Lockdown Strategies: 10 Tips That Will Improve Your Health While Working At Home
I am still on the practicalities of managing this strange time as we adjust, adapt and morph into a new way of being and working. Since many of us are working at home these days it would be wise to make our environment there as healthy as possible. And fortunately there are many things we can do to improve our working conditions and promote our physical, mental and emotional health.
Here are 10 things you can do to help you achieve this goal.
1. Stash some healthy snacks. One of the toughest challenges at work involves resisting the unhealthy treats that you have in the fridge and the cupboard. It is so tempting when you get bored by a bit you are working on to wander through to the kitchen and see what you can pick at. By keeping healthy snacks in your desk such as almonds, granola bars, apples and bananas, you can fight the impulse to wander and treat yourself to a quick sugar or fat rush.
2. Clean your keyboard often. Many germs can accumulate on this type of surface. If you want to lessen the chance of coming down with a virus — any virus, not just Corona, spray and wipe your keyboard with a mix of water and germ-fighting essential oils such as tea tree, lemongrass and eucalyptus. Or choose another disinfectant you have on hand. You can make your own little ‘wet wipes’ and clean your hands with another wipe while you do the keyboard. Simple easy hygiene.
3. Stand up and take a quick stretch break every 30–50 minutes or so. Our bodies were not made to sit still for extended periods of time. Go for a short walk every 90 minutes, even if it is to the end of the hall. If possible, take a longer one later when you take a proper break.
4. Resolve conflicts promptly. When there are interpersonal conflicts with anyone at home it will interfere with your work and it can have a negative effect on your health. If there has been a problem involving someone at home that is getting in the way of what you need to do at your desk or in your workspace hwork it out with them as soon as possible. This is boundary setting at its best.
5. Rest your eyes. When you are using the computer for extended periods of time, your eyes need a break. Follow the 20–20–20 rule, which says that after every 20 minutes of using the computer, rest your eyes for 20 seconds by looking at an object at least 20 feet away. Another lovely tip is to rub your hands together and cup your eyes gently with the palms of your hands. Just let the quiet warmth of your hands seep through to your eyes.
6. Don’t push yourself past your own limits. You know yourself better than anyone else. If you are getting stressed out, learn to say no more often. Don’t take on more than you can handle, and give yourself a break (physical and mental!) when you make a mistake.
7. Take a break for lunch. You will be more productive if you work sensibly in your own rhythm and this time at home is a great time to learn when your most productive times are — when are you fresh, when are you creative, when are you just ready for mindless tasks…. You will find your energy cycles — learn to pay attention to that.
8. Drink plenty of water. It can be difficult to remember to drink the recommended daily intake of water when you are busy at work. But your body needs water to function properly, so don’t neglect it. Put your water bottle in plain sight to help you remember.
9. Sit up straight. Your mother was right when she told you to sit and stand tall. Your posture has an effect on your health, so find some way such as a phone reminder to help you remember to sit up straight, and it will soon become a habit. The thing to avoid is slumping as you sit which is so very easy to do! The way chairs are designed encourages us to sag in the middle! Try having periods of working standing up — depends on the task you are doing. Try using one of those big balance balls you get at the gym and sit on that for a time to experiment…
10. Use stress busters. Work can be one of the most stressful time periods of our day, so it is important to have an outlet. Yours may be taking 10 deep breaths when work is getting to you, or it may be a simple stress ball to squish when you are feeling frustrated. It may be looking out of the window and finding a bird to watch, or the clouds. It may be having a photograph of a loved person or a beautiful scene or object that you can just focus on for a few minutes to find your equilibrium again.
Work is where you spend a lot of time in your life — so why not make it the most healthful place you can? It doesn’t take a lot to put health at the forefront so just pick one or two of the tips above and try them out. I wish you good health as you work :).
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