When working from home, the boundaries between work and home life can be blurred so it’s important to establish daily habits which will enhance, rather than compromise, your wellbeing. By prioritising your mental and physical health, you’re not only giving yourself the best chance of feeling good, but you may also find that you’re more productive, focused and less likely to be affected by stress.
Your habits not only impact your mental and physical wellbeing now, but they also affect the state of your body and mind in six months’, in 2 years’ and in 10 years’ time. Here are a few tips to help you to establish positive habits that you and your future self will be grateful for:
Often the first thing we do when we wake up is reach for our mobile phone. In your phone settings (both personal and work), try setting ‘downtime’ so that your apps are not accessible until later in the day. First thing in the morning, instead of getting sucked into scrolling mindlessly through social media, emails or the news, use the time before work to benefit your wellbeing. You could spend 10 minutes meditating before you get up, journaling or doing some exercise. This will create some mental space away from the noise and anxieties of the outside world and your to-do list, so that you can start your day with clarity and calmness.
Due to the absence of a commute, there might be the temptation to get started with work before you’ve completed your normal morning routine, and then before you know it, it’s lunchtime and you’re still in your PJs. You probably won’t need to put on a suit, or style your hair, but make sure you get ready for your day ahead and set aside time for breakfast away from your desk.
Spending your day sitting at a desk isn’t ideal for your body on many levels. Take time away from your desk to move regularly throughout the day. You could also try out some desk yoga for simple shoulder and neck stretches whilst you are sat at your desk. Try setting an alarm to remind you to take a break and move your body at regular intervals.
The convenience of being at home means that you can make healthier choices for your lunchbreak compared to if you were in the office. You could prepare a fresh salad, soup or sandwich rather than opting for a shop-bought option. You could also do something positive for your wellbeing by going out for a walk or run, doing 30 minutes of yoga, or having a nap!
The boundaries between work and home life can be blurred when you work from home, so make sure that you have a defined finish time, when you switch off your computer and turn off your work phone, and be disciplined with sticking to it. Try having an evening commitment, such as a yoga class at 5.30pm, which will make you shut down at your finish time, rather than allowing work to eat into your evening. Have activities planned for the evening which will allow you to relax, move your body and socialise, to reverse the effects of sitting all day at your desk.
If you’d like to practice yoga as part of your working from home routine, you can practice with me live, or on demand. My blogs on how to practice yoga at home and how to establish habits now, for the benefit of your future self might also be helpful!