Working from home sounds like a dream job for some people because of the numerous positives. No travel time to work, an infinite amount of stops to the kitchen and all while staying in the comfort of your own home sounds ideal for most.
However, in reality it can be even more challenging to achieve this balance because normal routines are changed, boundaries are not set in place to make you work efficiently or simply the discipline to work is not there, when Netflix is.
We have a list of essential tips for you that can be practiced in order to successfully work from home, keep active and achieve a work-life balance.
The best at home workouts
When leaving the house becomes less of a priority, as seen when working from home, the tendency is to reduce the amount of time allocated to keeping active and exercising. This obviously is detrimental to your health - you need to keep active! Most people would normally be a member of a gym, studio or fitness center and do not have a home gym available to them. Luckily, there are alternatives that work just as well to keep you active. Experiment with these alternatives to find out which works for you best!
- Low impact exercise that focuses on your breath to center your being and reduce the stress caused from the various poses.
- Strengthens, stretches and lengthens your muscles to complement the shortening of muscles that naturally occurs during resistance training.
- Improves your flexibility, posture and balance due to the many challenging poses, some of which are unilateral (one side of the body) in nature.
- Only requires a mat and optional yoga blocks to assist with modified poses.
- Low impact exercise that is a bit more dynamic and fitness orientated compared to the spiritual-focused yoga.
- Strengthens your core muscles by performing movements that requires you to hold your core in place while moving your limbs in different directions.
- Improves your posture, balance and flexibility by utilizing similar principles of yoga to lengthen and elongate muscles and the spine.
- Mat Pilates like yoga, only requires a mat.
- Perform bodyweight exercises like squats, pushups, lunges, glute bridges, burpees and plenty of others that don’t require a gym.
- Home workouts can be programmed as circuits to increase cardiovascular exhaustion and break a sweat.
- Bicep curls and shoulder presses can be performed with safe household items that provide weight.
- Tricep dips can be performed on virtually any stable platform. With enough creativity, you can train every muscle in the body at home without the need for barbells and dumbbells.
How to set boundaries
When working from home, it’s important to make clear distinctions between your work space and the rest of your home in order to remain productive and also provide yourself the ability to switch off from work and recuperate for the next day.
Everybody needs to be able to step away and enjoy their down time, whether it be with family/friends, exercise, reading, watching your favorite tv show or whatever it is you need to unwind.
These boundaries are necessary because if you don’t separate yourself from your work when at home, the risk of overworking and over exhausting yourself becomes a real risk.
Try these simple tips to set boundaries:
Have a dedicated workspace
- This will allow you to commit to working as if you were going into your normal place of business. It keeps you focused on the tasks at hand.
- Your workspace is not allowed to be your bed or a couch where you can lie around. It must be a place that encourages productivity and is not tied to your down time at home.
Enforce real work hours
- Working from home allows you to be flexible with your work hours but you should try and stick to a regular schedule as much as possible.
- If you feel like you work better in the morning, try waking earlier and finishing earlier or vice versa if you’re more of a night owl.
Avoid “job creep”
- “Job creep” is the phenomenon where employees will engage in work-related activities beyond regular work hours and is one of the main reasons why you need boundaries.
- This builds on both previous points, whereby you need to be able to separate yourself from work so it doesn’t seep over to other aspects of your life and hinder you.
Don’t forget to eat!
- This is a common consequence of “job creep”. In an attempt to stay productive and complete more tasks, eating meals are continuously pushed back.
- Nutritious food that fuels your body to perform at its best physically and mentally is crucial to make any progress with your training goals and work deadlines.
- Blessed Plant Protein can be consumed quickly if needed or sipped on during work hours at your work space. Providing protein to assist in recovery from home exercise and energy without the crash to help you power through your work tasks.
Stress Response vs Relaxation Response
Just because you’re in the comfort of your own home, doesn’t mean that life’s stresses disappear. It is inevitable to feel stress at some point in your life.
Even exercise induces a stress response on the body, even though you may not recognize it as such. Because of this, it is imperative to implement your own relaxation response to cope with stress that comes in life.
Here are a few tips to alleviate stress.
- Sitting down all day with minimal movement is never recommended, even if you do exercise that day.
- Try getting up every hour and stretching.
- Stretching allows oxygenated blood to flow around the body which improves your mental and physical capabilities which will enable you to handle stress better.
Take short breaks
- Short breaks act like a proactive approach to avoid “job creep” that comes from overworking and overcommitting to tasks.
- Research shows that shorts breaks actually increase productivity and creativity levels
- SHORT breaks are key here. You will have to figure out how frequently you need breaks from your work without abusing the power to not work.
- Try a 5 minute break every hour. That way it coincides with your stretching schedule.
- Stepping outside for fresh air has been shown to help your digestive and immune system and improve your blood pressure and heart rate.
- Getting fresh air also gives you energy, a sharper mind and makes you happier as the air outside is a higher concentration of oxygen that is needed for the body.
- Meditation is an ancient practice that utilizes mindfulness and focus to achieve mental clarity and emotional stability.
- There are several apps available that provide guided meditation to help you through your own practice if you need assistance.
- Even simply slowing and paying attention to your breathing is a form of meditation that ameliorates stress.
- The ultimate recovery and recuperation tool the body uses to dissipate stress and prepare you for your next day. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Keep a similar sleep pattern every night to encourage your body to fall asleep easily every night.
Working from home can bring some new challenges that require patience and discipline to adjust and overcome. Using these tips will help you to remain productive for your work life and live happily and healthily at home.