Working from home is a dream come true in many ways. And in theory, it’s easier to take care of your health when you work remotely. Not only will you never be tempted by unhealthy office snacks or birthday cakes, but having access to your own kitchen means you can cook nutritious meals instead of dining out.
But more often than not, reality looks a little different. In combination with sitting at your desk, looking at your computer for hours on end and having access to the treats you might have in the kitchen can be challenging for your health goals.
Creating a healthy work-life balance is a project that has many benefits, especially when working from home. Here are a few tips for overcoming the common obstacles we face when our work and home are in the same space.
Set up a separate office space
Working from your couch (or even your bed) might seem appealing, but bringing your work materials into your personal space can really interfere with your ability to relax when you’re done working for the day. Having a space dedicated solely to work will help you focus and create that coveted work-life balance.
Your work space doesn’t have to take up an entire room. A desk and a chair in an alcove or a quiet corner will help you separate the professional from the personal.
Create a schedule and stick to it
Part of the fun of working remote jobs is the ability to create your own schedule. And while you won’t have the exact same routine every single day, especially if you’re in school or have other commitments, creating a schedule that caters to your life will help you stay on track, both professionally and personally. Try to wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day, schedule time for exercise, and block off time to work when you know you’ll be productive.
Make exercise a part of that schedule
Exercise is an essential part of staying healthy. And when you create your own schedule, you have the advantage of flexibility. Schedule your workouts at a time that’s most convenient to you, and stick to them. If you treat your workouts like business meetings or other work commitments, you’ll take them more seriously.
Consider ditching your office chair
You’ve probably heard of people investing in standing desks or using exercise balls as an office chair. These options may be better for your posture or back, depending on your needs. This concept doesn’t work for everyone, but it does utilize more muscles, so it’s worth giving it a try.
Get up and move
It’s easy to get lost in your work and spend hours at a time sitting, which is not healthy. Set a timer or use an app to remind yourself to get up and stretch or go for a short walk every hour.
Prep your meals and snacks
You might think meal prep is unnecessary when you work from home. But when you’re in the middle of your work day, having nutritious ready-to-eat food will keep you from making impulsive decisions and reaching for something unhealthy.
Stock your kitchen with fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy snacks like yogurt and nuts. To minimize temptations, plan your meals ahead of time and make your lunches the evening before. That way, when lunchtime arrives and you’re starving, you’ll have something tasty and good for you to grab.
Drink plenty of water
Dehydration leads to fatigue, headaches, and a lack of focus. This is not only detrimental to your health, but to your productivity. Staying hydrated is good for your brain, your body, and your metabolism.
There are plenty of easy ways to drink more water. Have a glass when you first wake up and keep a water bottle by your desk at all times. If you don’t enjoy the tasteless taste of water, you can infuse it with lemons, limes, mint, cucumbers, or strawberries.
Working from home allows us to gain control of our time and make our health a priority. Not everyone has that opportunity, so take advantage of your flexible schedule!
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