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Health tips when working from home

Apr-16-2020

For many people, working from home for the foreseeable future can be a hard adjustment. Trying to keep ourselves and our loved ones healthy, establishing work-from-home routines, helping our children with home schooling, and managing our mental health and emotional well-being is a lot of change in a short time. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Just remember to take it one task at a time and don’t try to be an expert at everything immediately.

 

Below are some tips to help with your work day.

 

Routine is everything
Since you won’t have typical office routines in your day, such as getting dressed for the office or commuting, it’s important to create a routine that can help you get into a rhythm at home.  Examples: get up at the same time every morning, take a short walk during your break, have lunch at the same time every day, and work out after work.

 

Replace your commute time with personal time, instead of extending your work day
Instead of reading emails early, keep the time you dedicated to commuting to and from work for personal time in your day. Use it to listen to your favorite podcast or the radio, or to read a book. If you start using this time for work, it will throw off your routine and you could start to lose your work/life balance.

 

Change out of your pajamas
While it’s tempting to stay in your pajamas as you start work, it can actually impact your mindset and how you feel. Even if you just change into other comfortable clothes, getting out of your sleepwear can help you feel more energetic.

 

Move to a different room to work every so often, if it’s an option
For example, handle your emails and IMs sitting at your desk or table, and if you have to take a few calls, try moving to your living room or dining room—or even your front porch, if possible. A change of scenery is nice when you are stuck in the house for extended periods of time, plus it helps you add steps to your day.

 

Get moving as often as possible
You’ll realize quickly how fewer steps you get in a day when you work from home. The rooms of your house or apartment are not spread out as far as office hallways, and you won’t be walking to your car or the bus stop for a commute, either.
You can stay active by setting time in your day for a workout or a walk outside (away from others), or by standing at your desk for a few minutes to keep the blood flowing. This helps burn calories and boost your mental health, as well.

 

Schedule an activity to do as soon as your normal work day is over
Transitioning from work mode to personal mode after work can be challenging for some people because there’s no change of scenery, and no commute to help you decompress before getting home. So to add some variety, try something that’s new so it helps you transition back to your personal time. You can try anything—like painting or drawing, learning an instrument or trying new recipes. You can even take virtual tours at museums or zoos in many cities!

 

Schedule video “lunch dates,” video chats or phone calls
We are all struggling with feelings of isolation. Human connection, even if it’s virtual, is critical during this time. This also gives you something fun to look forward to in your day—and another reason to change out of your pajamas.

 

Schedule watch parties
You can stay social with friends and family by scheduling time for a watch party and have a group chat as you watch. Search the internet for ideas using “movie watch party” in the browser search. Netflix and Facebook have features within the apps that even let you sync viewings with others! This is a great way to enjoy time with others while social distancing, and it can greatly improve your emotional well-being by staying connected with loved ones.  

 

Order takeout or delivery from your favorite restaurants
Local restaurants may be struggling during this time, but many are offering no-contact takeout and delivery services! Order in for lunch if you used to go out with your work team. Or if Friday is your “go out to dinner night,” make it a take-out night and order from your favorite places. Just be sure to monitor your choices, as restaurant foods can be higher in sodium, calories and cholesterol levels than home-cooked meals. Consider healthy options like grilled chicken, poached seafood entrees or roasted vegetables over unhealthy options, like prime rib, heavy pasta dishes or anything fried.

 

Source: Aetna International

Want more health information? Visit www.meritain.com

 

This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice.