With social distancing recommendations in full force, many of us are being asked to perform our jobs from home. Working remotely from home often sounds like a great idea at first. But staying sane while doing so can be more challenging than you might think. Routines and work environments that are well-established at the office can be difficult to reproduce at home. And maintaining a healthy separation between your work and home lives can also be tough. Because of this, and the inherent anxiety imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, staying sane with these changes requires some effort.
Fortunately, thousands of people have been working remotely from home for decades. And the insights they’ve gleaned can be used to foster healthy habits during this transition. Staying sane and healthy while working remotely from home isn’t hard. But it does require us to put some safeguards in place. In doing so, we can better ensure our physical, mental, and social health is well-maintained.
With this in mind, here are eight tips for staying sane and healthy when working remotely from home.
Healthy Tip #1 – Create a Routine
For many, working remotely at home sounds like a great opportunity to be more flexible. And for some, this heightened flexibility in schedule can be well-managed. But for the majority of us, we still need some type of routine in order to keep a high level of productivity. By establishing a work routine and schedule, you will be more likely to stay on task and make deadlines. And this can play a significant role in reducing stress and staying sane along the way.
Healthy Tip #2 – Moving Is Important
Like any desk-job, working remotely from home can result in a sedentary lifestyle. Not only will you likely be working at a desk, but the kitchen and bedroom are key temptations as well. For these reasons, making sure you incorporate movement and exercise into your daily routine is essential. This not only promotes physical health but offers many psychological benefits. Take breaks for stretching and arrange a block of time for an at-home workout. These are great strategies for staying sane when working remotely from home.
Healthy Tip #3 – Avoiding the Snack Traps
As mentioned, one of the risks of working remotely from home is the proximity to the kitchen. Sometimes it seems that the longer we sit at our home desk, the more the refrigerator beckons. In an effort to stay healthy, it’s therefore important to stock your cupboards with healthy and nutritious snacks and foods. And by strategically using exercise and other activities as distractions, you can limit these snacking temptations. This can go a long way in creating a much more healthier setting from which to work.
Healthy Tip #4 – Keep It Interesting
One of the major difficulties in staying sane while working remotely from home involves the prevention of boredom. Tasks can become repetitive, and without office stimulations, monotony can lead to mental dullness. Understanding this, you can reduce these risks by “mixing it up.” Work on different tasks periodically that demand different skillsets and different levels of attention. By allowing greater variety in your tasks throughout the day, you will maintain a higher level of attention and interest. And this will boost productivity and also reduce stress.
Healthy Tip #5 – Change the Scenery
Just as mixing up your tasks can improve concentration and attention, so can changing the scenery. Perhaps your options are rather limited given the recent social distancing restrictions in place. But even changing the scenery within your home can go a long way in staying sane and healthy. Choose to work in your home office one day and the kitchen the next. If you have an outdoor patio, perhaps this might be an option (weather depending). Not only can such variety help energize you to stay on task, but it can boost your mood as well.
Healthy Tip #6 – Arrange Social Connections
One of the more difficult aspects of working remotely from home relates to the lack of social contact that often exists. Staying sane when you are so isolated can be challenging, and this is why social contacts are important. Many offices now use software applications like Slack that help you connect with other coworkers in a virtual space. In addition, taking the time to play with your kids or visit with your partner can also help fulfill social needs. And arranging lunch or coffee with a friend (virtual or otherwise) can also help in this regard.
Healthy Tip #7 – Permission to Take a Break
Breaks are essential when working remotely from home. Without breaks, staying sane becomes increasingly difficult simply because your ability to sustain attention will progressively decline. By allowing a few short breaks in your day, you can come back energized and refreshed. This might involve walking the dog, going for a jog, or prepping for dinner. By incorporating such breaks into your day, your level of productivity will be optimized. And in turn, staying sane and less stressed will be easier.
Healthy Tip #8 – Consider Meditation
One of the best ways of staying sane when working remotely from home involves meditation. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress levels in addition to blood pressure and mental anxiety. At the same time, meditation helps you feel rejuvenated and refreshed. This can naturally help improve your work productivity while promoting better mental health. By incorporating daily meditation into your routine, your ability to be healthy will significantly increase. This is true when working remotely from home and otherwise.
Focusing on Holistic Wellness While Working from Home
There are many advantages when working remotely from home. Schedule flexibility, avoiding a bad commute, and being able to attend to home responsibilities are a few. Likewise, with coronavirus threats present, working remotely from home offers health protections as well. But at the same time, this shift can be challenging, and staying sane and healthy can be tough. By following the eight healthy tips provided, you naturally improve your potential for health significantly when working from home. Because these tips allow you to focus on holistic wellbeing, your capacity to thrive will be enhanced. And though this may be temporary, the insights you gain can help you lead a healthier life in any situation.