Working from home and staying healthy – A daily routine
Having to manage work from home seems initially an easy thing to do, with a natural flow to the day. But then you wake up in the morning feeling overwhelmed with all the things you have to do, trying to figure out how to stay focused on your tasks, plus deciding on healthy meals, how to get enough exercise, and how to decrease a daily mounting anxiety that is almost giving you panic attacks.
Here are some suggestions that seem to be working for me. Preparing my schedule the day before and putting it in my calendar helps me to keep focused, organized, minimize distractions and stay calm. Also being structured about diet and exercise will help me keep in shape.
Time to get up, clean and get dressed – please put your makeup on, do your hair and wear nice work clothes – no pajamas all day! This will put you in a working at the office set of mind and give you a professional attitude.
Eat a health breakfast, for example whole grains, fruit and coffee or tea for a clear mind and a good boost of morning energy.
Meditate – Believe me, this helps with centering you, calming you down and removing all worries. Try to empty your mind for 15 minutes – not as easy as it seems. Check out he Deepak Chopra Center website for ideas on meditation and other strategies to cope with stress and anxiety.
Now you're ready to work. Find a dedicated work space with good ergonomics – seated comfortably with your back supported, feet flat on the floor, and your computer straight at your eye level and one arm’s length distance if possible. Prop up your laptop with books if you have to. This will prevent body fatigue, aches and having to adjust your position often.
Avoiding distractions is the main challenge. Some tips:
- Inform your family members that you are at work and that you are not to have any interruptions.
- A room with a closed door will keep noises out and act as a barrier from you and anyone else around the house who might be tempted to talk to you.
- This is hard, but keeping the phone turned off will remove a lot of temptations to get distracted. If that is absolutely impossible (and I can sympathize with your on that), take one mini hourly break of five minutes to check email, messages, etc.
- If you get antsy, every so often get up and stretch a little, walk in the room, and look out the window to rest your eyes.
- Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths every once in a while to help refocus.
Take a 15 minute break for a much needed snack. Fruit and some high protein food such as cottage cheese or egg whites, and my special cocoa recipe will keep you satisfied until lunch. Use the opportunity to get up and stretch your neck and back in the standing position (not seated) to stimulate your circulation and reduce the pressure in you spine.
Lissette’s low cal chai hot cocoa recipe:
½ cup unsweetened almond milk or any other preferred milk substitute
½ cup water
1 teaspoon powdered cocoa or chocolate piece unsweetened
A sprinkling to taste of these powdered spices: ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, cloves (just a little, they’re strong), nutmeg
Microwave for 2 minutes, stir to dissolve and you’re all set
No lunch yet! Noon is is the perfect time for an exercise break. There are awesome exercises classes going on now that you can find on YouTube or Instagram. I like this link, Dancing Alone Together, with great dance classes from beginner to advanced. Staying active is crucial to keeping in shape, feeling energetic, animated and avoiding boredom and lethargy.
Now you can eat! Make sure there is a good balance of healthy carbs, protein and a little fat. Some brown rice and ground Asian ground turkey stir-fry is a great combination. Keep portions reasonable. If you must eat something sweet, go for fruit. Cook a lot the night before to have leftovers handy.
Another break for a snack. Stretch your body, walk around a little, check your phone, almost done!
Finish the day, then go outside for a 30-45 minute walk. It will be invigorating, refreshing after being cooped up, and will add some aerobic exercise to your routine.
Time for dinner, followed by TV, internet, family time, reading, some chores, etc. A balanced dinner again is the best, avoiding rich sweets, alcohol and fatty food. Keeping the meals simple without too many ingredients is the best to simplify your life. Add flavor with herbs and spices.
Chat with family and friends on Zoom or FaceTime-It's better that just a phone call - making a connection with a face is uplifting and you'll feel less isolated.
Bedtime – keep a steady schedule to make sure you get good sleep – and don’t watch bad news right before you go to bed! That will surely cause a sleepless and restless night.
Wishing you a happy, healthy workday from home!
Any other suggestions? Please leave comments or ideas!
Here are some comfortable home office fun pieces from Kolori