How to Stay Healthy while Working from Home
The number of freelance workers grows year after year. There are job positions that allow workers stay at home, which certainly brings a lot of benefits, like making your own hours or removing the grueling commute. At the same time, there are challenges especially when it comes to daily activity and health. Freelancers or remote workers who opt to work from home might snack more or have a more sedentary lifestyle, especially if they opt to work in bed or from the couch.
But freelancing or remote working offers a lot of opportunities to keep yourself fit, energetic, and sound.
Make Yourself Comfortable
You should never cut corners on your comfort. Get yourself a nice and convenient chair in your home office that won’t make your back, neck and shoulders hurt. Don’t forget that a good desk is no less important. Opt for a standing option to keep yourself in different positions throughout the day. Wrong body position can cause a lot of health problems, starting with your spine and ending with the inward parts of your body.
Designate a Workplace
Make sure that you have a specific place to work. Working in bed is not only bad for your body but associating your bed with work can affect your sleep and relaxation later on. It also can make you more sedentary during the day. Having a designated area to work can help you mentally separate your work from your rest, and it can keep you moving and mentally cue you to start work. Try having a separate work area in your home or opt for a coworking space or coffee house nearby.
Create a Routine (and stick to it!)
Some people think that freelancing is all about freedom in schedule and location. And it is, but there is a tiny step between freedom and chaos. A lack of organization is one of the largest problems freelancers face. Of course, your morning can start in the afternoon, which can work best for you, but a wayward schedule or long all-nighters can bleed into one another and affect your rest, sleep, and mental state. Set a schedule for yourself. Keep a routine. Have your body be used to a bedtime and make sure you get a full eight hours of rest.
Schedule Workouts and Break Time
Physical activity is important, even if you limit it to regular walks in a park. It is easy to stay home for weeks, because your room or house is the most comfortable and calm place in the world. However, you need both sunshine and fresh air, so make sure that you go out at least every other day.
A lack of movement or lack of time for working out can be difficult for a freelancer or consultant, especially if you’re on the road. Office work is also associated with sitting, but it does get you out of the house: walking to the bus, commuting, or walking around your office during the day. Sitting all day long is not only a perfect way to spoil your form, but also a straight road to heart diseases. And sometimes finding time to break out of that work sprint is hard. But you’re in charge of your own time. Make sure that you do some exercises, schedule a walk in the afternoon to get some steps, sign up for a class in the middle of the day when your energy is low. If you’re on the road, research if there’s a gym where you’re staying or try simple workouts like push-ups, burpees, and jumping jacks, which you can do from your room.
Throw Away Those Tempting Potato Chips and Biscuits
Yes, we all know that temptation. When you’re sitting at home, nothing attracts you more than a fridge. You’re in a rut on a project so you wander into your kitchen way too often to have another bite. If you’re a snacker, opt to keep less junk food and sweets around and buy yourself some healthy snacks. If you cannot live without sweets at all, try to replace them with dry fruits like dates and apricots halves.
Don’t Overload Yourself
When you’re running your own business as a freelancer or are removed from a team as a remote worker, you can feel slightly alienated or anxious when too many projects come up or when you’re organizing your own financials. When you’re worried about money or being on the same clock as your team, you can overload yourself and work flow. You feel like you have to work more, either to keep a financial cushion or to respond to your teammates in real time. Don’t forget that you need weekends, vacations, or a rest away from work too. Pushing yourself towards new challenges is one thing, but pushing yourself towards burnout is another.
Keep in Touch with People
Keep in touch with your friends and see them regularly or at least talk to them via phone and Facebook chat. Break out of the apartment or house and try fun events or try a few days at a local coworking space to meet new people and be social. It’s healthy to break out of your own head, meet new people, and find fresh inspiration.
Dress Up for Your Day
Even if you’re not going anywhere, wear nice clothes. Research claims that people associate themselves with clothes and it can affect self-perception. As comfy as that old T-shirt and worn joggers or pajamas are, putting on your street clothes can egg you on to feel productive or ready for the day, rather. Researchers say that clothes have strong symbolic meaning that influences our self-perception and therefore behavior. It can affect your mood and encourage you to get out and about too.
Jennifer Pauli graduated from Corvinus School of Management and finished the faculty of Journalism at Corvinus University of Budapest. Currently, she is an editor, business writer, and copywriter, working with 1ws.com and other well-known companies, blogs, and personalities. Follow her on Twitter, G+ and read the personal blog.