Self-Care Tips for At-Home Workers
Working from home can be a challenge for many professionals, but following the below tips may help you to feel better and work better.
Set Work-Life Boundaries
For many at-home workers, it can be hard to set up strong work-life boundaries because they work and live in the same space. For starters, it’s important to dedicate a room or space in your home as your office so you can create the sense that these two areas of your life are separate. It also helps to dress for work even when you work from home, because it helps you to transition from your home life to your work life.
Now, once you make that transition, act like you’re at work. Don’t take 10 minutes out of your day to take out the trash or do home chores — things you wouldn’t be able to do if you didn’t work from home. The same goes for when your work day is over. Don’t answer work-related emails late at night or early in the morning, and make sure to really “clock out” at the end of the day — don’t resume work-related activities once you’re “at home.”
Additionally, significant others and friends might not understand that, just because you’re at home, doesn’t mean that you can go out for a leisurely lunch, chat about life for an hour, or be at their beck and call. Make it clear that, when your office door is closed, you’re at work, and they should act like you’re not even home. Same goes for answering your phone or responding to a text message. Unless it’s an emergency, tell them you’ll get back to them when your work day is over.
Stretching and Yoga
The number of at-home jobs are growing, with roughly 5 percent of US workers, or 8 million people, now working from home. No matter what the job — such as graphic design, writing, telemarketing, gaming, and even poker playing — nearly all of them require long hours at the computer, which can seriously strain the body. Even just five minutes of stretching exercises can help improve circulation, flexibility, and strength, and reduce tension and neck pain. (Bonus: Even workers in the office can benefit from these exercises.)
But yoga has numerous benefits for professionals of all types, and can be a great addition to their daily routine. Even athletes use yoga to stay on top because they help with strength training and flexibility. For example, NFL teams, such as the favorite team to win the season, the New England Patriots, do yoga after each match to stretch the muscles and combat soreness and tension.
There’s no doubt about it: Whether you move a lot or very little for a living, stretching and yoga are important exercises to perform for a strong and healthy body.
Advanced Meal Preparation
Meal prep is useful for both at-home and out-of-home workers, and it’s something you should start getting in the habit of doing. Advanced meal prep can help you to eat more nutritious foods, which in turn will give you more energy and help you to feel full longer. Because when you’re hungry and tired after a long work day, you might be tempted to eat just about anything (or order takeout for the millionth time). But if you already have the basics of a meal prepared — such as a grain, meat, and vegetable — then you’ll be more tempted to eat that instead.
When preparing meals in advance, it usually helps to buy and cook come basic ingredients that you can prepare a few different ways so you don’t get bored with eating the same thing all week. For example, you could bake some lightly-seasoned chicken breasts, which you could then eat a variety of ways. You could shred some of the chicken for chicken salad sandwiches or a salad for lunch, cut up the chicken to add to curry for dinner, or season with Italian spices and serve with spaghetti. Pair with veggies, grains, or whatever else you already have on hand and you’ve got a quick-and-easy meal. Just don’t forget to invest in some quality storage containers!