My 5 top tips for wellbeing when you work from home, is mostly general health and happiness advice. So why is it necessary?
Well, because we forget how to look after ourselves so often under the pressures of everyday life. And the awful thing is, all these things should be what makes up our daily life. But no, most of us 'work from home' lucky lot live in a world of emails, skype, coffee, screens, canned soup and cabin fever. It's not how we're supposed to live.
Nevertheless, there are many advantages. I get more time with my daughter, for instance. My home may be slightly tidier. We are reducing our carbon footprint and travel costs. However, it can be isolating. All that time spent staring at screens, no matter how necessary, can leave us feeling flat and even ill.
I'm no expert, but I listen to the experts and I work from home myself. So some of this is what I do and some of it is what I (and you) should do for wellbeing when you work from home.
1. Eat Well
You no longer have to grab prepacked food from the local Tescos and eat at your office desk! When you work from home you don't only save money (usually), but you also have the opportunity to eat well. By this, I mean healthy fresh food. Our food is our fuel and when you are staring at your screen all day, you're brain is going to need the best fuel. I find nuts particularly energy-boosting, as well as greens. So protein-filled salads are a go-to for me. I also love Ramen, because it is so easy to make, full of immune system boosters like garlic and ginger. Plus, it feels like a warm hug! Try to keep in mind that what you eat during the day will affect your productivity. Learn more about foods for focus at https://alifeofproductivity.com/9-brain-foods-that-will-boost-your-ability-to-focus/
2. Stay Hydrated
It sounds obvious, but without the regular walks to the office water cooler, I forget to drink water. I realise only when I start to get a headache or find myself yawning. That's because we get dehydrated and it is terrible for our energy levels. If you, like me, only like ice-cold water, then keep tap water in a metal reusable bottle in the fridge. Try to drink at least that each day. Coffee is both my saviour and my nemesis. I love it but too much and I get the shakes! I've found two coffees per day is my sweet spot. Ideally, we'd have no caffeine but if you're a coffee lover then it's touch. I try to swap out one cup of coffee a day for a herbal tea.
3. Get Some Fresh Air We're so lucky to work from home and be away from air conditioned offices. Yet, when we're there all day our homes can begin to feel a bit suffocating too.
Remember when your parents told you to get out and get some fresh air? Well, they might not have known why it's good for you, but here's the difference. Indoors we're mostly getting stale air. That's less oxygen than our body requires to run at full function. This can quickly lead to fatigue and dullness of mind. Not good if you need to focus!
Of course many, like myself, work from home so we're free to pick up the kids after school. Or because we're looking after somebody else. So we may well have restricted time in which to work. Meaning going for a walk doesn't seem productive.
Yet, keeping ourselves healthy generally keeps us productive. So getting 20 minutes outdoor time may not only keep you well, but also take your mindset from weary to wonderful!
4. See People It can get pretty lonely working by yourself so make the most of your opportunities to see people. If you need to pop to the shops, have a chat with the checkout staff. Smile at people you pass in the street. These small acts release endorphins, which lower stress levels and increase happiness.
5. Surround yourself with things that make you happy
Make your workspace a place of joy. Whether you choose to surround yourself with inspirational quotes or play death metal. A major advantage to working from home is you don't have to be considerate to others around you. Whatever works for you and keeps you going is what you should do. My essentials include plants (scientifically proven to make us happier), a gutsy Emily Dickinson poem and my 'What Would Dolly Do' Dolly Parton poster.