Staying Well When You WFH: 5 Self-Care Tips for Remote Workers
When you work from home, taking care of your mental and physical health is important. While that may seem obvious, neglecting your self-care routine and staying in work mode can be easy. For remote workers, this can look like overworking on a daily basis or simply failing to turn off Slack notifications after work hours. Does any of this sound familiar? If so, we encourage you to try your best to find a work-life balance. But if you’re not sure where to start, that’s okay! This post has five practical self-care tips you can implement today.
- Practice self-care in small ways to avoid feeling overwhelmed when working from home. This can include going for a walk or taking breaks to rest your eyes.
- Taking care of your physical health can help you stay productive and potentially reduce stress throughout the work day. So, it’s important to stay hydrated and move your body when possible.
- Scheduling leisure time and setting boundaries with your loved ones (or roommates) can help you stay focused while in work mode.
Stay hydrated and get fresh air often.
Self-care in the workplace does not have to be expensive, elaborate, or time-consuming. Instead, one can opt for simple ways to stay nourished in the home office. If you don’t know where to start on your journey to a more stable work-life balance, staying hydrated throughout the day and getting a healthy dose of fresh are two simple ways to practice self-care while working remotely.
Pro Tip: Some remote workers find it hard to take regular breaks and often stay in their workspace for the entirety of the work day. But that can lead to burnout! Schedule breaks that include a brisk walk around your neighborhood to get in the habit of going outside and getting fresh air. Or, pre-plan your meals and head to a local park on your lunch break. And if that’s inaccessible, sitting on your porch or balcony, for a few minutes a day, could suffice.
Develop a daily routine for work hours and personal time.
While some experts argue that having a morning routine is the most important, we advise going a step further and developing a daily routine that encompasses your work and home life. After all, to strike a good balance and create structure, you need to consider all aspects of your personhood – which includes remote work and leisure time.
Pro Tip: Take a moment to think about working hours, familial obligations, and hobbies to gain a bigger picture of where you have to spend time on work or personal activities. Then go from there. Use that information to develop a routine or calendar system that includes sufficient time to get projects done, a reasonable amount of time to take breaks throughout the day, and time to take care of one’s well-being.
Take regular screen breaks.
When your home life intersects with your work environment, it can be easy to spend a lot of time staring at screens. After all, the foundation of remote work is built on the ever-advancing technologies that enable us to stay connected to others across the world. However, it’s important to take screen breaks from time to time – especially if you use multiple computer monitors or work across different electronic devices throughout the day.
Pro Tip: Taking care of your ocular health is one surefire way to practice self-care. However, it can be hard to do when working remotely. To get in the habit of taking regular breaks to rest your eyes, set a timer or download a work break reminder app and schedule 5 minutes to close your eyes or look at a non-digital surface.
Eat an actual meal during your lunch break.
Working from home has its fair share of benefits, one is having access to your kitchen table. So, take advantage of your home office by taking a lunch break and preparing a meal for yourself. It can be one of the simple yet rewarding acts of self-care. Meals don’t have to be elaborate or labor-intensive. After all, a sandwich and a side salad can work wonders for a hungry tummy! The important thing here is to take a moment to step away from your designated workspace to intentionally care for one of your most basic human needs.
Pro Tip: It can be tempting to gnaw on junk food while typing away at your computer, however, we advise against it. Sure, it’s unavoidable from time to time, but making it a daily habit can add undue stress when working from home!Surely, you can carve out 30 minutes in a workday to grab a bite to eat, rehydrate, and refocus, right? Combat bad eating habits while remote working by scheduling your lunch time for the same time every day. And, if possible, avoid taking meetings 30 minutes before your scheduled lunch time.
Set boundaries during working hours.
Setting boundaries during the work day can be one of the most beneficial yet hardest self-care tips to implement. However, if you wish to live a disciplined life in which you have time for work and leisure, it is imperative to set healthy limits with those you live with or who have access to you daily. Setting boundaries can take myriad forms. For some, turning off phone notifications can be a good starting point. For others, this practice can look like having a separate workspace that can be closed off or a designated space where others won’t be a distraction.
Pro Tip: When working from home, it can be common to lose track of time conversing with loved ones, friends, or roommates instead of staying focused on the tasks at hand. However, finding ways to create boundaries can help you avoid spending time on your personal life during critical work hours. To strike a good balance, identify a work environment for yourself and stick to the same working hours, if possible. That way, you can schedule activities with friends and family at your discretion.
Finding a balance between work and play can be difficult – especially for those just transitioning out of the traditional office. However, taking a few moments a day to practice simple forms of self-care can have long-term positive effects.