By: Sarah Stone
Working from home has been a welcome change for many over the past couple of years, and a sought-after option for tons of people entering the job market for the first time (or looking for a new opportunity). You can wear what’s comfortable, set up a workspace that suits your needs the best, save money and time not needing to commute, and have more freedom throughout the day for other projects or just relaxation when you need it.
Of course there can be downsides to what’s generally considered to be an ideal situation: loneliness and difficulty collaborating is a big one. Letting time get away from you and working not just odd hours, but all hours. Not being able to separate your home life from your work life.
If you’re feeling a bit wilted, frustrated, or unproductive while working remotely, there are wellness activities that can help. Here are a few of my recommendations—they’ve worked for me over the years, and hopefully they can help you too!
1. Plan Your Meals
Meal prepping—even just for lunch—can go a long way toward keeping healthy and staying on a schedule while you’re working from home. It’s easy to lose track of time and start grazing in your kitchen, or even skip eating entirely. Neither of these options are very healthy, and doing a bit of meal prep can be a fun and relaxing activity that greatly benefits your personal wellness.
Using a meal delivery kit can be a huge help if you’re daunted even by starting to plan what you want to eat for a week. I’ve been using Hungryroot for the past year, and love it: you can choose from pre-set meals or get groceries to plan your own (or do a mix of both). It helps to set my week on the right track to login and get ideas for healthy and delicious lunches, and to grab a few items I might be running out of, like eggs and coffee creamer. Other meal kits my friends have tried out and loved include Blue Apron, HelloFresh, and EveryPlate.
2. Drink Lots of Water
This is one of the easiest things to forget, and one of the best ways to immediately make yourself feel better if you’re getting tired, losing your concentration, or feeling laggy. To get in the habit of drinking water regularly, I actually set a timer to remind myself throughout the day for a couple of weeks until I didn’t have to think about it anymore. Drink water when you first wake up, have a glass when you’re feeling snackish…stay hydrated and you’ll feel more productive, focused, and energized!
Bonus: try out this enormous water bottle. It’s a great visual of how much water you should have, and how much you’re probably not getting!
3. Walk Regularly
And take steps throughout the day! If you use Fitbit, you might get notifications to take 250 steps every hour—this can be a great reminder to get up and move for a couple of minutes, even if it’s pacing around your house. It gets the blood moving (and can also serve as a reminder to drink more water), lets you re-center, can help with breaking up large projects, and keeps you from being stagnant. If you’re able to take walks outside, you also get that sunshine and fresh air boost.
4. Take Small Exercise Breaks
I do this all the time—in addition to getting up and walking (or pacing in a loop around my house if the weather is a bit nasty), I’ll take regular small exercise breaks. Before lunch, I do some planks. After lunch I do three sets of squats. Throughout the day, I might use resistance bands to work out other areas of my body. Sometimes I’ll take a 30-minute break just to ride on my stationary bike. As with walking, it’s a fantastic way to break up the monotony of working alone, in the quiet, at your desk.
5. Take a Fitness Class
If you’d like to have a more structured workout routine, going to the gym regularly can help you break up your home time and office time, and make that separation a bit more manageable when it’s so easy to blur the lines. Taking a class at your gym can get you active, give you something to look forward to, and help you socialize if you’re missing that a bit working remotely. If you don’t have a gym near you, or if for any reason you can’t or don’t want to go, there are tons of online fitness classes you can do! Having a set schedule and meeting your fitness goals can do wonders for your wellness while working remotely.
6. Meditate and Practice Gratitude
If you’re not already meditating daily, now is the best time to start. Meditating can seriously help you reduce stress, increase focus, and be more aware of your goals and needs—and it’s crucial to maintain a positive mindset when you work remotely, so you can avoid feeling more isolated and frustrated than you can handle.
Practice gratitude daily as well. Spend a few minutes thinking actively about all the things you’re grateful for—this will help you stay positive and focused. Here’s a very simple gratitude journal I’m a fan of—and if you get into journaling, there’s so much to be said for taking it a step further and trying out bullet journaling for your work and home life!
7. Network with Fellow Remote Workers
Join online communities or in-person groups if you can—this will help you feel more connected, less lonely if you’re prone to that, and can give you ideas for fun activities and productivity inside and outside of work.
8. Change Your Location
This helps me a lot: changing location within my house or finding some time to work outside or from a cafe occasionally is a huge mood booster that also lets me think more creatively. I’m lucky enough to have a dedicated office in my house, but sometimes I feel stagnant. Moving to the living room for a day actually does wonders, as small a change as it is. If you’re able to work outside for part of the day, the sunshine, fresh air, and ambient noise can help wake you up, get you in a new mindset, and make you feel great.
9. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep will help your brain reset and make it easier for you to solve complex problems, be more productive, and keep a positive and healthy outlook. It’s so easy to bring your work with you everywhere at home when you’re a remote worker, so making sure to set boundaries can make a big difference. If you’re like me and you can’t sleep without listening to a podcast or music, put your phone on Do Not Disturb so you won’t get tempted to check notifications in the middle of the night. If you have trouble shutting down, try meditating—and actually, I like taking a melatonin tablet about 30 minutes before getting into bed. It’s helped me fall asleep so much more quickly, when my usual routine is to toss and turn and let my brain buzz for a couple of hours.
What are your recommendations for wellness activities for remote workers? Share your ideas with the Frayed Passport community!
About the AuthorAs the managing director of Frayed Passport, my goal is to help you build a lifestyle that lets you travel the world whenever you want and however long you want, and not worry about where your next paycheck will come from. I've been to 20+ countries and five continents, lived for years as a full-time digital nomad, and have worked completely remotely since 2015. If you would like to share your story with our community, or partner with Frayed Passport, get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Featured image from Unsplash