If you’re someone who has never worked remotely before, you will find yourself slipping into “home mode” from time to time and this could harm your wellbeing. If you think working in a bed all day is a better idea in comparison to working at your desk, think again. You could end up ruining your posture. Remember that working from home is all about working just like you used to before.
A lot of people feel that “work from home” is more relaxed than “work from your office every day”. it doesn’t matter where you work from. Work is work and it can lead to burnout.
Remote workers need to be mindful of their schedules and the way they work in order to maintain good physical and mental health and to avoid burnout. In this article, we’ve laid out the top 10 self-care tips for remote work that can help you find a balance.
Why is it Important to Take Care of Yourself While Working Remotely
Working remotely can become a sort of workation. Imagine having a choice to lay in bed all day and work there, eat there and even sleep there. This could lead to so many physical and mental health issues over a period of time. You might not realize it early on but gradually it begins to have an adverse impact on you. In fact, this is why it is so important to take care of yourself as a remote worker and we will discuss all the reasons here.
Here are some of the reasons why you must focus on your overall well being while working remotely:
- Blurring the lines between work and life might damage your work-life balance.
- Irregular work schedules might affect your productivity.
- Longer hours in virtual meetings could lead to Zoom fatigue.
- Irregular and long working hours might affect your personal relationships and mental health.
While there are many pros of remote work, there are also areas that you need to take care of. You will be able to enjoy your best professional and personal life only when you’re positively charged with good health and are feeling energized and happy.
There’s no heavy work to be done! A few simple tweaks to your lifestyle can do wonders. Remote workers must aim to make self-care the highest priority. Here are the 10 self care tips that can help you take care of yourself while working from home.
Top 10 Self-Care Tips for Remote Work
1. Fix Your Sleep Schedule
That Zoom meeting you have tomorrow is scheduled for 2 PM, but that shouldn’t mean that you should wake up at 1 PM! Netflix and Amazon Prime can wait too. If you stay up till late at night or early morning, you’re not only ruining your work schedule, but it will also eventually affect your overall health.
A few simple changes can help you achieve the right sleep schedule.
- Your sleep schedule should not depend on your work schedule.
- Keep it consistent. Sleep at the same time and wake up at the same time every day.
- In order to avoid the urge to watch your favourite shows or use your phone, keep your devices away at least 1 hour prior to your bedtime.
Pro Tip: Indulge in calming activities like meditation, reading, listening to music, etc in the last one hour before bedtime. This will help you sleep better.
2. Wear Pants, Literally!
We’re not talking about the dynamics of your personal relationship. This one is all about your relationship with work! As we mentioned earlier, it is easy for remote workers to slip into “home mode” from time to time. You’ll be surprised to know that part of the reason is probably your pajamas!
Most of us are guilty of letting ourselves go during remote work because that’s what the perks of remote work are all about right? Wrong.
Being in pajamas makes you feel comfortable. Wearing your favorite pair day after day will make you feel… LAZY.
We don’t mean that you should be uncomfortable and wear formal pants. We know nobody can see what you wear down below, but you know what you’re wearing, and that’s enough to make your mind feel too much at “home”. It will mess with your brain, sleep, and self-esteem! Yes, this is real.
Wear a comfortable pair of pants but not the one you wear to sleep or laze around.
3. Stay Away From Your Bed
No. Not around your sleep time. That’s the only time you should be on your bed if you’re a remote worker! Otherwise, the bed is bound to make you lazy, and once you feel cozy, you might even drift away into a deep slumber. You don’t want that during your working hours.
Besides just making you lazy and hence, less productive, if you do your work while sitting on your bed, you will affect your body posture as well. This could lead to rigidity in your muscles and stress on your spine too.
This is why it is best to have a designated work-space for yourself. Make sure to use the same for work every single day. This will train your mind to differentiate between work and leisure time as well.
You could create a home office corner or go for a simple work desk, depending on your choice and budget, but the bed is surely something you need to strike out of your “work” environment.
4. Take Breaks from Time to Time
If you were in a physical office before, you possibly had your own coffee breaks where you would just take ten to fifteen minutes to relax and rejuvenate yourself.
This is the same thing you need to replicate while working remotely. Breaks are essential for not only rebooting your mind, but a little movement from time to time is also great for your body. Whatever you might want to do in your breaks, make sure to include some sort of movement.
Of course, your home might not be as big as your office was, and you have limited space, but going to the kitchen to prepare your coffee and to your garden to water your plants is a great way to include movement along with refreshing your mind.
It is best not to keep everything you need at your desk at all times! This will allow you to move around a little to get your beverages or snacks when you need them. These little breaks are very important as they help your mind to freshen up and your body to get a small walking exercise every now and then.
5. Stay Away from Excessive Snacking
We mentioned snacks in the previous point, but that doesn’t mean gorging on bags of chips all day and gulping down gallons of aerated drinks. There’s nothing wrong in having such snacks once in a while but as a remote worker, you might end up doing this every day.
Snacking like there’s no tomorrow leads to:
- Skipping proper lunches.
- Lowering of healthy nutrients in the body.
- Unhealthy weight gain.
- Increase in fatigue and lethargy owing to the high sugar, fat and soda content in such snacks and drinks.
- A drop in productivity owing to an increase in fatigue.
- Overall poor focus and work performance and damage to health and wellbeing.
Those are enough reasons for you to switch to healthy snacking options and to reduce the frequency of snacking.
6. Log in on Time AND Disconnect on Time
While a lot of emphasis is placed on logging in to work on time, it is important to note that logging out of work is as important.
Here’s how working long hours will affect you:
- You will be left with no time for yourself, your family, and your hobbies.
- Being overworked means your body and mind are getting stressed.
- Conflicts in personal relationships owing to lesser quality time.
Remote workers need to draw the line before work is all they’re left with. Don’t play with your physical and mental health and equally importantly, you have a personal life which you shouldn’t neglect. If your 8 hours of work are up and you’ve been productive along with finishing your work tasks on time, disconnect from work. Connect with good health and your family.
7. Start a New Hobby
If the lockdown hasn’t helped you find a new passion or hobby, you probably already have one that you can cultivate! Whether it is dancing, writing, learning a new language, baking, Origami, or gardening, you must take out time several times in the week to indulge in it.
Of course, this is for your “me” time and not during your working hours. Something that you love to do boosts your productivity and creativity over time. It makes you feel happy and more fulfilled, which means it takes really good care of your mental health.
Having a sense of purpose comes from doing things you love. So go ahead and pick up those baking gloves, those dancing shoes, those craft tools and start creating your own corner of happiness!
8. Don’t Work on Weekends
This shouldn’t even be told, but all of us are so used to a fast-paced professional life where we emphasize so much on achievements and so little on fulfillment. They don’t necessarily co-exist. And even if they do, you can’t go on physically and mentally without any breaks or without any brakes on!
Most remote workers have a tendency to spill over their week work into the weekend. Not only does it leave you with no time or energy but it also means that you’re not being kind to yourself. You do need some time off to rejuvenate, just do nothing maybe or to connect with those you love.
You can do so much other than work over the weekend. Your hobbies can take center stage, and you still have ample time to watch movies or just have some fun with your family and friends. This leads to a fresh you every Monday, who is ready to take on work responsibilities for the week!
Let weekends be weekends. Enjoy your personal life as much as you enjoy your professional life. Don’t miss out on that.
9. Take an Off for Your Mental Health
Almost all of us have a habit of taking a day off only when we feel physically unwell. Despite coming so far in our mental health awareness, we are still so behind in making it an equal to our physical health in everyday life.
The day you feel like you need some mental space and time off to just relax and deal with certain things in your life or mind, apply for a leave. Let your immediate boss know the real reason. Don’t mask it behind a physical illness. This is a very important if you really want to work on all the self-care tips for remote work seriously.
Mental health issues need to be addressed and not neglected and it is high time they’re normalized at work as well. When remote work is normalized so quickly, why let mental health remain a taboo?
Remember, your mental health comes first, always. So if you’re burnt out, stressed out or just not feeling good, take some time off.
10. Create a Vision Board
It is very easy to get demotivated quickly when you’re a remote worker. You’re constantly physically away from your team, and that face-to-face talk and motivation is lacking.
Don’t let that get to you because believe it or not, self-motivation is the biggest driver for your professional success. You need to drive your own car to where you want to go. Self-motivation is not hard but what’s the starting point?
- Create a vision board. A vision board helps you look at what you want to achieve in the long term.
- Place this vision board where it is easily visible to you. The best place is somewhere near your work desk.
While we’re always working hard day after day and focusing on our short-term tasks, we often forget what we as individuals want from life in the long term. Having that clarity will help you visualize your life two to five years ahead. This will give you a sense of purpose every day and will keep you motivated.
Take Care of Yourself Every Day
There are so many other things that can help you not only work effectively but also live your life to the fullest. Self-care needs to be your number one priority. No matter how big your dreams are, no matter how much work that is going to take, it will not happen if you don’t take care of yourself!
If you find it difficult to keep up with these new tweaks to your lifestyle, bookmark this page, and you can keep coming back to it to check the 10 self-care tips for remote work. Also, subscribe to Think Remote to get the best remote work tips!