How to Be Healthy When Working Remotely
While a remote work situation is a fantastic opportunity for some, it comes down to each individual’s character. If left unchecked, remote workers can quickly fall into less healthy habits that can affect them both physically and mentally. It can have some unwanted side effects, such as stress, anxiety, burnout, weight gain and even depression.
So as a remote worker, it’s essential to be mindful about taking proper care of yourself. But what can you do to live a healthier lifestyle when commuting or working away from the office?
Here are several ways in which you can take better care of your physical and mental well-being and be healthy when working remotely.
Set a Schedule and Keep a Routine
Working from home requires strong diligence to be self-productive. And setting a schedule can ensure you pace yourself throughout each day, week and month to meet any deadlines.
While you can set your own schedule, it also helps to keep a routine. You don’t have to mimic the same 9 to 5 office hours, especially if you’re a creative night owl. This rings true, especially if you collaborate with teams or clients spread across continents and time zones. However, it helps to have some sense of structure to abide by.
Choose how your average workday unfolds and when to log off each evening. Keeping a set schedule for “office hours” and a usual routine is not only healthy for remote workers, but it also sets clear boundaries for clients and colleagues. Also, make sure you have a designated space to use as your office for the hours you chose to be working.
Take Time for Daily Exercise
When you work remotely, you have the advantage of setting your own schedule. So take time for a 10-minute break each day and go for a stroll or brisk walk around the neighborhood. It’s just enough to get the blood pumping.
Better yet, set aside time for an exercise routine. You can go for runs or even invest in some home fitness equipment. The point is that you should block out some time each day for a workout. Set a schedule and work out first thing in the morning for a boost of energy, or during a lunch break. One extra tip is to download apps to track your progress.
If you think you don’t have time for exercise, think again. With an office job, you would have to commute, so replace that time with time for exercise. In other words, time is really no excuse. And exercise is essential!
Eat Nutritiously and Stay Hydrated
Remote work provides the opportunity to eat healthier, instead of grabbing take-out to eat at your desk or indulging in after-work happy hour.
Keep your pantry stocked with healthier snacks. When working from home, meals are a short walk away to the kitchen, so you might as well make them nutritious. Think fresh fruits and veggies, and remove bad, unhealthy snacks out of sight. Invest in a new blender and make delicious smoothies.
One great tip by remote.co is to prepare meals ahead of time and keep them in the fridge. Pretending as if you’re in the office, it forces you to eat what you’ve already made, meaning you’re less likely to indulge in whatever unhealthy snack you have a craving for.
Make sure to stay hydrated. Just because there’s no water cooler doesn’t mean you have an excuse. Drink water throughout the day, using a filtration system. Grab a reusable water bottle for when you want to work in a cafe or library.
Find Social Interaction and Support
When you work at home, you miss out on the social environment and interactions with colleagues that an office offers. Because of this, it can be challenging in multiple ways, and for remote workers, it can often lead to loneliness.
Instead, seek out an online community of other remote workers. Colleagues, even if digital colleagues, can help you stay motivated, as well as provide healthy social connections.
You can also reach out to local business communities and simply connect with people. Seek out local events and hobby groups to interact with people who share common interests.
Look into a Virtual Office Space
Virtual offices are a great option for both small and large businesses. Virtual offices allow you to have a recognizable address in your city for a fraction of the price of a rentable, physical office. Virtual offices allow you to send and receive mail to the location, get a lobby listing, rent meeting rooms and various other services.
Virtual offices can be the opportunity you need to jump-start your company, surround yourself with industry leaders, yet still work remotely and save money on a physical, rented office space.
Get Good Sleep
Even a night owl who burns the midnight oil needs good sleep. This also goes back to setting a routine and schedule. However, there are some additional steps you can take.
Avoid working from your bedroom and save this space as a retreat. It’s best to separate your work-home balance, and the bedroom should definitely be off-limits.
As you head to bed, turn off any screens. Screens emit a blue light that can suppress melatonin, which can affect your internal body clock and disrupt your circadian rhythm.
Also, be sure to turn your cell phone and other handheld devices to silent. Hearing notifications chime and ping throughout the night can disrupt a solid REM. Not to mention it will give you anxiety, begging you to check it. Alternatively, you could place your phone and devices in another room, using a standard alarm clock.
When you work remotely, it’s crucial to practice self-care. Consider a morning routine and ritual, where you enjoy a cup of tea, practice meditation or do some light journaling. In essence, ground yourself before checking emails or starting your work schedule.
Speaking of meditation, adopting a simple practice can help you manage stress and anxiety. Available are countless meditation apps, such as Headspace, Calm and Insight Timer, that can help you stay on track.
As part of your self-care practice, be sure to get outside and under the sun for some vitamin D. Many remote workers tend to experience vitamin D deficiency, which can contribute to a weak immune system and even depression.
Take a self-care day from time to time. Play hooky and enjoy the freedom you have! Whether you schedule it or not, make the most of it and plan accordingly. Go see a movie with an old friend or enjoy a personal spa day.
It might just give you a renewed sense of appreciation for your remote lifestyle.