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Maintaining a healthy lifestyle when working from home

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle has benefits not just for your health and wellbeing, but also in boosting your work productivity.

Exercise

Exercise helps you to maintain or improve your physical fitness, health and general wellbeing.

Exercise releases endorphins that elevate your mood. Regular exercise has been shown to have positive impacts on a person’s mood and overall wellbeing. So if you’re feeling stressed – exercise is a great way to forget your worries.

If you find it hard to set aside an hour or so each day, you could break up your exercise regime into smaller sessions. For example, you could jog for 20 minutes in the morning, do some push-ups or sit-ups before lunch, and then finish with 15 minutes of weights later in the day.

Exercising regularly will make you feel happier and more energised.

For some great tips on setting up the perfect home gym, check out this article.

Healthy snacks

It’s easy to fall into a pattern of eating unhealthy snacks, like chocolates or potato chips. The afternoon hits, you’re looking for a quick energy boost and that chocolate bar beckons you with an easy solution.

The trick is to substitute unhealthy snacks, for healthy (and tasty) ones – such as fruit and nuts. A handful of berries and some nuts will give you an energy boost without the guilt. Bananas are another great option, they’re nature’s pre-packaged snack food!

For more healthy eating tips, check out this article.

Take breaks

It’s easy to work for hours at home without taking any breaks. You get on a roll, and perhaps there’s no one else at home to disrupt your work.

Here’s the thing, you’ll be more productive if you take regular breaks.

Working long hours uninterrupted means more mistakes, because fatigue sets in and your concentration wanes.

You’ll do your best work when you’re properly rested.

Get enough sleep

Sleep is crucial for being able to function properly.

Lack of sleep negatively affects your concentration, motor skills and mood. That’s not a great recipe for working productively.

It can be helpful to establish a routine bed time and wake up time. It doesn’t have to be exact, it could be something like ‘in bed before 10:30pm’. The aim is to achieve some consistency.

Of course you may need to accommodate for others in the household to ensure the timing works for everyone. If that’s the case, then it makes sense to discuss your work hours with your family or significant other.

Stay connected

For many people, one of the hardest things about working from home is the lack of regular interaction with other people.

It’s important that you’re able to share your thoughts and worries with someone else. It could be a friend or family member, or people working in the same industry.

Whilst face-to-face contact may not be possible, technology can have you chatting with people all over the world. Platforms such as Zoom, Houseparty and Facebook offer an easy (and free) way to connect with people.

In addition to the social benefits, connecting with others can also help with your work. Someone else may have already solved a problem just like one you’re currently facing, but you won’t know if you don’t make those connections with people.

Speak up

If you’re feeling down or anxious, speak up and get some support.

There are many free mental health support services, such as beyondblue. Support is delivered by trained mental health professionals and is completely confidential.

For more information, see our Mental Health Support and Resources article.

Celebrate your wins

It’s worth taking a step back from time to time and reflecting on what you’ve done well and the things that you’ve achieved.

We all remember (and hopefully learn from) our mistakes, but sometimes we forget our successes all too quickly.

You could set yourself some goals and assign rewards for meeting them. The rewards don’t have to be expensive, they just need to be activities or items that make you smile.


This article was first published by the same author on homebusiness.com.au in 2016. The homebusiness.com.au website closed down in 2019. The article has been updated for 2020.

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Luke Summers

Fitness Trainer and Founder of Squadron Fitness. For amplified group fitness training visit squadron.com.au. Luke's also a qualified cook, so check out his recipes in the HealthyLiving.com.au Kitchen (coming soon).

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