Those of you who have the opportunity to work from home understand that while there are clear benefits to making your home your office, there are also challenges we face every day. While working from home, staying healthy can be a real struggle! Someone who doesn’t work from home might think we have it better than the average cubicle desk job…and well, in some ways, we do!
We still sit down at a desk, couch, or even bed most of the day in front of our computer. We could work in our pajamas unshowered all day if we wanted to, and even though the vending machine isn’t calling our name, the pantry and refrigerator are wide open, tempting us with endless possibilities of snacking.
The struggle is real.
We must take responsibility for staying healthy from our own home throughout the day, and it can be more difficult than you’d expect! Even small changes that we can incorporate into our daily routine can have a positive impact on our health over time.
Here are some easy ways to incorporate healthy habits into your daily work from home routine:
- Set a schedule. Working from home can lead to unplanned extra hours because technically you never ‘leave’ work. Try setting a schedule similar to what you would do in an office setting: Start time, lunch break, and finish time. Add it to your calendar as a reminder if necessary. It’s really important to maintain a healthy work-life balance and without a schedule you could find yourself working 24/7.
- Get up and dressed in the morning. It’s amazing to be able to work in your pajamas all day, but let’s face it: You may not be as productive throughout the day. Shower before you start working (if you can) and put on something other than pajamas. Even work out clothes would do. This will help to get you up and moving!
- Take hourly breaks. This doesn’t mean a fifteen minute smoke break, but rather a quick one to five minute stretch. Get up, walk around, stretch, or even do a yoga pose for a few minutes. The downward dog pose is a great way to stretch the back of the body and is very energizing.
- Drink H2O. Not only does it keep you from drinking soda, tea or coffee all day, but is it recommended that you consume eight servings of water a day. I personally think you should aim to drink half of your body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 150 lbs, you should be drinking a minimum of 75 oz a day. Water not only keeps you more energized, but it’s great for your skin too.
- Stock the fridge with healthy snacks. If you are the type of person who can avoid snacking throughout the day, we commend you, but for most of us it isn’t that easy! Here’s the good news: If you don’t buy cookies, you don’t have the option to eat them. There’s no vending machine in your kitchen that gets stocked a few times a week with sugary carbs! So if you choose to stock up on apples, grapes, bananas, veggie snacks (carrots, celery, broccoli), Greek yogurt, almonds, etc. then you really ONLY have the option to snack on healthy foods. Pair any of these with a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter and the protein will keep you full longer.
- Plan your meals. Another great benefit to working from home is that you are less likely to get dragged into the regular office lunch outings. Eating out at restaurants daily was my downfall when working in an office. When working from home the great thing is that you can cook from your own kitchen. Plan out healthy meals for the week. Eggs, whole grain waffles, salads, grilled chicken with a baked potato…meals that will keep you full and energized should be focused on protein and vegetables.
While we get the benefit of lounging in our own private space, having a chat window as the office water cooler, and chilling in our cool footie pajamas if we’re having a bad day, we also owe it to ourselves to not get stuck in a rut. If telecommuting is the future, self-motivation and self-care are the way to ensure that we have long, healthy, happy lives. It is up to each of us to take responsibility for our own health and wellness.