By Kali Gilday, FEAST Dietetic Intern - Be Well Solutions
“Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. The other four balls—family, health, friends, and integrity—are made of glass. If you drop one of these, it will be irrevocably scuffed, nicked, perhaps even shattered.” -Gary Keller, real estate entrepreneur
We are currently living in a time where your job may have moved virtually. Remote work requires a little more structure and accountability, especially if this a new working environment for you. Building healthy habits into your day can help you stay focused while taking care of your physical and mental health.
Distractions are easy to come by when you are in your comfort zone. This is totally understandable when all your snacks, social media sites, and belongings are at your fingertips. We often tell ourselves in these situations, “I can check/eat/do this real quick!” which can take our focus away from what we are actually supposed to be doing. Then later we wonder, “How is it already 3 o’clock and I’ve barely gotten anything done?!” Maybe because I all of a sudden felt a need to clean my entire house.
This can easily lead us in the direction of feelings of guilt and stress. When we are stressed, we tend to want comfort food to feel better - which is high in salt, sugar, and fat. These are all fine in moderation, but it’s tempting to mindlessly eat while we work on a project, type out an email, or answer the phone. When food is in sight and easily accessible, you can be more likely to eat it - even if you aren't even hungry!
When you are stuck at home without your coworkers all day, you may start to realize how many coffee breaks, random chats, and encouraging words you actually have with them. Sure, staying in your PJ’s all day does sound like quite the dream. This flexibility and independence may be freeing for some of you. For others, it may trigger feelings of isolation and disconnection. Regardless, without people, how can we manage to be productive and stay connected when this is unfamiliar and unusual for so many of us?
How you respond to a home-work environment is largely dependent on your unique situation: your personality, living situation, work culture, habits, health, and job duties. Even so, we can all use some ideas on how to stay healthy during this weird time. As always: Take what you like, and leave the rest.
10 Tips for Staying Healthy While Working from Home:
- Start the Day Right! Begin the day with a short meditation to clear your mind and set your intentions for the day. Eat a nutritious breakfast. Wake up early enough to complete necessary non-work tasks.
- Get up! Set a timer to move around for 5 minutes every hour or 10 minutes every 2 hours.
- Walk! Take a mid-day walk break for as long as time allows. Bonus Tip: Make it a challenge with your coworkers to see who gets the most steps!
- Stretch! Even simply flexing your ankles or wrists while sitting gets your muscles active.
- Self Control! Block distracting websites and social media for a specified amount of time on your Mac. Find it here: http://selfcontrolapp.com
- Check-In! It only takes a few seconds to send a “How are you doing?” text to stay connected to your loved ones.
- Focus! Create a space that will allow for your focus during this time. That may require a bit of cleaning or removing distractions.
- Schedule! Make a work schedule the day or night before for yourself to stay on track. Include breaks - you can call a friend or family member, eat a snack, grab some water or tea, step outside...the possibilities are endless!
- Mindful Eating! Fight the urge to eat out of boredom and stress. Keep designated spaces and times for meals and snacks. Eat slowly, chew thoroughly, bringing all your senses to the meal without technology at the table.
- Drink! Keep fluids near you at all times to stay energized and hydrated.
Stay happy and healthy! We will get through this together.