There seems to be a common misconception that working from home is equal to pure bliss, utmost freedom, and largely consists of working in front of the ocean with a beer in hand.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably come to the end of many a work-from-home day sitting with a hunched back at your desk, feeling exhausted beyond words. Simultaneously, you realize you’ve barely moved a muscle other than your trusty dusty fingertips during your 10-hour work sprint.
It took me a little while, but I came to this personal realization. Yes, I want to be effective and get a lot done, but what’s the point of being successful if I’m just going to end up pain-ridden, stressed out, and pretty darn cranky?
Here are my top 6 tips for staying healthy, happy, and sane while working from home. They are simple and easy to implement, but they’ve made all the difference in my past two years of working remotely.
1. Activewear is your new uniform
First of all, why would you need to wear anything else? Most importantly, you’ll be ready to jump up and do some yoga or run to the gym at any given moment. It will psychologically prepare you to get your workout in at some point in the day. If you’re ready and set, the next step is go.
2. Get up and stretch
Sitting at a desk all day for days on end will just make you achy and irritable. Try setting an alarm every 2 hours or so to remind you to stand up and stretch for at least 3 minutes.
3. Smoothies are king
I think lunch breaks are very important (we’ll get into that in just a minute), but in the mornings, I get a head start by sitting down at my desk with my coffee and smoothie already prepared.
A smoothie – packed with some carefully selected ingredients – gives me awesome brain energy and power, and it’s probably the most practical drink-while-working-or-on-the-go meal. #LifeHack
4. Invert yo’self
If you start to feel stressed, blocked, or lacking inspiration, find a spare wall in your house and get your body upside down. If you’re not quite “there” yet, start where you are and work up to it. It’s worth it!
This isn’t just a cute idea, there’s science behind it! Being upside down increases blood flow to your brain which helps reduce stress and boost your overall mood. Plus, it decompresses your spine and strengthens your upper body muscles. Need to think clearly and don’t want to get flabby? Handstands.
5. Lunch like a human
Try to take at least a 20 minute break to eat lunch and look out the window…or anywhere, just not at your computer (no, your phone is not a loophole!). This is a great way to refresh your eyes from blue light, reset your brain, and avoid getting burnt out.
If being quiet with your thoughts sounds boring, try listening to a podcast or a cool article on Medium or Audible so you can still be “getting things done” without looking at a screen.
6. Take a salsa dance break
Ok fine, it’s doesn’t HAVE to be salsa, but Pancho and I find that putting on a 3 minute salsa song and swinging our hips at some point in the day is a highly effective de-stressor. If you prefer tango or hip-hop that’s fine too, just as long as you get your body moving and get your heart rate up!
These tips work for me and help me get through the sometimes mundane work-from-home routine. What are your hacks?