Developing healthy habits is always difficult, no matter if it’s reading, exercise, or working from home. Taking work home is more common than ever, and many professions revolve around it. Being content creators ourselves, we know the feeling first hand. Building a healthy habit and sticking to it is tough, especially in the comfort of your home. Working seems different than when you’re at the office, and that’s because you have more freedom this way. Freedom is a positive thing, but sometimes it can cause laziness, tardiness, and an unhealthy lifestyle if everything you do is sit around at home in front of a computer screen. Stick around and learn how to change that.
1. Pretend That You’re Going to Work
Pretending that you’re going to the office, school, or any other workplace is crucial for developing healthy habits, especially when you start working from home. If you already have a morning ritual for getting started, by all means, keep using it. These rituals vary for every person. For example, some people wake up early just so they can drink their morning coffee in peace, and then they’re ready for work. Others apply make-up, get nicely dressed, shower, brush their teeth, etc. We won’t go into detail about your habits. All of the mentioned things are subjective, so you just keep doing what you did before you started working from home.
The main takeaway from this section should be that you’re not doing yourself any favors if you wake up five minutes before you need to start working. Also, you shouldn’t work in your pajamas, even if you’re tempted to do so. It might feel cozy and fun at first, but it’s not a healthy habit, and it will just make you lazier. Maintain your hygiene at all times, dress for business, and even do your hair if you like doing that. Doing all these things doesn’t seem mandatory, but it is beneficial to tricking your brain into thinking “I’m going to work now”. On the plus side, if your job includes video meetings of any sort, the tips we gave you are even more important.
This is just the first step to a healthy working from home attitude. After this step, you can start building up additional habits throughout your work hours. Can we agree that this step was easy? OK, let’s get to the next one.
2. Plan Ahead
Planning is incredibly important if you want to build a healthy routine. If you have pre-set working hours, that’s great because you can use them as the time frame. For those who have flexible work hours, you need to come up with them on your own. The time frame doesn’t have to be the regular “nine to five”, or eight-hour workday. It depends entirely on the type of work you do, and the flexibility of the job.
If you have the freedom to completely plan your workday, we advise having a lunch break in the middle of your work. For example, those who start working at 9 AM can take a lunch break at 1 PM, and then get back to work at 2 PM. You’ll notice that it’s an hour-long break, not a thirty-minute one. If you only have one big break to spare in your work-day, make it an hour or longer, so that you can reset properly.
Otherwise, you can take several shorter breaks. That method works better for many people. E.g. you can have five to ten-minute breaks after every hour of work if you prefer.
3. Meal Prep
We already touched upon lunch breaks in the previous section, but meal prepping deserves a section of its own. You should plan your meals if you’re working from home. Don’t get fooled, this type of work takes a lot of energy, even if you’re sitting most of the time. If you don’t plan your meals, you’ll end up eating junk food and unhealthy snacks all the time, which is bad.
Since the main purpose of this article is to develop healthy habits, we must discuss this. You don’t need to learn how to cook if that’s not your area of expertise. However, you can still meal prep effectively, planning out your breakfast, lunch, and snacks. If you’re working night shifts, then you should plan your dinners too.
Try to avoid sugars in your diet if you can, or at least limit them to a certain extent. Sure, they give you a temporary boost, but the boost fades very soon, and it makes you slump even harder than before. Guess what type of food you need? Right, the answer is vegetables and fruits, alongside whole grains and meat (unless you’re vegetarian). If you don’t eat meat, try to eat other protein-rich foods.
Snacking has to be the biggest trap of working from home, as it is necessary. However, you should stick to nuts, yogurt, fruits, and other healthy snacks, instead of any sort of junk food for snacking.
4. Create a Perfect Working Environment
Now, this is a difficult thing to achieve. It’ll take some time, but when you’re done, working from home will come much easier. You don’t need a dedicated office space to be productive. It’s easy to turn your study, secondary bedroom, or any other spare room into a home office. For starters, all you need will be a solid desk, chair, and a computer. Most likely you’ll be doing some that require a PC, tablet, or smartphone. It’s crucial to get these essentials first, and then you can move on to other items. Maybe you’ll need a printer, a secondary monitor, shelves, office materials, etc.
All of that depends on the type of work you do, but you can get these items along the way. You’ll notice that your home office demands will become more niche and specific as time progresses. We’ve mentioned the dangers of sitting all the time, remember? Did you know there are stand up desks, and even standing desk mats? That’s right, you could be standing if you prefer it to sit while you work at home, or simply combine the two. To get more information, look no further than the Mat Shop website.
5. Exercise Every Day
That’s right, another key healthy habit for working from home is regular exercise. It could be anything, from walking, jogging, or stretching, to weight lifting, bodyweight exercises, yoga, etc. Every type of exercise is healthy if you apply enough intensity and do it consistently. A sedentary lifestyle is very dangerous and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Humans simply aren’t made for sitting and lying all day long.
You need to move around every once in a while, even if it’s for a few minutes. You don’t have to exercise during work. Instead, do it before or after you start your workday, depending on your personal preference. Besides staying in shape, working out will also help you get rid of the built-up tension and stress from work.
Every job is stressful, and working out is a free stress relief pill. Use it to your best advantage. Relaxation is also an important habit you want to build when working at home. It can have many forms, from yoga, meditation, tai chi, reading, listening to music, getting massages, etc. These relaxation methods are also recommended daily.
Finally, remember to go outside once or twice a day at the very least. You can go for a walk, jog, or even go and work outside, at a local café. A little change of scenery goes a long way.
We’ve reached the conclusion of the article, and hopefully, you’ll take our advice and develop these healthy work from home habits. Always remember to stay hydrated throughout the day, eat healthy, exercise, take breaks, plan your day, and you’ll do just fine. Lastly, remember to distance yourself from the job when you clock out. If you can, try not to think about it too much in your free time, when you should relax and rest. Working from home can take some mental and physical tolls if you aren’t careful enough.