Healthy Tips for Working From Home
When you work from home, it can be great for your overall life, but it can also be detrimental to your health. How can I know such a thing? It about killed me.
When I started working from home, I loved it. I figured I’d get in shape and have a better lifestyle. Quite the opposite happened. My health deteriorated and everything around me began to fall apart. Why? Because I wasn’t taking care of myself. Working from home became the worst thing for my health.
Often when you work from home, you become sedentary. That means you are not moving about much which happens to all of us working at desks. That is not true with everyone. Some people can't stand to be inactive and ensure that doesn't happen with them. I realize that not every work at home person is plagued by this, but it is a danger many people will find themselves falling into.
You get comfortable on the couch or wherever you like to work. You don’t have to get up to go to meetings. Everything is a few feet away from you because you can sit there and reach over for a drink or a snack or even the remote for music or TV. That is not good for your health. You need physical activity. You need to get up and do things.
You have to be very deliberate to increase your physical activity when you work from home. That could mean sitting an alarm to remind you to stop working and move about. I’ve done that as I get involved heavily in my online work. Either on my cell phone or on my watch, I set an alarm that tells me I’ve been sitting for a couple of hours. I then go take a walk in the neighborhood. Or I clean house which usually involves going up and down stairs a few times. You can make that your yoga time, your treadmill time, or whatever it is you can do to be active. Remember that you are working from home and typically can control your own schedule. Take advantage of that.
When you are working, you can forget about the time. It is easy to do as you focus on getting the work done. Set a routine with a timer. If you get in the habit of every day at nine o'clock of getting up and taking a short walk, you'll feel so much better. I get up at nine, twelve, two, and four which helps break my day up and gives me the breaks I need though I might not realize it at the time.
Do you eat what is the easiest to obtain?
When you work in the office, you are subject to the donuts and snacks others bring in. Trust me! I know. Today they had blueberry danishes and caramel popcorn. It really hurts because I work with a baking company. Yikes! This happens at home as well. I fought that when I worked full-time from home. Now I have the periodic times that kill my diet as well.
Home is a better environment to a degree for your eating habits. You can control completely what is there to tempt you. Keep the junk food out of reach. It's better if you don't even have it in the house if you can manage that. Keep fruits, veggies, and snacks such as nuts nearby. Have them ready to eat so you don't have to stop to prepare them. The easier they are to get to, the more likely you will eat them.
The key to eating healthy at home while working is to make sure you have it stocked properly. If you don’t have donuts in the house, you won’t eat donuts. Stock healthier foods to eat and that is what you’ll end up eating.
We recently went through out house and took everything that was exceedingly unhealthy out. If it was unopened, we gave it away to a food shelter. If it was opened, we tossed it. Yes, we tossed it! It hurt my sense of frugality, but I knew in the long run that it would be worth it. And it has been.
We got lots of fruit which are usually quick and easy to eat. Then got veggies that we prepped for easy access. We got baby carrots that were ready to eat, and cut up celery so we didn't spend time preparing them. Granola, crackers, yogurt, and other healthy snacks were purchased. For meals, we did the same thing and got easy to make things like sandwich meat, frozen meals that were healthy, and soups. Many of it was homemade that I put into microwavable containers and put them in the fridge or freezer. The first grocery run was rather large, but after that it was actually within our budget.
Remember that you eat more of what’s easily available to you as you work. Easiest things to grab are the first things in the mouth. That means you have to consciously make healthier foods easier to access.
As you set up to work for the day, pull out the snacks and drinks you might want before your next active break. Then when you take your break, use that time to replenish your snack supply so you are only reaching for the healthy stuff.
- Have a bowl of fruit on your desk or on a counter you walk by regularly.
- Prepare portions ahead of time so you don't gorge yourself. Even healthy food should be taken in moderation.
- Have lunch ready to eat and not need to be made from scratch.
- Have variety. No matter how much you love grapes, you'll get sick of them every single day. Mix it up a bit.
- Have some naughty things tucked away, but not too many. It is okay to have some bad food for you. There is nothing wrong with a donut once a week. One a day is something different. Treat yourself once in a while.
Your health goes beyond that of just your physical body. Believe it or not your social health impacts everything about you including your physical and mental health. Working from home means you need to pay special attention to your social health.
No, online interaction is not the solution for social health. You need to get real and interact with people. Make sure you go out at least once if not twice a week to do more than grocery shopping. Join a book club. Do volunteer work. Attend church gatherings. Go where you can talk with people and interact with them even if it is a Tupperware party.