There are many benefits to working from home, but how does one maintain a healthy work-life balance both physically and mentally? What about personal wellness overall? Overtime, remote, and flexible work has become much more common in the U.S. and even worldwide. There may be pros and cons to each side, considering what type of personality you have or what your desires are as an employee. Are you naturally introverted and find yourself to be more productive working alone in your home? Or, are you more of an extrovert who prefers social interaction at the office? The truth of the matter is, working remotely is undoubtedly not for everyone.
Maintaining a routine is incredibly helpful with productivity while working remotely. Block out your calendar with team calls and meetings, stick to your regular work hours, and manage your schedule as best as possible. Don’t forget to include times in your day to eat lunch (or whatever meal your shift is during) and take short breaks for yourself. Try your best to get up and ready for your day as if you were going into the office and stick to a designated workspace. I know pajamas on the couch with a coffee and your laptop seems ideal, but sticking to your routine of getting up and ready for the day helps set a precedent for a good day.
Let’s face it, getting carried away with snacking is so easy to do. We’re all guilty of a good ‘Snaccident’ here and there. For PDQ.com employees, maybe even more so in the office than at home, but I digress! In all reality, the best way to avoid the temptation of overeating during meal times or taking too many trips to the snack cabinet throughout the day is to plan ahead and/or portion out your meals and snacks. Whether that means meal prepping or even deciding what your lunch and snacks will be in advance, try and stick with the plan. If you know you’re going to be working remotely, aim to buy healthier foods at the grocery store and leave the junk food aside. Out of sight, out of mind, …hopefully.
Movement is so crucial for the body. Working out and being consistent with fitness increases your energy, mood, focus, and gets endorphins flowing to the brain. Doing this also decreases your stress levels and improves overall memory. The physical and mental health benefits from maintaining some fitness regimen are undeniable. If fitness is something you’re used to staying on top of, don’t let working remote get in the way of that. If working out isn’t your forte, even movement such as a short walk or switching between standing and sitting throughout your day helps too. It’s easy to stay glued to the computer screen when there isn’t much separation from work life and recreation. Include your workouts in your daily schedule, keep them on your calendar, and build them into your routine. Whether that means knocking them out in the morning before work, during your lunch break or after hours, consistency is key.
Staying cooped up inside is easy to do when working remotely. Vitamin D and exposure to natural light is known to boost mental health and even decrease anxiety and seasonal depression slumps. Sunlight is also known to increase your mood, attention span, and attitude, which in return, boosts overall productivity. Getting sunlight throughout the day is essential for your overall health. If you’ve got windows in your workspace area, open the blinds and even crack a window for some fresh air and sunlight! Even better, get outside at some point and soak up some sun if the weather permits.
Do you ever give yourself a moment to take some deep breaths and relax for a minute amidst the chaos? Really wake up and “smell the coffee” or even the flowers outside in the Spring/Summer? Soak in what you have and appreciate your surroundings? How about slowing down a bit instead of continually multitasking? Multitasking can drain you even faster than just taking one thing at a time and giving it your full attention. Often, we tend to spread ourselves so thin that we’re more prone to making mistakes and feeling rushed. Slow down! Be mindful of your patterns, and give your mind a break. We tend to get so caught up in our work that we may not realize certain things we’re doing, such as clenching our jaw or fists, raising our shoulders, causing tension in our back and neck, squinting at the computer screen while hyper-focused, etc. These actions cause stress in our workday. Take a minute to relax your whole body, reset and realign. This may not only help you mentally but intellectually and physically too. Building mindful moments into your day helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and promote optimism, positivity, and productivity.