Creating A Healthy Work from Home Routine – Guest blog by Ruby Clarkson

Working from home

When you’re working from home, getting into a healthy routine and finding balance in your day can feel incredibly challenging.

Because you need to stay productive at work so you can keep paying those bills and put food on the table.

But it feels like you’re being pulled in all directions throughout the day and juggling numerous tasks that you don’t have the time to complete. Thanks to the coronavirus restrictions, daily life feels almost unrecognisable and you’re feeling more overwhelmed and stressed out with every day that passes.

However, it doesn’t need to be like this.

Take the time to develop a solid routine and you can lower your stress, take back control of your day and stay looking and feeling healthy. Here are some tips:

1. Stick to a predictable routine

The problem with working from home is that the line between work and play gets blurred.

You find yourself checking emails, tinkering with projects, and doing work when you should be enjoying some well-deserved down time.

Now, although this constant work seems like a good idea at the time, it often doesn’t help you get more done but instead allows work to creep further in

to your daily life until it starts to dominate. The result is even greater stress and a gradual sense of overwhelm.

Avoid making this mistake by simply creating a predictable work routine that fits around your needs, then stick to it.

When it’s time to work, get off Facebook, turn Netflix off and ignore that pile of washing. Likewise, when it’s time to relax, get off your computer and resist the call of email!

2. Stay active

Even though you’re stuck at home more than you usually would be and your gym is likely closed, you can still get the exercise you need to stay healthy. Schedule it into your day and you are more likely to stick to it!

Why not go bodyweight exercises in the comfort of your own home? Start a Couch to 5K running regime? How about getting your tennis racket restrung and having a quick game with your partner?

Any kind of physical exercise can make a huge difference to how productive you are and how you feel, so it’s very worth including as part of your working day.

3. Find time to connect

Isolation can be a real motivation killer when you’re working from home. There’s no more gossiping around the photocopier or catching up over coffee.

So if you want to keep your productivity levels high and feel happier despite the distance between you and the outside world, you need to schedule time to connect with others.

Keep exchanging emails with your colleagues. Pick up the phone and give them a quick voice call or video call. Use tools like Skype, WhatsApp, Zoom and Facetime so you can actually see who you’re talking to.

Even if you don’t have a meeting scheduled or you’re not discussing work projects, these simply daily acts can do wonders

for your mood.

4. Take breaks

By far, one of the hardest parts of working from home is maintaining a healthy balance and knowing when to work and when to rest. That’s why it’s so important that you also schedule breaks into your working day, just like you would if you were going to a physical office.

Y

es, this seems crazy when you’re juggling numerous projects and you have numerous deadlines to hit and you might feel like you just don’t have time. But those moments of rest will help you stay fresh, avoid overwhelm and burnout and help you stay as productive as you can.

According to Forbes magazine, “Taking a break can give [you] a fresh perspective on challenging projects. It’s hard […] to develop new ideas or solutions when [you’ve] been looking at the same thing all day. A lunch break will most certainly help get those creative juices flowing.

Just take at least ten minutes every hour to stand up and make yourself a cuppa, to pop to the loo or to go into the garden for some fresh air. You’ll come back to your desk full of energy and raring to go!

5. Eat lunch

Did you know that skipping meals can cause your productivity levels to slump and your concentration to crumble?

That’s why experts have been advising workers to take proper lunch breaks for decades.

The benefits have been clearly outlined by numerous studies over the years, including the following published in journal Science Direct, “Specifically, employees who report higher levels of relaxation and mastery during the break experience higher attentiveness and less fatigue, immediately after lunch.”

Working from home certainly isn’t any different.

Take a decent chunk of time and prepare yourself a proper filling lunch that will nourish your brain and keep you fuelled to produce your best work. And no, a bowl of cereal or a bag of crisps isn’t enough to nourish you.

To quickly recap, working from home can be challenging. But by putting a solid routine in place, you can stay focused and motivated, look after your mental and physical health, avoid loneliness, and even have some fun.

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27May2020