Tips on Working from Home and Staying Fit and Healthy!
For many of us now, heading into the office doesn’t require leaving our doorstep. You are probably loving that extra 20-30mins snoozing in bed, the extra time to eat a nutritious breakfast, avoiding that peak hour (feels like a decade) traffic, or even enjoying that coffee without it spilling on you while you rush to make the bus, tram, or train, heck for some it’s all three! (not all heroes wear capes).
While this all sounds fantastic, working from home can definitely present with its challenges, especially to your health.
The abundance of deliciously devilish snacks in the kitchen, the lack of social interaction, and the temptation to work in an ergonomically unsound position, like never leaving your bed, can all sabotage an otherwise virtuous worker’s best health intentions and positive habits.
I’m going to share with you my top tips to staying on top of your positive health intentions while making what might be for some the permanent adjustment to working from home.
Separate your office / work space from the rest of your house
Designate your office space solely for work purposes only. Your bed/bedroom is for sleep and that Bom Chicka Wah Wah! By bringing your work to the bedroom you’re only inviting the stresses associated with your work into what should be a relaxing and intimate environment. Same goes for working from your living room say on the couch, again this will only impede your ability to shut off and relax once you log off to enjoy your favourite show or read that book.
TIP: Try and separate the professional from the personal as much you can.
Invest in an ergonomic chair / or a standing desk
Investing in a comfortable, ergonomically sound chair will help keep you properly aligned throughout the day. We don’t want to be slouched over staring down into our screens, this is a recipe for low back pain and or neck/shoulder stiffness. You may even want to ditch the chair all together and use a standing desk to get you up on your feet, fixing your posture while giving your back a break and also reducing your overall long-term mortality risk.
TIP: Invest in an ergonomic chair and/or standing desk
Get up, get up, get busy, do it! Get up and move that body!
Yes, that was indeed a Technotronic reference, and no I don’t regret it because that song is probably being sung by you right now and it will remind you to do exactly that, get up and move that body!
It can be easy to get stuck in front of your screen for long periods of time, especially since you feel comfortable in your home space. Set an alarm or use an app to remind you to get up, go for a walk, and stretch out at least once every hour. Make sure to get outside for some Vitamin D and fresh air, and if you’re wondering, walking to the mailbox to check if your online shopping has arrived, is not enough, although it’s a start. So put that mask on and go around the block once or twice, I do it just to spy on the neighbours (hope they don’t read my blogs).
TIP: Get up, stretch out, walk around every so often!
Schedule your days, and try your best to stick to it!
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you should be lazy with your schedule. It can be tempting to sleep in or work various and odd hours, putting off those projects and paperwork to later in the day, but don’t fall into that trap. Staying organised and sticking to a schedule will positively impact your mental health. Establishing routines is key because they keep you accountable to something. Set up your schedule as if you were heading into the office for a normal day.
TIP: Schedule your day and develop a strong routine to stick to.
Don’t neglect that Zoom invite for virtual drinks – Get involved and stay socially active!
I know, I know, Friday drinks just isn’t the same behind a screen, but hey do you need an excuse to drink? And what else did you have planned? Exactly, nothing exciting. It’s important you stay socially involved, be it with work colleagues or friends and family. This can be via Zoom or now that its allowed and summer is around the corner, get out to a park and enjoy a nice picnic outdoors with friends and intimates (maintaining social distancing of course). At challenging times like this, any form of social interaction is vital for your mental and emotional wellbeing, not just for you but for those around you too. If your social interactions only consist of asking Francine how her day is going while she’s scanning your tubs of Yo-Pro yoghurts at the counter, then please rectify this immediately.
TIP: Maintain healthy social connections to stay on top of your overall well-being, as well as checking up on friends and loved ones.
Find some authentic ME time
If you’re stuck at home in a crowded house without finding some real personal me time, then sooner or later you’re going to snap at the sound of chips crunching or tea being slurped. Schedule some authentic time to yourself to do something that only you enjoy, this could be as simple as sitting in your favourite chair while sipping on some tea from your favourite cup to a scented candle, or run yourself a bubble bath and just relax to your favourite music (without exposing myself entirely, yes I do enjoy both of these).
If you live alone and you’re still challenged with finding some very real and authentic time to yourself, without the stresses of the outside world, take a moment to spend some quality time within your mind, and explore.
Developing a healthy relationship with both your mind and body is pivotal to feeling wholesome. Your imagination is your minds boarding pass to any destination! No that wasn’t stolen from a refrigerator magnet, these are words I preach and live by and its time you do too!
TIP: Find the time to do the things only you would like to do, escape the stresses of everyday life and let your imagination run wild.
Your kitchen needs to be on your team, not against you!
Make sure your grocery runs aren’t entirely spent in the confectionary isle! Believe me, I know it’s tempting and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with satisfying your sweet tooth, but do so in moderation and maintain your healthy eating habits.
To help, convert your kitchen by keeping it stocked with healthier options and find smart substitutes to satisfy your cravings. It can be super easy to wander into the kitchen when you know it’s packed with treats, so keep your temptations at bay by buying fresh fruits and vegetables. Keep the confectionary to a minimum and when you do indulge, don’t let a few scoops of ice-cream turn into the entire tub followed by regret. If it does and believe me, it probably will happen, just be aware of that feeling next time the spoon breaks the surface of the Ben & Jerrys Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (yum!) and you will slowly build up your resistance to temptation and develop positive eating habits.
TIP: Keep your kitchen dominated by healthy produce to minimise your chances of giving in to those devilish temptations.
Groom, shower, throw on your nice clothes because Self-Efficacy is King (or Queen)
Have you heard of “fake it to you make it,”? Well there’s some scientific merit to adopting the feelings and powers of what your projecting outwardly. In this specific example, we are talking about your wardrobe and how you feel wearing your favourite shirt, or dress. There are endless scientific studies to back up the claims that you adopt the characteristics of what you’re wearing. This doesn’t mean I can become a doctor if I’m wearing a lab coat, but it does mean I will likely adopt the heightened attention and sharper logistical reasoning of one if I did.
Why am I telling you this? How many of you have attended a work meeting with either your pyjama bottoms or completely naked below (if you answered naked and your one of my clients or future clients, we need to have a chat!). For the men, shave or trim, throw on that shirt and nice jeans or chinos, and act as if you were going into the office. Same goes to you ladies throw on your preferred professional attire and be proud to look good. This also applies for the weekends! Who’s going to care that your wearing nice clothes just to buy pickled onions at 9pm from the local? Nobody, because it’s none of their business as to what you’re doing there! They will see a confident, sharp looking individual whose feeling competent and proud in their skin. Self-efficacy is powerful, it will have a positive impact on your health and help you in achieving your goals as well as motivate you to continually better yourself, be it through exercise or anything else relating to your life.
TIP: Stay well-groomed and looking sharp in order to outwardly project a strong positive image so that you harness those positive feelings of self-efficacy.
STAY TRUE TO YOUR HEALTH & FITNESS
Yes, I’m well aware that we are battling a global pandemic, however this shouldn’t be used as an excuse to completely neglect your health and fitness. Something is better than nothing. One step back and two steps forward is still progress. Weight loss is not linear. If you aren’t sold on those cliches then hear me out. There are options out there to complete even a small amount of activity, which can make a huge difference to how well you think and feel.
Did you know that exercise is one of the most powerful tools available for staying physically and mentally healthy? The benefits are endless, it truly is medicine. Exercise can help ease depression, lower stress levels, reduce anxiety and aid in the management of chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes.
We might have to be creative and adapt constantly to the easing of restrictions while we aren’t granted access to our gyms but there’s options available here at Core Principles and everywhere else to keep you active, fit and healthy during these challenging times.
TIP: Reach out to the team and we can help guide you in achieving your health & fitness goals and direct you towards a better quality of life.
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