Do these hybrid remote work times make you wonder how you’ll ever breathe freely again?
It’s a question that seems increasingly pertinent at the onset of the pandemic, which compelled many of us to work from home on a semi-permanent basis.
Many of us now realize that it’s likely a permanent move. The lines between the “work-life” and the “home life” have blurred. This can create considerable challenges for our work-life balance.
The one unifying thought is wondering how you’re going to get through this. Here are some self care tips for working from home to help you improve and maintain the new normal work-life balance.
The Best Self Care Tips for Working from Home
1. Set boundaries
We all go through tough times and if you feel stuck amid one or are struggling to recover from one, this doesn’t portray you as weak. It means you’re human.
When you’re not in the office, it’s easy to slip into habits such as working odd hours. It’s important to create new routines and schedules, like what hours you’ll work, where you work, when you can take a break, etc.
You can use a compressed workweek plan to build a balance.
2. Communicate your priorities with your family
It’s important to have discussions about how to get the support you need from your family, particularly if you’ll be working from home.
You should have a frank conversation about household responsibilities and how you cannot oversee all of them simply because you’re working from home.
You should make them understand that your work isn’t any less important just because you can do it from home. Everyone who shares space with you needs to respect that.
3. Create a work/leisure plan
The sudden outbreak of COVID-19 has significantly hampered many people’s usual routines, both at work and in personal affairs.
Think of self-care as energy management and you should guard this precious energy bank. So, learn to schedule your tasks and divide time appropriately. This way, you will have ample time to plan your work schedule and allocate moments of leisure and personal development.
4. Figure out your ideal sleep schedule
Figure out your biological clock to get better quality sleep.
You can maintain a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed at the same time every night, then waking up the next day as planned.
You should allocate yourself a perfect 7 to 8 hours for a healthy, no-interruption sleep each night. Sleep plays a fundamental role in overall mental, emotional, and physical health. So, figure out your ideal sleep schedule and stick to it.
5. Skip activities that waste time and energy
The human mind wanders when it is let off. Hence, the trick is not to let it wander off.
You should judiciously avoid useless activities that demand large time and energy. Especially those that do not positively contribute to either your work life or leisure time that help revitalize your body and mind.
Be productive while working from home. Think as if you’re not working from home, but from the office. Effective time management can help you become more efficient.
6. Make a to-do list
When you’re working from home, the number of distractions pile up. Your productivity dwindles and your efficiency goes astray because of the comfort remote working entails.
Remember, as a remote worker, you are your motivator, and you should rely on your instincts to get through the day.
A great way to start your day is to make a to-do list of everything that needs to be done. Creating a list would efficiently keep track of your progress and help you stay on track. It would help if you always kept a planning sheet handy.
7. Keep your home organized
A tidy environment can help you get more involved.
It’s good to keep the space around you clean and organized, so it’s easier to find what’s necessary to get work done.
Assign yourself a work area, even if that means just a corner of the kitchen table. Clutter will only distract you and make you focus less on your work. So, take some time in the morning to clean up the space, organize your work stuff, and wipe down your work area.
8. Skip the junk food
When you’re working alone at home, fast food, or even worse, junk food, is the most convenient hunger-buster. Sadly, it can quickly become a very unhealthy habit and cause physical and mental complications.
Your temptation toward pizza, burgers, potato chips or other fast-food staples is normal, but it’s equally important to maintain health-related disciplines.
Remove all junk food and high-calorie foods from your kitchen and pantry. Have only healthy snacks visible and readily available so you can get to them easily when you need to snack.
9. Have an ergonomically optimized workspace
Ergonomics is very important while working from home.
Sitting for long periods can significantly affect your posture and form. This can cause neck pain or shoulder pain.
An ergonomic office chair prevents this from happening. A comfortable workplace is conducive to better productivity and wellbeing. Having an ergonomically optimized workspace ensures maximum comfort and safety, and helps you work efficiently.
10. Maintain a proactive attitude
Being your own advocate seems easy, but it gets difficult when you’re busy solving problems at work and feeling stressed while trying to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
When working from home, away from your boss, peers, support team, and other colleagues, it’s hard for them to know when you need help. You must learn how to speak up for yourself and be persistent when troubleshooting problems instead of just sitting around and waiting.
11. Put your yoga pants on
Exercising is a great form of self-care and one of the best ways to stay fit when you’re working from home.
It’s tough to tackle the conundrum of wanting to flop on the couch for some Netflix after your work is finished, but also wanting to stay physically fit.
Spare some time out of your busy schedule and add some form of physical activity to your routine. Engaging in regular exercise can strengthen the heart, improve your brain health, tone muscles, and enhance flexibility.
You can also do yoga to work on your physical activity. Yoga is just as good for your health as many other forms of exercise. And since it can be done both outdoors and indoors, you can continue practicing it during the colder months to combat the creeping depression that stems from the winter blues.
12. Outsource and delegate work
Having extra time in your hands now that you are no longer commuting to work doesn’t mean you should dedicate all your saved-up time to your work.
You can still delegate or outsource time-consuming work to other individuals. This serves two purposes: first, the work gets done, and the second is you get to focus on other kinds of stuff that may require more of your skills and knowledge.
This way, you’d never have to stretch beyond your office hours. You can utilize this extra time for personal matters, like playing with your kid.
13. Avoid Multitasking
If you’re like many over-scheduled people, you think of multitasking as an essential survival tool in a remote work culture that expects immediate results.
Often, if you don’t set your priorities straight, you’ll end up doing more work at the last minute. The idea is to take one step at a time because multitasking often undermines efficiency and quality of life. It may result in half-baked projects, which may cause unnecessary time delays.
Sometimes, put the brakes on multitasking, so it doesn’t become your regular course of action.
14. Empower yourself
When you tell yourself that you need more hours in a day, you become a victim of the situation.
When you’re working from home, it’s easy to lose track of time, saying you’ll answer a couple of emails more, and then you’re done for the day. But that often leads to burnout.
Remember, you’re not at the mercy of the work world. No matter how stressful work becomes, you always have the freedom to choose how you respond to difficult situations. And work pressure can’t take away that liberty unless you allow them to.
15. Allow wiggle room
Self-care is not just about indulgence. It is about prioritizing stuff every day, particularly when you’re working remotely.
Chances are you don’t leave wiggle room between your work hours, scheduling back-to-back calls so tightly that you do not even have time for bathroom breaks.
You can reduce this stress by building comfortable margins, like listening to your favorite music and focusing on soothing your frayed nerves instead of stressing over the events of the day.
Self-care is not a selfish move. Maybe this is time you look at working from home not as a hassle, but as an opportunity for taking better care of yourself.
Self-care is just as vital in the office as it is when working remotely. It’s easy to get caught up in some bad habits when spending all day indoors. But to work from home efficiently and productively, there are a few things you should do.
These are some practical ways to keep your body and mind healthy when working from home. Things are tough and strange right now, but you’ll get through them.