Amid the uncertainty and changes, it’s essential to take care of your physical health and mental wellbeing. Self-care helps you recharge and remain motivated for the next day, even when you’re spending your entire workday at home where everything requires your attention. According to Sandra Larson, RN, self-care has never been more critical. “Self-care is no longer a luxury, but a vital part of adjusting to the new normal.”
According to Statists, only 17% of US employees worked five days or more from home before coronavirus. However, this share increased to 44% during the pandemic, showing just how significant the shift was. With closed schools, new work schedules, and zero social events, pandemic stress is bound to devastate your productivity.
In this article, I’ll look into 5 self-care tips for when you’re working from home. So, read on.
Eat Healthy Foods
One of the benefits of working from home is having quick access to snacks. And while it might sound like a good thing, it isn’t necessarily great for your body. “Junking contributes to tiredness, stress, and impeding our capacity to work,” says Sandra. She recommends either making your lunch in advance or at least having an idea of what you’ll be putting together. Make eating healthy lunches a self-care tip, and you’ll be surprised by how much energy and nourishment you get.
Like with the food, staying hydrated as you go about your daily business improves your mood and calms your nerves. Taking a glass or two of water balances dopamine and serotonin neurotransmitters in your brain to reduce depression and anxiety. Dehydration can also be a source of headaches, migraines, lack of energy, and difficulty concentrating. So, stay hydrated and boost your brainpower.
Set Some Time to Work Out
Exercising regularly, especially now that you’re working from home, provides numerous benefits, including refreshing your body and mind. It improves the immune function, mood, and energy levels so that you can approach work with a more positive outlook. But there’s more. Having a consistent workout program promotes better sleep, further helping to recharge your energy for the day.
“Personally, it gives me a new breath of life, especially when I feel overwhelmed and sluggish,” says Sandra. “Pick a specific place and time to work out from home and be committed to it. And like everything else, start with light workout exercises and slowly increase the intensity as your body becomes accustomed to it,” she adds.
Maintain a Consistent Sleep Schedule
Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule ensures that your energy levels and motivation are always at their peak. So, don’t get tempted to binge-watch until late or sleep through midmorning just because you can. The inconsistency affects your sleep quality, and more often or not, you’ll find yourself dizzy and tired during the day. “So, turn off the TV and go to bed at a decent time. If you don’t have work in the morning, don’t fall for the extended nap temptation. Instead, wake up and go for a walk – it’s more productive.”
Have Breaks and a Clock Out Time
Now that you have your energy levels and motivation through the roof, don’t be tempted to send your stress levels soaring by overworking yourself. Have a general idea of what you want to accomplish before the day ends, and slot in a few breaks. Most importantly, use these breaks to catch a breath and stretch. You can even use your phone to remind you when it’s time for a time out.
Once you have finished the task you set at the start, clock out as you do at the office. You might be tempted to start another task in the view of making things much easier for you tomorrow, but that can lead to burnout over time. Know when to quit for the day, and shift to other things like going through your dinner options or watching a pending Netflix episode.
And that’s it! Self-care is more important than it has ever been. Making the relevant adjustments to balance your work and home life allows you to recharge and start the day refreshed. Taking care of your physical and mental health sets you up for success and lets you be at your best without sacrificing your happiness.