8 wellness tips for working from home
So many Virtual Assistants and small to medium business owners work from home. Love it or hate it, there are always going to be ways of making improvements to help with your physical and mental health.
Your wellness should be a priority – after all, you run the show so you need to be well in order to keep your business running as it should be. You know what they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup, so looking after yourself is vital.
In this month’s blog post, we share some of the common challenges people face and what you can do to combat them.
Keep your spine healthy
One of the most common issues for those of us who work at desks all day, is back and neck problems. Sitting all day is terrible for us, we know this, and so making sure we have the right setup for our desk space is hugely important. This tool allows you to work out how long you are sitting during the day, and ot’s quite an eye-opener!
I have a desk that changes in height so that I can sit or stand whilst working. I know people who have amazing ergonomic chairs with all the bells and whistles. But the truth is, a lot of people have a makeshift setup or prefer to work at their kitchen table.
Assessing your space regularly is something you can do yourself to check that you’re following the guidelines to keep your back healthy. Put it in your diary to do yearly or 6 monthly.
Look after your eyes
Eye strain is no joke and we all know that pretty much all of us are spending too long in general looking at screens. Of course you know you should take regular breaks away from your screen, but be honest, do you do that?
I found it difficult to take regular breaks, when you’re in the zone it’s easy to forget, but I’d highly recommend EyeLeo that prompts you to take a break or look away from the screen (it’s what I use now and it’s brilliant, although there is always room for improvement as I still ignore it sometimes!) Check it out here.
If you really want to make these eye breaks count, use the time to do a quick household chore, or do a short breathing exercise.
Sitting down all day is terrible for us, for so many reasons, so moving regularly is a must. Of course, I don’t mean get up at regular intervals and do 10 jumping jacks or jog round the block (unless that’s your thing!). Any movement is better than no movement at all.
Stretching is a good way of getting some movement in, and what’s a fun way to stretch? Pilates! My Pilates teacher has some great examples on her YouTube channel – bitesize routines you can do while sitting.
Check them out here:
None of us want Cabin Fever! It’s so easy to get into the terrible habit of staying inside if you have no good reason to get outside. For a lot of us, doing the school run, grocery shopping, or walking the dog gets us out but for those of you without those responsibilities, are you taking the time to get outside regularly?
Make it a priority to get out in nature at least once a week. Go for a walk in the woods or by the coast, or somewhere you find inspiring and beautiful. Nothing beats fresh air and nature has a way of recharging our batteries like nothing else. Did you know GP’s are now prescribing it too. It’s an act of self-care, so schedule it as a priority and make sure you get out there, even if it’s simply half an hour in your garden with a cuppa. You’ll thank yourself afterwards.
Define your hours
You knew we wouldn’t be able to get through a wellness post without it mentioning work/life balance, so this should come as no surprise.
Having clear boundaries and defined hours will help you to maintain a work/life balance. It can be tempting to keep dipping into work throughout the evening, especially if emails and social media are easily accessible (those darn smart phones!). But for your own sake, create your own boundaries and stick to them, and if necessary get family on board to help you to enforce them.
It’s exhausting being ‘on’ all the time, you need to make time for yourself, not just your business. So when you finish for the day, make sure you truly finish and do something else that makes you happy.
Staying connected with people is harder than it may appear. Sure you may speak to clients and colleagues throughout the day, but are you staying connected to friends and family? Our friends and family are those people who nourish us emotionally and it can be tempting after a long day to ‘check out’ mentally. But a quick call with a friend or some quality time with a family member can truly rejuvenate us, as well as preventing feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Keep stress to a minimum
Sometimes easier said than done but managing stress doesn’t have to be hard. We need to keep our cortisol and adrenaline levels in check, and there are plenty of ways we can prevent stress from taking over.
Breathing exercises, meditating, resting, being in nature, doing something fun – all of these activities help lower stress levels. So taking time out of your day to do these things will help to prevent stress in the first place.
Eat the right food
Ok, not everyone likes to take a lunch break, some people prefer to snack throughout the day and that’s fine – but are you eating the RIGHT food?
When we’re busy and in the zone, we don’t want to break stride so we find ourselves reaching for the crisps. If we don’t look after our bodies, they won’t look after us so we need to look at what fuel we’re putting in.
Prepping snacks and meals in advance is a really good way to get on top of this bad habit. You’re more likely to grab that healthy snack out of the fridge if it’s all ready and waiting for you, right?
So, I won’t lecture you on what you should be eating, you already know, but I will recommend preparing in advance to make your choice a no-brainer.
Here’s a great resource from Certified Nutritional Therapist Carola Becker ‘healthy snacks for your busy day’ if you want some more tips and advice on healthy snacking when you’re busy.
If you have any other great tips, I’d love to hear about them, as we can all do better!