Working from home can be a great change of pace for many reasons—no more long commute, saving money on eating out for lunch, and more time to spend with pets and family. However, it can also have its drawbacks, like spending a lot more time in your home, losing that clean break between the work and home life, and less social interaction. Even if you love working from home, these drawbacks can still take a toll on your mental health. Compound that with the COVID-19 pandemic, and you’re likely really feeling the strain.
Fortunately, there are a variety of steps you can take to practice self-care and make the burden of working from home easier. Start with these 4 tips to see if they help improve your mindset, stress levels, and overall well-being. You’d be surprised by how much small changes can impact your daily quality of life.
Many individuals neglect breaks when working from home because of the environment. Since you’re not in an official office, it might feel like you’re not as entitled to breaks or that they’re not as essential to getting through the work day. However, it’s essential that you take small breaks from staring at your computer and sitting in the same position. Your eyes need a break from blue light exposure which can make them feel tired, and your back and legs will thank you if you get up and move around.
Plus, stepping away from your work for 10 to 15 minutes can help you refresh your mind so you come back to your task more invigorated and maybe even with a new perspective that helps you solve an issue. Whether you watch some funny videos or go for a walk around the block, you’ll quickly notice the difference it makes when you take some “you” time throughout the work day.
Actively Manage Stress
Sometimes a difficult client, confusing task, or frustrating team dynamic can have you feeling stressed and overwhelmed at work. Or maybe, your line of work is just inherently stressful. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to monitor your stress levels and find ways to actively manage it, so that you can be more productive and enjoy your work more.
Here are a few things you can try that may help you manage your stress throughout the work day:
- Taking CBD drops
- Working out during lunch
- Drinking herbal tea
- Practicing meditation
- Using essential oils for aromatherapy
Eat Healthy Snacks
Even though you’re in the comfort of your own home, you may still find yourself neglecting good eating habits. Eating heavy, unhealthy foods or skipping all your meals can be equally detrimental to keeping you energized and focused throughout the day. It’s important that you prioritize good eating habits while working from home because it will help you stay alert and productive throughout the day. While you should definitely get up early enough to eat breakfast and carve out time for a real lunch, you should also consume healthy snacks at regular intervals to hold you over between meals. Here are some ideas for healthy snacks that are easy to grab during even the busiest days:
- Hard boiled egg
- Apple with almond butter
- String cheese and almonds
- Greek yogurt with blueberries
- Dark chocolate with mixed nuts
- Slice of avocado toast
Get Enough Sleep
In addition to the different things you can do during the day, there are also wellness habits you need to prioritize like getting good sleep each night. Without your commute to work, you can probably sleep in a bit later than you used to. While this is a nice perk, it can also lead to you going to bed later. If your sleep schedule has been off since working from home, you should make it a priority to get it in order, as getting sufficient sleep can have a major impact on your overall health, energy levels, and cognitive function.
First things first, you need to set an established sleep schedule. Waking up and going to bed at the same time each night can help get your body in a rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep each night. If you find yourself having a hard time winding down at night, create a pre-bedtime routine that helps calm your mind and body. That way, once your head hits the pillow, you’re ready for sleep.
Don’t overwhelm yourself by making all these changes at once. Start with one or two of these self-care tips to see how they help, then build on that. The key to self-care is establishing habits that work for you.