In theory, working from home is the dream.
No stressful commute, no irritating colleagues, no petty office wars over who left the dirty plates in the kitchen.
But when you spend all day within the same four walls, it’s easy to let work take over your life. With no scheduled lunch breaks or a fixed end to the working day, many of us who work from home find that working is all we do.
Take care of your mental health and prevent burnout by exercising a few of these self care tips every day.
One of the main benefits of working from home is that you don’t have to leave the house. But this can also be one of the main disadvantages! When you work, sleep and eat all under the same roof, it’s all too easy to find that days have gone by without ever seeing the light of day.
Research shows that spending regular time outdoors has numerous benefits for our physical and mental health. It can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, improve sleep, and decrease our risk of diseases from type II diabetes to cardiovascular disease.
Take a brisk walk around the block each day or drink your morning coffee in the yard, and get back to work refreshed.
When your desk is a 10 second commute from your bed, it’s difficult to rack up your recommended 10,000 steps. And with no meetings to attend or scheduled lunch breaks, many self employed folks find themselves ensconced at their desks for hours on end.
It’s super important to keep moving throughout the day. Take five minutes every hour to do some gentle stretching or even a mini yoga break. Your body will thank you for it.
Set your office hours
When you work from home, the boundaries between work and non-work can become blurred. It’s important to protect your work time from family and home obligations – and vice versa.
Work at home mums in particular know how difficult this can be to enforce this separation. But if you’re tapping out emails on your cell phone while simultaneously entertaining your kids, you are not best serving your business or your family.
Try to make sure you set clear work hours and family hours, and show up 100% for the task at hand.
Get some face to face contact
As you’ll know if you work from home, it can be easy to get stuck in your own little bubble. Sleep, coffee, work, work, work, sleep… if you’re not careful, days can go by without speaking to another human. And isolation isn’t great for our mental health.
Get out, meet a friend for coffee or join a local small business forum. If that’s not possible, look at online networking options, such as industry Facebook groups.
Break time is when you can really enjoy the privacy of working from home. Indulge yourself in a non-office friendly activity such as taking a dance break, painting your nails or listening to a favourite song.
Regular breaks will help boost your creativity and reset your energy levels, so don’t be tempted to work through!
Make lunchtime a treat
Meal times are often one of the first things to go out the window for busy professionals, whether you work at home or in an office. One advantage of working from home is that you have more flexibility with your schedule, not to mention access to your own kitchen!
Make your lunch break into a daily treat. Sit down properly and whip yourself up something you love. For extra self care points, try to include plenty of nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.