Injecting Self-Care into Your Remote Work Day

As the world continues to adjust to the new normal and weather the massive shift to remote working due to the ongoing crisis, new challenges are bound to arise. It can’t be helped that most of the newly remote workers stumble upon unique mental and physical challenges that are entirely foreign to them. This undeniable fact is the reason why it is important for professionals these days to slow down and take the time to recognize how this significant change is affecting them.

For instance, as highlighted in one of our previous posts ‘Embracing Mental Health Wellness’, reducing stress starts at home, so when you are suddenly expected to bring in work into your abode, it can be extra hard for you to relieve stress and fully relax. To ensure a healthy transition to remote working, here are some of the ways you can inject self-care into this new work condition:

Squeeze in short workouts.
Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you already have all the time in the world to work out. Some people actually find it more challenging to make time to break a sweat when their days have less structure at home. As a workaround, Thrive Global’s ‘How to Stay Active When Working From Home’ guide suggests trying 7-minute workout apps to get moving and loosen up a bit. That way, you can still get your exercise without taking up a massive chunk of time.

You can also invest in an at-home spin bike and go to digital spin classes, do quick jump rope workouts, or even have a solo dance party to your favorite songs. And if you really can’t find the time, you can always just set alarms to stand up and stretch, walk around during meetings, and take your calls standing up.

Practice mindful eating.
When you’re working from home, your day can quickly get away from you. The line is blurred between work and personal time, so you tend to work around the clock, even when it’s time for eating. But doing so makes it pretty much impossible to focus on what you’re consuming when you’re in front of your screen and sitting on your work desk, and in fact, it’s not good for you.

When working from home, try practicing mindful eating, which Healthline explains is a technique that helps you gain control over your eating habits, resulting in weight loss, reduced binge eating, and improvement in mood. It’s the perfect time to practice this during your break, as Pain Free Working’s article on ‘Why You Should Stop Eating Lunch at Your Desk’ explains how you should use your lunch break to step away from your work station. Not only will you be able to focus on your food better, but you’ll also be giving your body the chance to move around. Sitting for a prolonged period only increases the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. You’ll also be susceptible to soreness, aching, and possible development of musculoskeletal disorders if you don’t make an effort to move away from your desk from time to time. When it’s time for your meal breaks, it’s best to eat in another room or area in your home where you’re not distracted by work-related matters. Of course, it goes without saying that you should eat healthy, too.

Keep up social connections for mental health.
According to a recent study cited by Small Business Trends, over 20% of remote workers agreed that loneliness is the biggest struggle with working from home, and it’s easy to see why. With no coworkers to talk to during breaks and share stressful moments with, it is understandable how some remote workers could feel isolated and alone.

Dr. Dana G. Smith highlights how it’s incredibly important to continue socializing to “maintain some semblance of healthy habits, balance, and normalcy.” Speaking with your friends, family, or even colleagues can help you maintain this balance. Take advantage of chat and video conferencing apps to connect with your social circle. If you have a friend you always get coffee with, you can continue the tradition over the phone, or use this time as an opportunity to kickstart a new tradition altogether. Socializing when working from home can definitely help in fighting loneliness and avoiding isolation.

Article written for the exclusive use of mhconn.org
By Rebecca June