Workplace Wellness: How to Stay Physically & Mentally Fit
Do you work from home? Maybe you started working remotely once the pandemic hit in 2020 or recently applied for a new position that allows you to work from the comfort of your own home. How great does that sound? Working from home brings many benefits, one being that it eliminates your commute. You could’ve spent about one hour total commuting to and from work every day, but now you’re walking down the hall to your home office. Talk about saving time and money! Employers are starting to encourage flexible work schedules for their employees, as well. Whether employers are embracing a hybrid or fully remote workforce, companies are beginning to change their ways.
With big changes on the horizon for some organizations, employees can be left wondering where they fit in or how they can stay on top of their overall wellness while implementing this new work style. Staying physically and mentally fit is extremely important when it comes to maintaining your overall health. Employers are placing a significant amount of importance on workplace wellness and stressing that prioritizing employee morale and positive spirits is a must. If your employer is encouraging a healthy work-life balance and wants you to embrace workplace wellness, try out our tips for staying physically and mentally fit while working remotely!
Create a Good Work Environment
It’s time to get creative and design your home office space. A perk of working remotely is being able to design your home office and create a space that will increase your productivity. This is a great opportunity for you to express your personal style and set up your workspace how you want it. Design the perfect layout and make your home office as functional as possible. When deciding where to set up your home office, try finding a spot that has lots of natural light and a window that you can open throughout the day. Letting in the outside air is always refreshing and good for our physical and mental health. Once you pick your ideal space within your home, it’s time to decorate. Set up some plants, hang a few motivational prints, and find a home for your speaker so you can listen to your music, podcast, or audiobook while working. These extra elements will bring your office to life and make it a comfortable space for you to work in every day. It is also important that your home office has a door. Having a door to your office will allow you to shut out any noise or distractions, helping you focus and have a quiet atmosphere for any meetings you may have to log on for. A door also helps when it’s the end of the day and you are finished with work. Closing the door once you’ve signed off allows you to step away for the night and stop working. The door is a good physical and mental barrier.
Set a Schedule
When working from home it can be easy to fall into bad habits. It’s definitely convenient to wake up five minutes before work, start your day off in your pajamas, and then finally get ready around noon. As great as that sounds, it can lead you to feel very sluggish and impact your level of productivity. Keep the routine you would have if you were physically going into the office. Wake up at the same time every day, shower, make some breakfast, and then start work. If your commute was on the longer side and you have leftover time in your morning, implement a new habit like taking a morning walk or doing some meditation exercises. Stay consistent in practicing your routine daily. This will give you the motivation to focus on the work you have at hand. Not only is your morning routine leading up to your workday important, but so is the routine after your workday is done. Be sure to shut your computer around the same time every day and don’t work more than your scheduled hours unless you have to. Setting this boundary and calling it quits for the day is practicing a healthy work-life balance. If you have some items on your to-do list or a couple of emails still to respond to, think to yourself, can this wait until tomorrow? If it can’t, quickly finish up what you’re working on. If it can, however, it’s time to sign off for the night and add those tasks to your to-do list for the next day.
You’re Not Alone
Sometimes working from home can lead to isolation. Resist the isolation that working remotely can cause by socializing with others. Grab a few of your friends that also work from home and head to a local coffee shop or cafe together. Or connect with some colleagues over zoom with some coffee. Host a coffee hour or a happy hour to get to know each other and build a connection. Take some time to message each other throughout the day. It’s a nice break and a great way to connect just by popping into someone’s messages to say hello.
Isolation can still creep into our lives even when we are socializing and connecting with others. Work can bring on lots of stress, and if not managed properly, stress can cause many different emotions. Dealing with stress can make it hard to focus and get through the work day. Being overloaded with those emotions can also lead to anxiety. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if your workload is overwhelming. Ask if it’s okay to split some of the work so you can perform well and focus in order to complete the task at hand. You can also seek online treatment for anxiety if the stress and anxiety you are feeling from work starts to impact your quality of life. Seeking online treatment can be done while you are working from the privacy of your own home, which may bring you more comfort.
Whether you are working from home or you are in the office, you can spend a lot of time sitting at your desk. When you are stationary most of the day, staying active and getting in some exercise is very important. Be sure to take a break and do some exercises. Take a walk outside or follow a quick and easy at-home workout. There are endless options on YouTube and fitness apps that can provide you with a good heart-racing workout that takes less than 20 minutes. If you’re on a time crunch but really need to get in some activity before a meeting to wake yourself up, do some stretching. If you’re a person who finds it difficult to exercise during breaks, try working out while working. You might be thinking, how is that possible? With a treadmill desk, you can walk while you work. If you prefer biking over walking, you can also try out a bike desk. This is a great way to stay active while also getting your work tasks done at the same time!
When you do spend your time sitting, be sure to practice good posture. Sitting at your desk all day can lead to you slouching and cause neck and back pain. Poor posture can be fixed by investing in a proper office chair with good back support. You can also adjust the height of your screens, so you are not straining your neck by looking too far up. With good posture, you will likely feel less back pain, have increased blood flow, and strong, supported muscles.
Burnout is very real and common among employees that work remotely. Breaks should be encouraged by employers so you can give your mind a rest. Breaks will allow you to regain your focus and perform optimally. If you struggle with allowing yourself to take breaks and find yourself unable to focus for a longer period, try implementing the Pomodoro Method. The Pomodoro Method helps to improve your productivity and focus by setting up a time management system. The Pomodoro technique has you split your time into 25-minute chunks, with small breaks in between. This trains your brain to focus and get the task you have at hand completed within that 25-minute window. These breaks allow your eyes to take a rest, you to step outside, go get the mail, have a snack, or fold a load of laundry. Try the Pomodoro Method out!
Start prioritizing your workplace wellness now! It’s time to be physically and mentally fit while also being a successful employee. Implementing these tips can truly allow you to embody a good work-life balance. Be sure to avoid burnout by taking breaks, talking to your coworkers, and easing your anxiety by speaking to an online psychiatrist. Stay active and physically fit from the comfort of your desk. Purchase a treadmill desk and check your posture throughout the day. Enjoy working from your personalized office and set a work schedule that works best for you. Start being a workplace wellness advocate today!