen and not the bedroom or lounge room. When setting up your work station ensure that you have the appropriate lighting, ventilation, temperature, space and a good chair. Maintaining a healthy posture throughout the day and get up at least once an hour to stretch.
Sleep is not for the weak
Sleep is one of the MOST essential components to a healthy life. Aim to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night to maximise your brain’s capacity and keep consistent energy levels throughout the day. A benefit to working from home is the ability to create a healthy sleep routine as you do not have commuting time to worry about.
To function at your optimal state, make sure you are getting good quality sleep. Remember, too much sleep can be also be detrimental, like a lack of sleep.
Practice mindfulness daily
Mindfulness is the process of purposely bringing your attention to the experiences in the present moment without judgement. Try these mindfulness exercises;
- Start or end each day with a mindfulness breathing technique
- Drink a cup of tea without having any digital devices or distractions nearby. Take the few minutes it takes to drink your tea to sit or stand quietly and let your mind wander. Try not to think about any work responsibilities or chores.
- Try journaling daily
- Go for a walk by yourself
- Listen to a mindful podcast
- Listen to guided meditation
Just 5 minutes a day of mindfulness can greatly reduce stress, give boosts in working memory, improve focus, and even increase immune functioning. Another simple way of decreasing stress is to cut down on your decision fatigue. Find out more here:
Simple Changes to Decrease Decision Fatigue
These are just some of the many tips you can implement to tackle working from home. Most importantly, you need to listen to your body and recognise that some days you may feel more limitations than others. Reach out for support when you need, and try to find something each day that brings you happiness or joy and build a healthy routine around that.
About the Author:
Alysia Moyle works as a Student Success Advisor at CAL, whilst successfully co-managing her own business as a Personal Trainer and Health Coach at AA Fitness.