As many people transitioned to working from home, normal routines and lifestyles were disrupted. It’s not uncommon to feel as though your physical and mental health have been put on hold until life returns to normal. In this blog post you’ll find recommendations to help boost your wellness by adapting to your current situation, whether it’s tips to try at home or ideas for a safe outdoor spa break to get away from it all.
Establish a Routine
You might be tempted to abandon your usual routine now that you’re stuck inside. Maybe you no longer have a long commute to work, your workplace has temporarily closed or you find yourself eating your meals at any time of day. This can be a major disruption to your productivity, metabolism, mental health and sleep cycle.
Regardless of when you now wake up or how you structure your day, it is important to maintain a level of regularity. This doesn’t just go for work tasks, but for self-care, chores and breaks too. This will mean that you don’t invest too much time into one task at the cost of others. The advantage of working from home can also help you create the best routine for yourself, if your time allows it: maybe you prefer to start work earlier and take an afternoon rest or you’re more of a night owl who gets more done at night. Regardless of your preferences, establish a daily routine that works for you and stick with it, and you will see other aspects of your life improve as well.
The temptation to delay meals to get more done, or to snack often can get much worse if you’re inconsistent with your schedule while stuck at home. This can confuse your metabolism and will definitely disrupt any attempts at staying fit or healthy. You can avoid this by setting fairly strict meal times: make sure to set aside time when you can start off your work day with breakfast, take a lunch break and eat dinner.
If you’re finding it hard to make meals that regularly, consider making meals in advance that are freezable or can be pre-prepared. You can even consider getting your required nutrients (especially those important fruits and vegetables) through healthy smoothies.
Your Mental Health
Taking moments of self-care can often be forgotten when you’re juggling the stresses of a change in routine during a global pandemic. Set aside some time for yourself each day, whether its simply taking a bath or enjoying a hobby. It’s also a good idea to take a break from the usual sight of your home, though be sure to do it safely. If you choose to take a break by visiting a gym or having a stress-relieving massage, make sure the location you visit is following guidelines to keep you safe.
Regularity promotes restful sleep, so setting up a routine and fixed bedtime will help you tackle any sleeping problems. Having a ritual you perform every night before bed; having a shower, applying your favourite face cream or even taking a short amount of time to relax shows your body and mind that it’s time to sleep, and stimulates the production of melatonin to begin your body’s sleep-wake cycle. If you’re struggling with insomnia or waking up tired even after you’ve slept, consider reading our article about getting better sleep for some tips.
Have a Separate Work Area
When working from home, you don’t have a commute and a workplace; rituals your body and mind get used to. Instead your own home must be a workspace, which is why creating a separate space is another important way to bring yourself into the correct mental state to be productive.
Don’t worry if you don’t have enough space in your home. Creating a workspace can be as simple as removing auditory and visual distractions and setting up your laptop. At the end of the day, especially if you don’t have a dedicated workspace, file or store away your work. You may also choose to keep a written list of tasks that you can update at the end of each day, and take a look at the next morning to ground yourself. This sets up a structure both in your mind and in your physical space.
Be Patient With Yourself
Unexpected events will occasionally disrupt your well-laid plans, and in these unprecedented times it's important to cut yourself some slack. There will be days where not leaving your home for days at a time will wear on your mental health, so listen to yourself and consider your needs. Some days you may realize that you should modify your plans to give yourself a mental break, or treat yourself to a nice pampering session.
You may also find it difficult to have a quiet workspace to yourself if you live in a small space with other people, so negotiating a compromise may be tricky. If it all seems a little overwhelming, consider some beginner meditation or yoga to focus yourself and let go of things that you cannot change.
As you now know, setting up a planned routine for your workday is the key to successful telework, and still experiencing wellness in your home. It’s important to keep work, health and self-care in balance
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