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Many of us are either working from home again, or never stopped since the first lockdown! It’s much harder to keep healthy when it’s cold and dark outside.
Here are some tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle while you’re working from home. Hopefully these will keep you motivated throughout the long winter months.
Gyms are shut and many forms of exercise are off the cards for now, but this doesn’t mean you need to stop exercising altogether.
Something as simple as getting out for a walk or run everyday will improve your mood and keep you healthy. The best thing about this is it’s outside, so you can get some fresh air and maybe even some sunshine at the same time. Cycling is also a good option if you prefer it.
There’s also no shortage of online workouts you can do from home. YouTube has a wide range of workout videos for free that will suit all abilities. Whether a 20 minute lunchtime HIIT session is your thing or a pre-bed yoga routine is more your style, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.
Endless takeaways seem like the easy option and the temptation to regularly order out is only growing.
If you can, keep takeaways to the minimum or cook your own healthy alternatives to your favourite classics.
Keeping to regular meals can also help. It’s very easy to mindlessly snack while working from home – hands up if you’ve polished off a whole packet of biscuits in a day before!
Sticking to regular, nutritious meals will help prevent this as you should feel full and satisfied for longer after eating.
Don’t forget to drink water too. It’s very easy to find yourself on your fourth of fifth coffee without realising it, but don’t forget coffee is actually dehydrating. Make sure to balance it out with regular glasses of water. This is also a good way to keep you moving as you have to get up every hour or so to fill up your glass.
Working from home can help you save money and improve your financial health. For starters, you don’t have the cost of the commute or the allure of after work drinks!
But, there are expenses to working from home and the costs could rack up quickly if you don’t watch out.
Electricity will be a big cost for many, now we’re at home all the time. To keep your electricity costs down, turn your power switches off at the wall when you’re not using them. You could also consider switching providers. Some – like Bulb – offer a referral bonus if you can convince a friend to switch too.
Heating is another big expense, especially with the cold weather we’re currently experiencing. Try and wear extra socks and jumpers (if your work Zoom calls allow!) rather than heading to the thermostat as soon as you get a bit chilly.
Where possible try and avoid ordering lunch each day, however tempting it might be. Although cooking endless meals can get tiring, it will help you save a lot of money, so your bank balance will thank you in the long run.
If you’re finding you’re not spending as much money – whether it’s from not commuting or buying lunch each day – try and avoid leaving it sitting in your current account. This will just increase the temptation to spend it when the opportunity presents itself again.
Instead, consider opening a savings accounts. Out of site, out of mind really does work. Your money will be protected and ready for you to spend when you really need it.
Lockdown and Covid-19 are getting most people down. A certain amount of this is probably unavoidable, but there are steps you can take to stay mentally healthy at home.
A good starting point is to stay connected with your friends. Arrange Zoom calls and virtual catch ups so you can check in with each other. You could even play a game or watch a film together to make you feel more connected.
Take some time each day to relax and switch off. A lot of people find mindfulness helpful for this. You can find out more about mindfulness here.
If you find yourself struggling more than usual, it could be worth seeking individual therapy. Talking through your problems and getting specific help and guidance can be very helpful.
Of course, if your feelings are seriously worrying you do speak to your GP or a medical professional.
A routine is crucial to staying healthy while working from home.
It may seem tempting – particularly without the commute hanging over you – to keep snoozing your alarm, but try and avoid this.
Instead, get up each morning and follow the same pattern. Whether it’s having a coffee, a shower, or cooking yourself a nice breakfast, the important thing is to stick to a routine and avoid lying in bed with your laptop all morning.
It’s also really important to take breaks and get away from endless screens regularly. A quick stand up and stretch every hour, will help avoid aches and pains while giving your mind a much-needed break.
Where you can, take a proper break in the day and get some fresh air. Getting out in daylight will make a big difference if your working hours allow it. Schedule this into your day to stop yourself from putting it off because it’s a bit too cold or raining.
If you’re struggling with productivity, or social media scrolling is distracting you too much, try scheduling in fun activities as rewards. This could be anything from a break to watch an episode of your favourite TV show after you’ve met a deadline or even a bubble bath.
It’s a good idea to mark the end of the working day too. Try to avoid checking your emails well into the evening and working anti-social hours. Instead, shut your laptop down and put it away until the morning once you’ve finished for the day.
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