How To Stay Healthy Working From Home

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are working from home even if it’s only part-time. But working long hours in a small space might make you feel unmotivated, unlike in a typical office where you can talk to other people to break up the monotony. While working from home has many perks, it is not without its difficulties.  Working at home can be a difficult adjustment that could impact  work productivity as well as health and wellness.   While you have the best intentions to stay fit and healthy,  make your physical, mental, and emotional health a priority with healthy home work habits.  

Work Area Set Up

Despite the attraction of your comfortable bed or sofa, designate a work space in your home. Bringing work materials to your bedroom or couch can interfere with your ability to relax later on. And working from your couch can create mental associations that keep your mind occupied with work issues later in the evening.  If you have a spare room, make this a home office. If not, you need to create a space where you are away from the TV, kids, pets, and any other distractions. This is the only way to remain productive. If nothing else, set up a small desk and a chair.  Make sure you have all of the technology you need too.  

Invest in a comfortable, ergonomically sound chair that will keep you properly aligned throughout the day.  The last thing you want is to strain your neck, back, arms, or hands from working on your computer. Or ditch the chair and have a stand up desk for your laptop.

Going For Lunch 

Don’t eat lunch at your desk; instead, go to another room or a restaurant. This is so important. You will crash earlier in the afternoon if you don’t get up and get away from your work station. Physical interactions are good for mental health and have been shown to boost morale. I found that being in another setting away from the phone helped clear my mind. If you have someone to eat with, this is extremely helpful in relaxing. If I don’t have a companion, I go to a room with a view outside. Working from home, I go to the dinner table and look out at the plants, bees, butterflies, and/or birds.

Some experts say that people who eat their lunches away from their workstations are more productive than those who eat at their desks. Changing places helps you change your perspective, which gives your mind a boost. If you go out for lunch, you don’t have to do other things like answer the phone while you eat. It makes the work you do worse. It also keeps you from eating too much, which can happen when you’re not paying attention during lunch.

Walking During Lunch

At several jobs I’ve had, I loved to take a brisk walk down the street during lunch. It feels so good to be physically active after sitting for hours. There are many things you can do while strolling, like going to the store or checking on something in your yard. You’ll get a number of mental benefits that will help you break up the routine and get ready for your next assignment. For example, going for a walk helps your brain and memory work better, which makes it easier to think clearly and come up with new ideas. It also slowly speeds up your heartbeat, which makes your blood flow better. Better blood flow makes you more creative, which leads to more work. Also remember that you should get up each hour in the day and walk or stand for a while. This will keep your body and mind happier.

Eating Well 

Hard work requires a sharp mind and plenty of energy, and eating the right foods can boost productivity. This is why you should make sure your fridge and cupboards are stocked with healthy options. According to Harvard Business Review, not all foods are processed by our bodies the same way. For example, foods that are high in carbohydrates or sugar release glucose quickly, so we get an immediate burst of energy followed by a lethargic crash. Some foods will slow you down, while others will make your brain work better and help you remember things. The next time you’re looking for foods that boost productivity, avoid greasy chips or a candy bar and reach for one of these options instead:

  • Almonds are easy to store and packed with lots of healthy fats and necessary calories to get you through your day. 
  • Green Tea is not a snack but a healthy, caffeine-packed alternative to coffee and guaranteed to provide you with nutrition and productivity.
  • A single banana is packed with the daily amount of glucose your body needs to stay productive throughout the day. 
  • Apple & Peanut Butter is the perfect combination of energy + protein. Pair one with a tablespoon or two of your favorite natural peanut butter for a great tasting snack.
  • Yogurt & Granola are a great snack to curb those sugar cravings and ease hunger pains.
  • Carrots & Hummus are the perfect combination of creamy and crunchy. They provide lots of protein and calories that help curb your hunger longer. 

 Don’t forget to drink water throughout the day. Water not only affects your overall health but also plays a big role in productivity. Made up of 80% of water, your brain highly depends on you staying hydrated to boost energy.

When you take a break for lunch, you could make a home-cooked meal with foods that give you mental and physical energy so you can keep going all day. I always like having a lunch of leftovers from the previous nights dinner. Remember to cook with whole food not processed products. Try one of my slow cooker recipes like Slow Cooker Potato Soup. I’m always looking for a healthier, modern, fresher take on classic dishes. You should check out Averie Cooks post with the BEST green bean casserole! Not a can of soup to be found in the recipe thank you. You start with fresh green beans, red onions, and baby bella mushrooms. Then add a creamy white cheddar cheese sauce with a crispy bread crumb and Parmesan cheese topping. Yum! Sounds like a perfect lunch to me.

Getting Fit 

If you work all day inside, you might get tired and not be as productive. But working out will help you break up the routine. It can be going to a gym, running, or riding a bike. You can also find a lot of free exercises online, like yoga, that you can do in your living room or backyard. Dancing is also a way to get exercise. You don’t have to be really good at it. Simple steps can help you keep going. It improves your blood flow and mood, so you can get more done during the day.

Getting Closer To Family 

Having a job that keeps you away from family and friends can sometimes kill your social life. But you can make up for this by talking to them during your breaks. You can do this through social media, phone calls, or in person. No matter how you choose to do it, take a break from work stress and talk to the people you care about. As much as you’ll be recharging your mind, you’ll also be making up for the emotional distance between you and them. It’s a great way to show that you’re there for them.

Working from home is great, but if you don’t have a plan, you might feel emotionally drained and lonely. It is important to add things to your routine that will make you more motivated and get more done. Stay healthy and stay focused.

This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own.

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Carol

I was raised in Tennessee but have lived in Florida for many years. Love my small home in the Tampa Bay area and its developing garden. My decorating style is eclectic - some vintage, some cottage, all with a modern flair. Pursuing a healthier lifestyle. Spent many years in social services but am happily retired.

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