How to Stay Healthy While Working From Home

In theory, it’s easier to be healthy when you’re working from home: No office snacks or donuts, you can cook healthy meals, and work out whenever you want.

Win-win-win, right?

The reality, however, probably looks something like this: Slumped on your couch wearing workout clothes you never worked out in (or let’s be honest, your pajamas), tapping away on your laptop, and eating peanut butter out of the jar because you didn’t have the time or energy to make lunch.

Creating a healthy work-life balance is hard enough when you work in an office all day, but it can be just as hard when work and life are happening in the same space.

Follow these 5 practical strategies to help you stay active, eat well, and get your work done.

1. Create a designated work area

Your physical surroundings must be conducive to a work mindset!

That’s why it’s crucial to avoid sending emails from the sofa and designate an area of your home for business, whether it’s a separate home office, dining room table, or small desk in the corner of a room.

When choosing an area of your home to work in, consider factors like location, lighting, noise level, and physical comfort.

Pick a clean, quiet spot with minimal distractions, then tweak the space to your liking.

Make sure your chair is comfortable, turn your desk to face the window, organize your work materials, display framed photos, and add some greenery.

Research shows that even adding a couple of plants to your workspace can help soothe you and lower your stress levels.

2. Schedule your day

It’s critical to create a structure for your day; even a loose outline can help you stay on task and prioritize your workload.

First and foremost, set clear start and finish times for your workday, advises Klapow.

“Your at-home workday may be shorter or longer than a workplace workday, but it [still] needs to have its own set schedule,” he says.

That includes scheduling a lunch break and time for meetings and phone calls, plus realistic but adjustable windows of time to accomplish the most important items on your to-do list.

When creating your schedule, consider the time of day you feel most energized and alert, as well as the time of day you feel most sluggish or prone to distraction, then organize your tasks and breaks accordingly.

3. Drink plenty of water

Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day. Dehydration may lead to fatigue and headaches, which may compromise [your] alertness and productivity.

Aim to drink half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces or 8 glasses of water each day.

4. Get out of the house

Make a point to leave the house — without your car — at least once a day.

Bike to meet a friend for lunch, take your dog or kids to hang out at the park, or replace a coffee break in your kitchen with a walk to the nearest coffee shop.

By getting out of the house, you’ll get some much-needed social interaction, and enjoy some new scenery — in fact, a quick walk may even help boost your creativity. 

5. Prep meals and snacks

Nutrition is very important to staying focused, energized, and productive throughout the day. It’s hard to concentrate and be productive when you’re hungry or your blood sugar is low,” she explains.

Stock your kitchen with healthy foods. Limit sugary drinks and foods, such as refined carbs (for example, white bread and baked goods), that will give you a quick energy boost, followed by an insulin spike and consequent low blood sugar in about two to three hours. This can lead to a lack of concentration and feeling jittery, sweaty, or hungry. To minimize temptation and prevent overeating – load your pantry with rationed healthy fruits and vegetables. Snack on an orange with a handful of nuts, a plain yoghurt with berries, banana etc.

BONUS: Develop a shutdown ritual

In a traditional office setting, you know it’s the end of the workday when you pack up your things and head home.

But when you’re already home, the line between work and “home” time can blur. You cannot allow your workday to simply bleed into your before and after work schedule just because you are at home.

That’s why it’s helpful to develop a routine that simultaneously signals the end of the workday and helps you transition away from emails and work projects.

Your shutdown ritual can be as simple as closing your laptop and storing it out of sight, or doing something more involved, like a workout or leaving the house for a stroll or errands.

6 thoughts on “How to Stay Healthy While Working From Home”

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