12/22/2021

Utilizing Your Time at Home Without Becoming Sedentary

People have been spending more time at home than ever over the last couple of years. Because of the pandemic, remote work has become “the norm” for millions. As of now, about  4.7 million Americans work from home at least half the time. 

Remote work has many benefits. It can reduce stress, increase productivity, and offer more flexibility. 

But, when you’re spending most of your time at home, it’s also much easier to be complacent, go with the flow, and not do as much to move forward as you might if you were working outside the home or leaving more often. 

So, what can you do to avoid complacency while spending more time at home? How can you keep from becoming sedentary, both physically and mentally? 

Taking Advantage Continuous Learning

When you’re working from home, you might find yourself with a little more free time. Plus, if you’re already dedicating several hours a day to your home office, you can create new opportunities for yourself. 

A remote work lifestyle makes it easy to transition from work to school in a matter of minutes. Finish your job for the day? Click over to your online classes to flex your mental muscle and learn something new. 

There’s no question that we’re currently facing a labor shortage. By going to school online, you can earn a degree on your terms (and on your time) without having to give up your current job. Whether you want a higher salary or you’re ready to move on to something new, earning an MBA online can open up new opportunities for you. Because of the labor shortage, you’re more likely to get hired quickly once you’ve received your degree.  

Even if you don’t sign up for classes online, it’s important to stay mentally active while you’re at home. Keep your social life going strong and engage in stimulating conversations with friends and family. Read books. Learn a new language, or find a new hobby. Most people think of living a sedentary lifestyle as problematic to your physical health, but your mental strength is just as important.  

Staying Mentally Healthy

While being mentally fit can keep you from being complacent, it’s just as crucial to be mentally healthy at home.  

What’s the difference? 

Strengthening your mind and being a life-long learner is great. But, nothing should ever be done at the expense of your mental health. For all of its benefits, some people find remote working to be stressful. Several factors can contribute to that stress, including: 

● Struggling to find a work-life balance

● Distractions

● Lack of motivation

● Feelings of isolation

If you’re feeling stressed, tackle it now before it becomes worse and increases your risk of mental health issues. Everyone manages stress differently, but things like meditation, yoga, journaling, and deep breathing exercises are all great ways to relax and remain present. 

Make sure to take breaks throughout the day, too. It’s easy to get caught up in your work when you’re at home, and while distractions can be a problem, you can also become too hyper-focused. That might cause you to “ignore” your home life and spend too much time staring at a screen each day. Remind yourself to take a break, get up, stretch, and walk around. You might be surprised how much more relaxed and rejuvenated you’ll feel after a 10-minute escape from the workday. 

If you’re still finding yourself stressed after you’ve established a good routine of breaks and workouts, it might be time to take a look at your environment. Are you working in a home office? Is it clean and devoid of clutter? All these things and more can affect your mental health when you’re working from home. Take a moment — or 15 — to look around at your environment to see where you can make updates that will lessen your stress and anxiety. If you find you need a little more socialization during the day, look into coworking spaces in your area.

Taking Care of Your Physical Health

We couldn’t leave out the importance of physical health, altogether. Let’s face it, it’s easy to want to sleep in, stay in your pajamas all day, and lounge in front of the television when you’re spending all day at home.  But, that can end up causing problems for both your mental and physical health. 

One way to hold yourself accountable when it comes to staying healthy and fit is to establish routines. If you had to work somewhere in person before, chances are you had a daily routine you followed without giving it a second thought. Now, those routines might be scattered – or non-existent. If that sounds familiar, it’s incredibly important to establish healthy rituals, including things like: 

● Going to sleep/waking up at the same time each day

● Dedicating certain hours for work

● Exercising each day

● Spending time with friends/family

● Practicing self-care

All of these things can boost your physical health while encouraging you to be kind to yourself. When you choose to take care of your body, you’re more likely to have a healthy self-image, which can improve your esteem and confidence. 

Remote work is here to stay. If you’re working from home every day and plan to for the foreseeable future, keep these suggestions in mind to utilize your time at home wisely. With a forward-thinking mindset, you can continue to grow and thrive at home instead of falling victim to a sedentary lifestyle. 

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