It seems that more and more of us are beginning to work at home these days- including myself! Don’t get me wrong, I love working from home, but it is definitely a change of pace from the typical 9-5. This self care challenge will help those of you working from home create healthier boundaries and incorporate healthy habits into your day.
There are so many amazing things about working from home: you get to work in your pajamas (at least your bottoms if you are on camera), eat whenever you want, work from your bed or couch, and just spend more time with your pup!
I truly have little to no complaints about my working from the home journey so far, but that is because I have developed healthy habits that go hand in hand with my workday.
When working from home, it can be easy to slip into some unhealthy habits: eating all the snacks and junk food (let’s face it, your refrigerator is right there, making it too easy to reach for another cookie), working longer hours than you typically would and sitting for hours on end.
Read more about the truth of blogging full time!
Does this sound like you? If it does, that’s ok! Especially when you first make the switch to working from home, it can take some time to adjust to new routines. Don’t expect to develop a 100% completely healthy routine right off the bat.
It’s different, you might have never done this before, and it might feel uncomfortable and like foreign territory!
This self care challenge will push you to incorporate healthier habits into your day to day life as you continue to work from home!
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Self Care for your Eyes
One of the biggest complaints I hear from those working from home is eye strain and headaches. It is no wonder since working from home often requires staring at the computer screen literally all day long!
Unfortunately, you most likely cannot just decide not to use the computer. However, there are some ways you can help take care of your eyes, even while working on the computer all day.
One little trick I have learned is called the 20-minute rule (original, I know). But hear me out, as it actually does help!
Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look at something 20 feet away.
This helps give your eyes a quick break and allows them to relax a bit. I usually set a timer on my phone so I remember to do this- it can be so easy to get sucked into your work and forget about everything!
But it doesn’t stop there: Every 2 hours, take 20 minutes away from your computer. This might seem like a lot, but after 20 minutes, you probably need a break anyway. Take the dog outside, get a snack, talk to your husband, put some laundry in, whatever you need to do!
After following this rule for even one day, I already felt more refreshed! My eyes felt less tense, and having a reminder to give myself small breaks throughout the day truly does wonders!
Self care for your body
This self care challenge and the 20-minute rule don’t only apply to your eyes. Your body needs some love too!
Another common complaint I hear from those working from home is having a sore back and not getting as much movement in throughout the day.
I get it. When I first started working from home, my back hurt SO bad for the first couple of weeks. And, I felt like I hardly moved all day long, which was a complete change of pace from my previous job where I would sometimes walk more than 10,000 steps during the day.
Luckily, the 20-minute rule helps with this! Every time your 20-minute timer goes off, give your eyes and your body some love.
Stand up and get some gentle movement in, even for just 20 seconds. I usually walk to the window and see what’s going on out there, while doing some gentle stretches.
Reach up to the sky, touch your toes, do some jumping jacks, or just aimlessly walk around the house. Just get the blood flowing in your body again! You will be surprised how much this helps your body feel better and your mind destress.
Then, every 2 hours, take 20 minutes to do some more movement. This is where I will sometimes take my dog for a walk, or do a chore around the house. In the mornings, I will typically work for an hour or two then take a break to do my daily workout.
This helps you recharge and keep your body moving throughout the day!
If you are still dealing with a sore back, try these office break yoga moves!
Self care for your mind
We’ve got your eyes and body down pat, but what about your mind? Those who work from home often feel lonely, trapped in their home, and disconnected from the world.
If you typically spend your day surrounded by tons of coworkers, it can definitely be a shock to the system to all of a sudden be alone, with your only connection being a phone or Zoom call.
Some of us love this part of working from home, including myself. I love working on my own without needing to deal with anyone else’s opinions or drama.
However, it does get lonely sometimes. Luckily, there are some ways to help combat this!
The best way to do this is to simply get outside and leave your home. The best part of working from home is you can (usually) work from anywhere!
Feeling lonely? Take your computer to a nearby cafe. Just being around others might do the trick to make you feel less alone.
Feeling trapped in your home? Take your laptop to the park, the library, your backyard, or a picnic table. Or maybe even meet up with a friend and get some work done together!
Sometimes giving yourself some new scenery can recharge your mind and your sense of connection to the world!
self care for your soul
Another important aspect of this self care challenge is taking care of your soul. This looks different for everyone, but what we know is, creating healthy boundaries and taking time for the things you enjoy is especially important.
As an at-home worker, I understand the temptation and stress to continue working basically all day. Before, work would end at 5, and you’d come home and carry on about your day.
Now, you are technically always at work, and always at home. This can make it extremely difficult to draw a line between the two, and balance the stresses and needs of both.
This is why it is crucial to develop your own “clock out” time. No one will be monitoring this so you need to hold yourself accountable!
Of course, some days it is understandable you might work late. However, don’t make this a habit! Ensure you are still making time for your life- your hobbies, family, health, and relaxation.
If you don’t adhere to a strict “clock out” policy, you might end up working throughout the night, which will inevitably lead to burn out.
For example, once the holidays roll around, you won’t want to miss out on fun events because of work! Learn to balance the holidays and your work so you don’t burn out!
But what about those of us who feel guilty for not working. After all, you are just binge-watching that Netflix show- you could be getting ahead on your work!
I get the feeling- why “waste” my time when I could be working? This is a hard line to draw sometimes. We all need to shed the guilt that we should be working as hard as we can, all the time.
You won’t be doing your best work if all you do is work! Take time for yourself, and come back to work recharged and inspired.
Self care: Your Environment
Another important aspect of this self care challenge is to create an environment that fosters inspiration to do your best work while also taking care of your needs.
So what does this look like? One important piece of your environment is the lighting. Artificial light isn’t good for anyone, and can actually have some negative consequences if used too much.
To combat this, simply open up your blinds as much as possible! Even on the cloudiest of days, natural light will flood your home. Imagine working in a home with the windows and blinds shut all day- talk about depressing!
Additionally, let the fresh air pour in. Keeping the windows closed will lead to a stuffy home. Fresh air will keep you awake, energized, and refreshed! Of course, some days you might not be able to do this, but keep them open as long as the weather allows!
Your physical workspace also matters. Create a comfortable and organized work area where you can work free of distractions. This might mean purchasing some organizational tools like a file cabinet or a new desk!
You will also want a comfortable chair to work in. You won’t want to sit and work in a creaky chair that hurts your back all day long. Invest in your comfort, and your work will benefit from it!
Self Care Challenge
All of these tips might be difficult to implement all at once. Therefore, spend some time deciding which area of self care you are lacking in, and start there! Maybe you want to move more- start with self care for your body. Perhaps you are feeling lonely- start with self care for your soul.
Once you master one area, move to the next most pressing matter. Eventually, you will master them all, and feel like a work at home BOSS!
Remember, nothing is more important than your health and wellbeing. Making the switch to working from home will take time to adjust to, so give yourself grace and the time to fall into a new routine!
Stay mindful of your habits and routines, and make adjustments as you see fit! You won’t master it all right away, but progress is better than nothing!
I challenge you to select one of the areas from this list, and work on creating healthier habits this week. You might even find your own little hacks that help you!
Let us know how your progress is going, and what you have learned along the way!
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