Whether working from home is the norm for you, or a temporary measure in the current climate - it can be all too easy to slip into a murky work/life divide, where always 'being at home' doesn't necessarily mean you have more downtime, rather it can often lead to longer working hours, less social interaction and decreases in motivation and productivity. This week i'm sharing 7 practical tips on how to look after your physical and mental health while working from home:
Get into a work mindset
Sticking to your morning routine of getting up, dressed and ready for the day will help get you into that work mindset. 'Working from bed', or staying in your pjs may sound appealing but it won't help you in the long run to feel motivated.
Create a home office
This may be difficult if you are living in a shared house, or need to self-isolate - but if you can, re-create a home office set up that you can dedicate to work. Be it a kitchen table or corner of a spare bedroom. Having somewhere you 'go to work' will help you focus, but equally - it will keep your social and private spaces (the living room and bedroom for instance) as sanctuaries for when you finish work.
This may be part of your home working strategy anyway, but if not ensure that you are connecting with peers and co-workers daily - and not just on email and messages. Book video or phone calls so you maintain that sense of human interaction.
Getting outside and moving in the fresh air each day will do wonders for your immune system, mental health, sleep and productivity. It may be in your own garden, in the park or simply connecting with nature in some way - but try and carve out regular breaks in your working day.
It may seem strange to be prioritising rest when you may be used to a long commute, or a more active day - working from home may not be as physically tiring, but ensuring that you finish work at your normal time, give yourself that space and time to unwind in the evenings and getting good, restful sleep will keep you positive and able to tackle your workload effectively.
Eat well Whilst I am not a trained dietitian, there are common sense guidelines to be followed on trying to eat a healthy, balanced diet in the coming weeks and months - not only to protect your immune system but for your mental health too - when working from home it's all too easy to 'graze' through the day, try and stick to normal mealtimes and it's also normal to crave sugar and junk food in times of stress and uncertainty. Stock up (not stockpile!) with plenty of fresh fruit, veg and ingredients that will allow you to cook quickly and easily at home.
Finally, perhaps the hardest one to implement if you are facing work uncertainities or are worried about the health of friends and loved ones - but try and stay positive. Reduce your time spent on social media, only access reliable news outlets and try and keep a balance in how much time and headspace you are giving to current world events, whilst also filling your time and thoughts with positive, nurturing pastimes.
If you are working from home and need more support and guidance the Business Boost downloadable workbooks are available here, and there are plenty of Free Guides available too.