With more people working from home than ever, it is useful to focus on the very many benefits. Perhaps that involves more time in bed in the morning, walking your kids to school, comfortable loungewear or direct access to all of your home comforts. However, it is so important that we consider how to protect our mental health and overall wellbeing so that we can stay happy, connected and motivated. Here are 5 tips to look after your wellbeing whilst working from home.
Top 5 tips on Wellbeing While Working from Home
Healthy boundaries are really important. This involves throwing plenty of self compassion into the mix so that we can look after our wellbeing and offer more to others. It can be so easy to dive into the ‘to do’ list and forget about routines that are good for us. Perhaps you could use the time you save on commuting to exercise, read or to prepare and batch some tasty and healthy food to get you through the day or week. When your work time stops, disconnect and turn off the laptop. If you have access to emails on your phone, then put it on flight mode. If you don’t have an office at home, then do what you can to separate your work area with a screen or get a drawer to put things away in. Set and stick to a routine so that the lines between work and personal time are separated. Sometimes we have to be flexible with our rest time too. There are weeks that I have speaking events either online or in person during the evening. When this is the case, I try and have a longer lunch break that day so that I feel rested for the night ahead. Or, if this isn’t possible, I will keep my diary clear the following morning so that I am not rushing around.
If you work at home with your partner, sometimes it is useful to have set times to discuss life admin, such as in the evening when you are both relaxed or during a walk over lunch. Otherwise, the lines between the work to do list and the life to do list can get blurred and add on extra stress.
It can be tempting to stay at the desk all day, only moving when absolutely necessary. Our bodies are made to move and when we do so we are more productive. Why not position your laptop so that you can stand while you type for some of the day? If you can, take some calls outside or walk around the house as you talk. Try to take regular screen breaks so you can stretch your legs. Even just a 5 minute break from the screen each hour can make a huge difference to our focus and productivity. I love to play some uplifting music and dance around the room for a few minutes, shaking off any stress that comes. It really helps and it’s fun which makes it easier to stick to. Schedule in time for a form of movement you enjoy. Make a note of how you feel after it, this helps to motivate us to stay consistent with our healthy habits. Exercise also helps to keep the back strong which means you are less likely to get problems with pain.
Schedule in time outdoors when you can. Regular time in nature is important for both our mental and physical health. Set a time to go for a walk, run or bike ride for some fresh air, or enjoy a coffee outside. Green space really helps give us clarity and helps to put our problems into perspective. Even on a super busy day, why not open a window and stick your head outside, breathing in some fresh air. Treat yourself to a nice plant or some fresh flowers to brighten up your working space. A great way to become grounded is to walk outside in your bare feet. If you have a garden area or local park then take time to recharge with a quick mindful walk. Look up from your screen and into the natural light.
Cold Water Therapy
You may not have time to get out to your local beach, however a cold shower is not only great for our immune system, it also helps to rejuvenate us which helps with our creativity. If you stay consistent with this it becomes easier but a small warning, it is very addictive as it feels so good. A natural high from cold water is better for us than extra caffeine. Thousands of people have embraced cold water therapy throughout the pandemic and never looked back. I am thankful to be one of them.
Prioritise simple joys and be kind to yourself
Treat yourself to a comfortable chair to look after your back. Book in a regular massage to help you unwind. This will also help to stimulate the circulation of blood which will keep your muscles supple and mobile. Take a walk to a local cafe or get yourself some comfortable new loungewear. Wear a nice fragrance for yourself, even if you have no meetings planned. Practising self compassion is so important as we navigate our way through all of the changes that the past couple of years have presented us with. Keep a journal to write out your thoughts, do a brain dump every morning if this helps you with any creative blocks. Become aware of any negative thoughts that are not serving you. Put some positive mantras around you, write them down if it helps you or buy a mug with a nice message on it. Go easy on yourself. You got this.
Jojo Fraser is an award-winning mental health researcher, author, podcaster and keynote speaker, dubbed as ‘the Queen of positivity and a kindness advocate. She is a Tedx speaker and a regular contributor on BBC radio. Jojo is known for normalising discussions around our mental and spiritual health, making it accessible and relatable to all. She has quickly grown a reputation for having a huge impact even on the most sceptical of people.