Many of us are still working from home and may continue to do so for the upcoming months. While some people are enjoying the time at home and exceptionally short commute, others are struggling to separate work life from home, and maintain a healthy routine. We put together some simple tips to help keep mental and physical health while working at home.
- Get outside: even if it is simply walking to the corner café or a lap around the park. When we commute to and from the office, we get little moments outside and into the air. It can be easy to let a whole day pass without venturing into the elements. So, rain or shine a ten-minute break outside can break up the day.
- Create space between home and work: not everyone is lucky enough to have a separate den for work but if you are working from a kitchen counter or your room, simple decorating shifts can help create a separate space. Bring in a floor lamp, move house plants around or put a different blanket over your chair during your work hours. This can create a feeling of being in a different space and break up your time while at work. Putting things back in their place can signify the end of work time making it less temping to work into late hours.
- Maintain a morning routine: as comfortable as it might be to get up in the morning and start work in your pyjamas, it is helpful to separate work from home by maintaining a small routine. A morning shower, change of clothes and fresh breakfast can help create a start button for the day.
- Set a timer: working in the office means we are up and down engaging with co-workers, grabbing a coffee, or heading to a meeting. This all adds up to frequently moving throughout the day. Set a few alarms on your phone every hour to remind you to stand up, stretch your legs and take your eyes off the screen.
- Exercise: no, you do not have to do a hard HIIT class in your living room every morning but a basic exercise routine to get the heart rate up and body moving will do wonders for mental and physical health. Find something you enjoy to keep your body moving whether it is an online dance class, telehealth Pilates or a YouTube body weight session.
- Keep appointments: it might feel easier to cancel the dentist, doctor or physio to stay in while working from home. But maintaining appointments help break up the day and get you out of the house. It is helpful to put a few appointments on same day or add some personal activities or shopping needs around you appointments. Keeping appointments reminds us to make health a priority during this time.
- Face time a friend/co-workers with an activity: working in an office has a social element that is easily missed when we are staying home. Many patients have been missing out on their lunch time soccer or after work beers. Try creating a social event for you and co-workers that does not involve work to maintain social connection.
- Simple hobbies: not everyone is going to make their own sourdough bread or learn a new language but having a low commitment hobby that you can enjoy is a great way to keep your mind engaged and creative.
- Take advantage of time: our commute is reduced giving some people an extra hour or two in the day. Instead of sleeping in or switching on the telly, use the time to take your dog for a walk, make crafts with your kids or catch up on those tasks that never seem to get done. The commute hours can add up and be a great time to focus on yourself.
- Be kind to yourself! we are in a global pandemic so if it feels too hard to do all of these changes or any of them, be kind to yourself. Make sure you are staying connected to friends and loved one and giving yourself a break when stress arises.
So if you are working from home give some of these a go and see if your work-home life finds the right balance!