How to stay healthy when working from home

Do you work from home? Or are you a newly office-to-home worker thinking, this working from home business can be so confusing? If that’s you, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Working from home can be so confusing at times. We know that it’s obviously not a holiday, so no PJs, or sweats, but if we have got them on, no one would know anyway, which is weird in itself. But then there’s also the lack of structure and the many opportunities for miscommunication, because you can’t simply pop by and ask a question. Then there’s the lack of random chats that make you laugh and keep you going. And sometimes it’s simply that the workload has changed (either not enough, or much more than you think necessary)

So there are definitely pluses with working from home, but how do you overcome the little (or large irritations)?

Have a plan to be in control

On the surface, working from home shouldn’t be that different than working in the office. But life isn’t surface level is it? For a start, when we’re going into the office, we can benefit from the travel time. We might prepare for what lies ahead or simply relax so that we can get our thoughts together. That’s not the same as taking a few steps from the kitchen to the office.

And going into the office means that you know that you’ll be going into somewhere that’s (in the main) already set up for you. Even if it’s staid or boring at times, having that structure means that there’s less chance of chaos and panic. So, let’s recreate…….

    • Take some time to really plan what you want to get out of your day. So before launching in and getting tied up in emails, take some time to simply sit and prepare yourself.
    • Have your office (even if it’s the kitchen table) set out as much as possible for a healthy working environment. Make sure that your resources are close at hand, so that you don’t have to keep walking back and forward
    • Let others in the household know what you have on for the day ahead. Either brief them on a weekly basis or even daily and then write it on a shared, visible calendar.

Try to maintain a regular routine

Even if you didn’t do this in the office. Having a routine actually allows our body to feel safe and helps us to settle into our environment. But, not having a routine can put us on edge. This is when the body can easily move towards being in a constant hyper-alert state, anticipating what could (or couldn’t) happen next. So……

    • Work out what it was from the office that you loved and how much of that ‘normal’ or most beneficial parts of your working office routine, you can maintain.
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    •  You may be more productive than working from the office. But, there can also be a tendency to get stuck at your desk. So, take regular breaks to stretch your back and legs. Now’s also a great time to get used to having a proper lunch break. 
    • If it feels as if things are getting too much, especially if you miss speaking to colleagues, then make a call. Better still, arrange to have a regular 15 minute debrief with a colleague or a friend once a week. Even if you don’t need it, it’ll be a comfort to know that it’s there for you. And share, EVERYTHING, so that if you’re really frustrated, you can get it all out and carry on with what you need to do.

Establish boundaries and be clear

You might have got used to people in the office interrupting your workflow or stopping by all the time. Remember the chats, queries, untold questions and even coffee runs? But, if you haven’t set yourself up properly at home, the disruptions can be exactly the same.

You can be bombarded by mindless emails, messages or requests for Zoom calls. As hard as it is, in order to avoid getting overwhelmed and to get anything done, you have to set boundaries. So let’s do that.

    • Really think about transactions with colleagues and ask yourself, ‘what’s the reason for the transaction?’ Do you really need to have a Zoom call when it could be covered in a 5-minute phone call or by someone else? Or, do you really need 7 emails and 4 WhatsApp’s to plan Friday’s meeting? Remember think, ‘what’s the reason for the transaction?’
    • Set your notifications, because notifications are like a virtual secretary and can be your best friend. They really help in letting people to know the days and times that you’re available and not available. And to help in managing other’s expectations, you could add a message notifying people that you may not respond for 24 or 48 hours (but do stick to it).
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    • Say no. This can be a tough one, but do you really need to be available for everyone at all times? When you say no, your letting people know that you’re professional and won’t mess them around. If you can’t get to no, and choose to say maybe, then add a strong ‘no’ like caveat, like; I’ll get back to you on…., or I’ll let you know by …. (and stick to it).

Stay hydrated

Even when you’re  sitting at your desk, you’re losing body fluid through breathing and sweating. But staying hydrated is so much more than that.

Being hydrated keeps your cells lubricated and allows nutrients to flow into your cells. Think about this. If you’ve got a house plant with droopy leaves, we actually say ‘give it a drink’. When you do that, you see it bounce back to life. But if you leave it for too long, the leaves start to go brown and die. That’s similar to what happens in your body and a dehydrated brain means brain fog, confusion and headaches which we don’t want.

It can actually take up to 75 minutes for water to be fully absorbed into the body, so drink little and often. And yes, if there’s excess it’ll mean going to the toilet more, but rather that than getting headaches, fatigue or even a stubborn to clear UTI.

These are a few simple tips and of course there’s so much more that you can do to make home working really fun and enjoyable. It might not always feel like it, but it can be the luxury that you never knew you were missing.

If you want guidance on how to improve your diet and to support you even more when you’re working from home, take a look here and then do contact me. Or if you simply want to get some great nutrition and stress reduction tips on a monthly basis, sign up here for my newsletter and become a part of our community.

 

 

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