An increasing number of professionals around the world are working remotely (at least part-time) for the near future. Because most employees didn't have the time to prepare for this big change, many of us weren't prepared with the tools we needed to make working remotely efficient. Even if you have moved on from your kitchen table and now have a proper desk and chair, it's important to remember that we all need a bit of time for ourselves and our health (including mental) needs to be a priority. Here's some ways you can get creative with your self-care strategies.
1. Get Lit!
It's time to light it up (with natural light that is)! Find a spot in your home where natural light is your primary light source. Research indicates that our sleep cycles and even our hormones are positively affected by light. if you can set up your office near a window, that's best. Also, you can let the fresh air in - what a perfect combo!
2. Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself
One of the next things to do is take in and access your whole situation. What are your likes and dislikes about your space? Get creative and come up with solutions for doing the things you love inside for the time being. Make sure the décor inspires you; that could be anything from pictures of your pets or family to moving a nice cozy chair into the space for when you need to take a break and sip some tea or coffee. If your office had a social space, create a space for yourself where you can facetime a colleague and have that virtual water cooler conversation at times. Whatever you do, don't stop socializing!
3. Practice Your Posture
Don't forget that bad posture still counts when you're working from home. How you sit today affects your body long-term. It's important to find an office chair that suits your style and supports your body. Herman Miller and Texas A&M did a recent study that shows how the right chair can influence cognition and your body's ability to handle stress.
4. Get a Move On
Get moving! If you have space for a height-adjustable desk, that's ideal. If not, consider risers or a solution that lets you sit and stand throughout the day. Take a walk at lunch and/or stretch your legs while you're on the phone. It's important to move throughout the day. Your mind and body will thank you!
5. Don't Get Distracted
If you have family at home (including pets), you're going to have occasional distractions. That's why it's important to have a designated workspace where you'll feel safe and confident in getting work done without interruptions. Create your own ambiance that reflects calmness, serenity, and warmth. What exactly that looks like is up to you, but in any case, you'll feel more relaxed and centered. Sometimes the biggest distractions are in our minds, and the right space can help you overcome that.
All in all, practicing self-care should be a priority as you work from home. Not only will it help you be productive in your work, but it will help you be a better parent, partner, caregiver, friend and the best human being you can be.