Remote work and self-care: Your body is your home
Working from home is often advocated as a way of improving one’s work-life balance, but it can be tempting to work even more while at home since it feels that you have all the time in the world. Being able to maintain the right work-life balance helps to reduce stress, improves motivation, and prevents burnout.
How can you work remotely and balance your physical, mental, and emotional well-being without jeopardising your health? Here are a few self-care tips that could help:
Manage your time effectively
Here are a few ways to manage your time effectively:
Keep regular working hours
Plan your workday as if you were at the office; preventing working late helps you maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Turn off your work notifications
Turn off your work notifications while not working, and if possible, wait until your next workday before responding to work-related emails. This will go a long way in helping you create an “away-from-work feeling” without needing to step away from your office / home.
Daily practice: Find enjoyment in your day!
Here are some healthy practices to adopt when it comes to working from home:
Start and end your day with a routine
When you get up in the morning, spend some time doing something you like (half an hour of yoga, drinking coffee outside, jogging, listening to a podcast). Choose an activity that gratifies you even when you end your workday; give yourself a reward after a long day at your desk. Activities that create a sense of joy promote relaxation of the mind.
Take breaks throughout the day
Sitting for long hours every day can have several negative effects on your physical and mental well-being as well as affect your effectiveness at work. Taking breaks consistently during work is essential to staying focused and reducing stress to avoid exhaustion-related issues.
So, set an alarm clock and every hour and a half, move away from your workstation for at least five to ten minutes. Focus on other activities, drink something warm, take a walk outside, meditate, or open the window and look outside (this helps to relax your eyes). Turn off from work to release stress and create moments of relaxation; this is important for both productivity and health.
The good old habits
It’s always smart to include the following habits into your life:
Don’t forget to eat
It is not healthy to skip meals, nor is it healthy to eat in a rush in front of the computer. Give yourself time for lunch; avoiding distractions when eating is essential to promote a satiety feeling. Staying focused on the meal allows you to feel full sooner and eat less… and if you feel a bit lonely, organise a virtual lunch with a friend.
Take a walk in the open air
This will boost your endorphins, the feel-good hormones.
Don't be shy about your snacks
Take a break mid-morning and mid-afternoon to grab a handful of dried fruit. Walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, and almonds are great stress relievers and mood boosters. They are rich in essential fatty acids that are great for the health of your brain. They also provide tryptophan, an essential amino acid and precursor of the hormone serotonin, which regulates mood and satiety.
It is important to stay well hydrated while working. First, because drinking a lot stimulates diuresis, and therefore the elimination of toxins from the body. Secondly, maintaining a good level of hydration, drinking around two litres of water a day, helps relieve fatigue, aids digestion, and contributes to a well-functioning gastrointestinal system. It also helps prevent annoying ailments such as headaches.
Be considerate to yourself
Remember that staying focused on the day's agenda with no distractions requires self-discipline and conscious attention. Be considerate to yourself: This is the most important advice I can give you. Don't blame yourself if you get distracted, cannot concentrate, and are not as productive as you would like to be.
Working from home can be demanding and you will need some time to find your rhythm again. Your well-being is what drives your success towards your life-work balance.
What do you do to improve your work-life balance when working from home? Let us know in the comment section!