The COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful for everyone. Many people have lost their jobs, and those fortunate enough to work remotely have had to adjust their routines. These major changes raise an important question: how are remote workers supposed to stay healthy, especially now?
Whether you are new to working remotely or a seasoned pro, finding the right way to take care of yourself is a must. But it’s not easy to know what’s a quick fix and what will help in the long run. That’s why we’ve done the research for you. Check out the following health tips to help you make the most of your experience.
Separate Work and Life
When you work at a brick-and-mortar location like an office, warehouse or factory, you’re used to going to work, and then coming home. Unfortunately, the line between the two is not so clear when you work from home. With no distinction between home and office. It’s tempting to stretch your work hours beyond your typical shift and continue answering emails well into the night.
Separating your job and life is essential for your mental health. Start and end work at a reasonable time and remember to take regular breaks. Close your computer, turn off your notifications, and enjoy the company of the people you live with.
Put Effort Into Your “Office”
On a related note, put effort into creating your workspace. Designing a home “office,” even if it’s only a desk in a corner, helps separate work and home life. Invest in a comfortable chair that won’t cause back problems in the long term. Put up pictures and play soothing music. Better yet, plants provide numerous benefits when positioned in your workspace, including boosting productivity.
Eat as Well as Possible
It’s impossible to understate the importance of quality nutrition. Food is fuel for your brain and your body, but it’s difficult to think of food this way when you’re at home, and so many snacks are nearby. Experts say that junk food can worsen mental health symptoms, so remember to eat your share of nutrient-rich foods like leafy vegetables, fatty fish, nuts, berries, turmeric, and more.
You can take advantage of health apps if you need assistance eating well. SuperFood provides nutritious recipes, MyPlate helps you keep track of your diet, and Enplug’s Daily Health Tips lists bite-size pieces of advice for maintaining healthy habits.
Gyms may be closed or operating at a limited capacity for the time being, but you can find home workout routines online that don’t require much equipment. Exercise is essential for your physical and mental health (and, therefore, your productivity), so get creative with what you have lying around. Remember to often stand up from your seat and walk around to reduce stress and get your blood flowing.
Keep Up With Hygiene
If you have nowhere to go or anyone to impress, why bother getting ready for the day? That’s a mentality many newbie remote workers express, but it’s critical to keep practicing personal hygiene — especially now. By all means, work in your pajamas, but don’t stop showering or brushing your teeth even if you live alone. Doing so provides a sense of normalcy and prevents the spread of disease.
Get Outside Often
Spending time outside is also essential for your mental health. Researchers from the University of North Carolina note:
“Walking has been proven effective in reducing anxiety and depression, and there is further evidence that walking in nature improves those results even further. That’s because different parts of our brain activate in nature. Our mind calms, leading to physical changes, including a reduction in heart rate and blood pressure.”
Don’t forget to stay clear of others and wear your mask, but going for walks outside will work wonders if you’re otherwise cooped inside all day.
Meditate or Do Yoga
If working remotely stresses you out, then meditation and yoga can help you feel calm and centered. Yoga’s benefits are numerous, so use the time you would normally spend commuting to sit down with a mat and practice your breathing techniques and improve your body’s flexibility.
Interact With Others
Remote work can make you feel isolated. Introverts may prefer it, but everyone needs a healthy amount of social interaction because humans are social creatures. Make time to contact your family and friends for the sake of your mental health. Schedule phone calls and video chats that let you speak with people face-to-face, or plan socially distant meet-ups where you and a friend walk together more than six feet apart.
Talk to a Professional
Talk to a trained therapist to help you manage your mental health and work through your emotions about the pandemic and working remotely. Your loved ones can only do so much, and virtual therapy appointments are a valuable resource for anyone who needs professional guidance, assistance, and medication.
With the big shift to working from home, we’ve all noticed that working remote brings advantages and disadvantages that working on-site doesn’t. But you can definitely make it a move for the better if you follow our health tips to to prioritize your physical and mental wellbeing as you leave your office behind.