STAYING HEALTHY WHILE WORKING A SEDENTARY JOB
Many of you, I’m sure, have made the switch to working from home in the past year and a half. Working from home sounds awesome in theory: you get to sleep late, dress whatever you want, and prepare your own lunch. Working from home, on the other hand, is challenging since there can be a lot of distractions at home, it’s difficult to set boundaries, and it’s tempting to grab a snack from the fridge of your neighborhood convenience shop.
Many of us miss our regular work routines with our offices and desks, perhaps even colleagues so let’s take a look at some favourite ideas for working from home… while still being healthy and productive!
1. Establish a morning ritual
Before you start working from home, think about your daily routine. Shower, do your hair, put on make-up, have a cup of coffee, feed your pet(s), and driving/commuting to work are probably all activities you do on a regular basis. However, it’s so simple to get out of bed and onto your computer when you work from home. Don’t do that, no matter how tempting it seems! Continue with your morning routine. It may feel inconvenient, but do set aside that time for yourself.
2. Put on some smart casual work clothes.
I know it’s tempting, but don’t spend the entire day in your sleepwear. Wake up, go through your morning ritual, and put on some actual clothing! You don’t have to go all-out business casual, but you should wear something that makes you feel productive! On video calls, don’t be too shabby.
3. Make a list of the day’s main priorities
Most of us have got a never-ending to-do list. I prefer to make a list of everything I need to do for the week and then choose top priorities to focus on each day. Keep a keen eye on your top 3-5 to-do items! For many of us a physical diary or a stack of A4 sheets with the date written on top work well.
4. Set aside a designated work area
If you have a spare space that you can convert into an office, that’s fantastic. If not, set aside an area in your house to function as an office for the time being. This could be your kitchen table, or somewhere else! My wife and I live in a small apartment so we usually at the dining room table, which isn’t ideal because I have have to go to the bedroom and close the doors when we both have voice/video calls at the same time. Those of you with children will also have to get them set up at a coffee table and so on.
5. Make a timetable or use a planner, or Google calendar
Set aside time for specific professional duties, as well as time for lunch, exercising, cleaning, personal calls, and other activities. It’s easy for the day to blend into one continuous work day when you’re at home all day. Set aside specified times to complete specific activities. Work on establishing “working hours.” It’s all too easy to be online from the moment you wake up until you go to bed, so do things in moderation so you don’t burn out.
6. Take a real break for lunch!
Eat your meal away from the computer. Take a regular lunch break and turn off your computer. I’ll be the first to say that I’m not very good at this, but taking a real break is genuinely beneficial to your mental health. It’s also better for you since you can concentrate on what you’re eating, which helps you avoid overeating.
7. Make a meal plan for the day
When you know what you’re going to eat for the day, you’ll probably be less inclined to skip meals or raid the fridge when it’s time for lunch or a 3:00 PM snack.
8. Have a supply of nutritious snacks on hand
When you work from home, it’s all too easy to slip into the habit of mindless eating. And it’s far more tempting to grab those if you’re surrounded by sweet sweets and unhealthy snacks all day! It’s far more likely that you’ll be motivated to go for healthy snacks like fruits, protein bars, and complex carbs if you have them on hand. A simple egg + wholemeal wrap makes a simple in-between meal.
9. Get out of the house!
Even if it’s only a quick stroll around your housing area, I try to get outside at least once a day. A little Vitamin D and some fresh air can and will do wonders for your mental health and productivity! Staying indoors for days at a time can really get you down. You may not realise it at first but it’s essentially sort of like confinement. Look at trees, enjoy some greenery, listen to the birds singing in the morning. It helps keep you grounded and aware that there’s life away from that laptop or phone screen.
10. Like my trainer kept telling, me … “Keep on moving!”
Staying in the same spot is really unhealthy. It will cause all sorts of issues so go for a jog, a walk or do some exercise at home. For home exercise try Fitnessblender. For tracking your food there’s MyFitnessPal and for overall wellness don’t forget to download the Sentuh App.