- Working from home is not as easy as it sounds.
- You may not have a rigid work schedule, but too much sitting and spending too much time indoors can have adverse effects on your physical and mental well-being.
- According to entrepreneurs who work from home, it’s important to stay hydrated, work out, find some social interaction, and most importantly, go outside.
- Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.
When working from home, it’s imperative to create boundaries and self-care rituals to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
When your living space is also your working space, it’s particularly easy to fall into the bad habit of never turning off – and that’s not good for your mental or physical well-being.
Whether it’s working out, meditating, taking a warm bath, or indulging in a skincare routine, it’s important to nourish mindfully.
We reached out to entrepreneurs from a variety of fields and asked them for their best self-care tips for people who work from home.
Here’s their best advice.
Set boundaries between your home and your work
When working remotely, it’s tempting to allow the work to continue well into the evening, as there isn’t a true separation from home and office.
That’s why it’s important to establish a start and finish time each day and to schedule breaks.
“When you work from home, it can be hard to determine where the work day begins and ends,”Claire Grieve, a yoga teacher and health coach, told Business Insider. “Taking 30 minutes in the morning to think ahead about your day before turning on your phone and email can help you feel more in control.”
Stock your fridge with nourishing snacks
“It can be all too tempting to stress-binge on unhealthy foods when you’re having a tough day at work and the kitchen is just a few seconds away,” Grieve said.
This is especially true when you’re the only one working from home and there’s no one around to keep you feeling accountable. While it’s certainly not easy to curb a bad snacking habit, you can limit the impact by only stocking healthy, nourishing foods in your fridge and pantry.
Work out — even if it’s just walking
“I don’t care if it’s a walk, but you need to work out every day and, if you can, do it in the morning to get it out of the way,” Lindsay Anvik, a business coach and speaker, told Business Insider. “Start your day with your blood flowing, because when you kick off your day with your tank full, you have more to give to your work.”
Working out is also a great way to avoid isolation as it involves interacting with people.
Take a lunch break
“Take a real lunch break – not the kind where you shove food in your face while reading emails on your laptop and scrolling through Instagram,” Anvik said. “Take a real lunch break and take it away from your computer. It will be there when you get back. How are you going to take over the world if you don’t have any fuel?”
Create a meaningful morning routine
“A meaningful morning routine can involve journaling, yoga, meditating, or whatever else you find relaxing,” Nadia Musavvir, a naturopathic doctor, told Business Insider. “Just let it be your time before you start answering calls, texts, emails, and checking social media.”
“By doing so, you set a positive and relaxed tone for the day instead of rushing into it stressed and anxious. Some of my favourite things to do before getting into work mode: deep breathing, stretching, making tea and breakfast.”
Have a designated workspace
A European Union study found that people working from home have a tendency to have longer work hours and create an overlap between work and personal life compared to those who always work in office. To combat this, Musavvir suggested creating a designated space that’s for work only.
“No beds or couches, as comfy as that may seem,” she said. “You don’t want your areas of relaxation to be associated with work. Keep your phone and laptop out of the bedroom when sleeping if possible so that you’re not constantly connected to work.”
Get up and move around when possible
Working out once a day isn’t enough. According to the experts, you need to be moving throughout the day.
“When sitting, less energy is consumed leading to weight gain and chronic health concerns,” Musavvir said. “Prolonged sitting has been linked to higher incidences of metabolic diseases. Take a break every 30 minutes to move. Studies recommend for every hour of sitting, at least five minutes of activity should be done. I recommend keeping a jump rope or resistance bands handy for a quick and easy whole-body workout.”
Get dressed every morning like you’re going to an office
“I was outfitted in workout gear or pajamas for years when I first started my company,” Anvik said. “I thought it was the best thing ever until I realised it hurt my productivity, inhibited socialising, and limited how much I left the house.”
“Get dressed like you’re going to see a client every day. Keep slippers around or a hoodie for when you’re chilling.”
Have a solid skincare regimen
“When you work from home, the lines between work and home life can completely blur,” Casey Georgeson, founder and CEO of Saint Jane, a CBD beauty line, told Business Insider. “I use my daily skincare ritual as a way to delineate and create boundaries. In the morning, I use it to regroup and reflect on the day ahead, and at night, my skincare ritual helps me shut off from work and find a precious moment of peace.”
Set a sleep schedule
Physician Richard Firshein recommends setting a schedule to ensure you get at least eight hours of sleep. And if that’s not feasible, he said you should try to “steal a nap as often as you can throughout the day.”
“For people who work from home, sleep cycles often get thrown off, as they tend to not pay attention to time,” Firshein told Business Insider. “Not getting the adequate amount of sleep can affect your mood, weight, focus, and productivity.”
“Meditation is probably one of the most important self-care practices everyone should incorporate into their schedule,” Firshein said. “It not only allows you to rest your mind, but also to recalibrate and prioritise your days.”
He continued: “I recommend meditation to my patients not only for these reasons, but as a proponent of the importance of connection between the mind and body. I have seen the positive effects meditation can have on an individual’s overall health and well-being.”
Get enough water and fresh air
“There have been studies that show people who work from home tend to overwork, and I definitely find that to be true,” Ellie Dinh, cofounder of the activewear brand Girlfriend Collective, told Business Insider.
“Without people around, it can be easy to get sucked into the computer, so I make it a point to schedule mini-breaks throughout the day where I go outside and get fresh air and refill on water,” she said.
Refuelling on water is also key to helping prevent mindless eating, as people often confuse thirst for hunger, Firshein said.
“For some people, it may mean setting an alarm to remind them to drink water every one or two hours, while for others it may mean keeping water readily available at their desk. Staying hydrated not only has helped my patients in terms of energy and focus, but also to maintain a productive lifestyle.”
Take a relaxing hot bath
“Once or twice a week, spend 15 minutes soaking in a hot bath,” Lamees Hamdan, a physician and founder of the skincare brand Shiffa, told Business Insider. “Add either Epsom salts with a few drops of chamomile or lavender essential oils to soothe your nerves. Or use Dr. Singha’s Mustard Bath powder – it’s great if you have muscle tightness or just general aches and pains throughout your body.”
“I work most of the time from home and find that I become sore from sitting too long behind my desk.”
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