Despite popular belief, working from home is challenging. Although it seems like a dream come true, it is not that simple. The world is facing a powerful enemy at the moment, and everyone’s lives have been touched, one way or another. Working from home is above all a transition. A big change.
If you feel stressed and anxious about this “new normal”, trust me, you are not the only one. We are all in this together, and thanks to the internet we can help each other with tips and advice that will get us through. That’s why I want to give my contribution and help you maintain both your physical and mental health while working at home.
I’ve been a remote worker for many years. I enjoy my home office and there’s no place I’d rather work in, but it took time and effort to get there. It was an ongoing struggle in the beginning, but with some practical tips from my senior co-workers, I learned how to take care of my wellbeing. Here’s what I did and how you can do it too.
Dress up and prepare for the work day
Even though you are technically not obliged to do it anymore, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. First couple of days working in the most comfortable clothes will feel amazing and liberating. However, after some time this will have a negative impact on your mood. You will start feeling bad about yourself, about the way you look and most importantly, about the way you feel. Dressing up and preparing adequately for the working day will help you be more productive. The more productive you are, the better you will feel after the work day is over. It’s as simple as that.
So, take a morning shower, put on a nice outfit and drink your coffee or tea in peace. Jumping out of bed and rushing to get to your laptop can ruin your whole day. But taking the time to get in the zone will improve your life quality. After all, you don’t want to lose that amazing feeling of getting into your sweatpants after a long working day.
Create a routine and a schedule
Flexibility and freedom are the main reasons everyone dreams of working from home. But be careful what you wish for because with freedom comes greater responsibility. That’s why routines are important. As a sequence of actions and tasks that are regularly followed, a routine will help you be in control of your time. Having strong routines leaves more time to focus and less time to overthink and procrastinate.
It’s also important to remember that you should still maintain a work-life balance. Organize your day well, set clear goals and work towards them every day. Use tools like to-do lists, planners and sticky notes. A healthy work-life balance is important for your relationships, productivity and your overall wellbeing.
Set a separate home office
Your home office is a place where you can work without being distracted. It’s a place where good ideas are born, nurtured and implemented. If you are lucky enough to have a spare room in your house, turn it into your home office. Otherwise, you can choose a peaceful corner of a room and create a workspace where you will be able to focus and do your thing.
Although having strong focus is important, your number one priority should actually be your office furniture. Invest in a comfortable chair that will support your neck and back. Ergonomic furniture is a good choice. It can improve your health, comfort and productivity. While working from home, you should do everything in your power to maintain your health. Given the fact that you will spend a lot of time in a sitting posture, a good chair will go a long way. After you’ve secured a healthy environment, spend some time on making your workspace enjoyable and motivating. Add some plants, take advantage of the natural light as much as you can and blast your favorite music playlist. Good atmosphere is also an important aspect.
Despite your urge to scroll endlessly through social media, you should try to replace it with more quality time. Working from home can make you feel lonely, so try to stay connected to your loved ones as much as possible. It’s no surprise that the internet can have a bad impact on your mental health. Even though you want to stay informed, try to get the essential information only and fill the rest of your free time with positive things. Talk to your family, read books, watch movies and work on self-development. Planning your day ahead can help you organize and spend time on fun and meaningful activities.
Your body also deserves some attention and love. Go on YouTube and get in the zone with some yoga or dance videos. Daily exercise is the best way to boost both your physical and mental health at the same time! Give your body at least half an hour a day to stretch, work out or meditate. Your body will be forever grateful.
If you feel anxious about your “new normal”, try out new routines and implement changes into your life. These tips will help you maintain your mental and physical health while you’re self-isolating at home. Talk to your family and friends about your feelings. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional if you are in need of advice. After all, remember to listen to your body and to follow your gut.
And who knows, maybe you learn to enjoy working from home. Maybe you create a life that you’ve always wanted. Embrace the situation and get the best out of it.
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