desk with laptop, candle, plant

Work-from-Home Wellness: 15 Practical Tips for Success

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In recent years, we’ve seen a huge increase in remote work. With technology bridging the gap between physical presence and productivity, working from home has become a common reality for many of us. For me, this transition wasn’t something I chose, but a necessary response to the global circumstances back in 2020. And while the idea of working from the comfort of your own home may sound perfect, let me tell you, it comes with its fair share of challenges. Personally, I’ve come to love the flexibility it provides, but not without encountering unexpected obstacles along the way. It’s crucial to prioritize our physical and mental wellness as we navigate this new way of working. After all, it directly impacts our productivity, health, and overall happiness.

The Current Landscape

According to the latest report from WFH Research, remote work is still a big thing in the American workforce. The study shows that about 48.3% of U.S. employees are now working from home either partially or fully, which is a big jump compared to the numbers reported in 2020 by Upwork. This means that remote work is becoming more widely accepted as a long-term employment model, and it’s important to focus on well-being and productivity when working from home.

The Not-So-Glamorous Side

Sure, working from home can sound pretty sweet. You get to skip that dreadful morning commute, work in your comfy clothes, and you’ve got easy access to your personal snack stash whenever you want. But let’s talk about the flip side for a second, shall we? It’s not just sunshine and rainbows.

For starters, there’s the lack of structure. When your home is your office, the line between work and personal life can start to blur. You might find yourself still working at odd hours, simply because your workspace is a few steps away. Then there are the distractions. Trust me, no matter how disciplined you think you are, that pile of laundry or the dishes in the sink will start to call your name. And let’s not forget about the feeling of isolation. No water cooler chats or coffee runs with colleagues. It’s just you and your laptop. Sounds a bit intense, doesn’t it?

The Silver Linings

Alright, let’s dive into the perks of working from home, shall we? For one, you can say goodbye to that dreadful morning marathon – scrambling to get ready, chugging down your coffee, and fighting traffic just to get to work. When you work from home, your morning commute is as long as it takes to walk from your bed to your desk (not that I recommend doing this). Imagine all the extra sleep you can get!

But wait, there’s more! Depending on the job you may have incredible flexibility that allows you to tailor your workday to fit your personal rhythm. Are you a night owl who’s most productive at the stroke of midnight? Or perhaps an early bird who’s ready to conquer the world at dawn? No problem at all! With certain remote work, you can set your own schedule and work during your most productive hours. And let’s not forget the potential increase in productivity. No more impromptu meetings or office chatter to distract you from your work. It’s just you, your tasks, and the sweet sound of your productivity soaring!

15 Wellness Tips While Working from Home

1. Regular Exercise

 It’s all about moving your body, folks! According to the National Institute on Aging exercise may improve cognitive function, such as your ability to shift quickly between tasks or plan an activity.

Pack in some quick yoga, a brisk jog, or even a high-energy dance session (this one works will with tip #10) to get those endorphins pumping. Desk-bound? Opt for some chair exercises throughout the day.

2. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Water – your body’s best friend. Keep a bottle at your desk to remind yourself to drink up. Dehydration can lead to brain fog, exhaustion, and stress among other things. Might as well add some lemon slices for a zesty twist and a boost in vitamin C!

3. Fuel Your Body

We know it’s tempting to snack all day, but your body needs real food. So, try to stick to regular, nourishing meals. Although I do not meal prep to the extent I did when I worked in an office, I still do some prep on Sundays. Having a plan in place not only ensures you make good choices, but it is one less decision you have to make during your busy workday.

4. Posture Perfection

Save your back and neck from a world of hurt by maintaining good posture. Medical News Today details out what the best ergonomics are for sitting at a desk for prolonged periods. What this looks like is different for each person, but you should have your shoulders back, feet flat on the floor, and keep that computer screen at eye level!

I use a sit/stand desk so that I can stand when my hips get sore from sitting. Recently I have also started using chiropractic pillow neck stretcher for about 5 minutes in the evening and and found it to be a game changer!

5. Taking Breaks

Don’t become a workaholic! Step outside for a few minutes or start a load of laundry. My puppy forces me to take breaks (probably a little too often). So pay attention when your furry friend nudges you for a break.

6. Stress Management

Feeling tense? Studies show deep breaths, such as box breathing (one of my favorites), can help lower cortisol levels and blood pressure.

Essential oils can also work wonders. I like to diffuse lavender when I am feeling stressed, lemon if I am feeling irritable, and I will roll on peppermint for a boost of energy.

7. Workspace Wonders

Make your workspace work for you. Fill it with things you love, like plants and make sure you have plenty of light. NASA’s Clean Air Study lists several plants, such as aloe vera and snake plant, that efficiently clean the air. I also use an air purifier in my office and my bedroom.

8. End-of-day Cleanup

Clear your workspace at the end of the day. It’ll give you a fresh start the next morning. I always make sure my desk is cleared at the end of the workday and the bed is made at the beginning of the day.

“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right. And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”

Admiral William H. McRaven Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World

9. Digital Vision Board

Make your screen inspirational with a digital vision board. Seeing your goals every day can be super motivating. I use Canva to create mine every year and then put it on my computer and also the lock screen of my phone.

10. Find Your Groove

A little music can boost your mood and productivity. Whether it’s Mozart or Metallica is up to you. My moods vary and so does my music, and when the puppy is being especially ornery, I ask Alexa to play “calming music for dogs”.

11. Sleep Schedule

Stick to a regular sleep schedule. Your body and mind need that rest to function at their best. The Sleep Foundation shares tips on how to achieve a healthy circadian rhythm. One of my favorites lately is I make sure to step outside every morning for natural light exposure.

12. Start Your Day Right

Kick off your day with a “commute” – enjoy your coffee on the porch, write in your gratitude journal, whatever sets the right tone. Personally, I enjoy exercising first thing. It sets me up with a positive mindset for the start of workday.

13. Get Dressed

Even if no one’s watching, getting dressed can shift your mindset to “work mode”. I may wear yoga pants most days, but putting on shoes does wonders for my mindset and productivity.

14. Lunch Out

Every now and then, have lunch outside or grab lunch at a favorite lunch spot. It’s a small change that can break the monotony. Working remotely for a few years now, I have noticed that I could go days without leaving the house if I don’t make a conscious effort.

15. Stay Social

Isolation is one of the biggest downsides to working from home, but it doesn’t mean you have to become a hermit. Call a friend, chat with a colleague, or find a mentor to keep those social connections alive!

Conclusion

Wellness isn’t a luxury when working from home; it’s a necessity. By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you’re not only setting yourself up for a productive workday, but also taking care of your overall well-being. Remember, balance is key—work, rest, play, it’s all part of the deal.

I get it, some days are tougher than others. But remember, it’s okay to step back and take a breather when things get overwhelming. Whether it’s a quick chat with a friend, a moment of mindfulness, or simply enjoying a cup of coffee on your porch, every little act of self-care counts. Do you have a favorite tip not listed above? Please share below! Stay healthy, stay happy, and keep rocking the work-from-home life!

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