Like many people around the world, we’ve been working from home a lot recently. The long commute has been replaced by a short wander to the kitchen table. But a different routine brings new and unexpected challenges to staying healthy.
In this article – we share a wellness routine for working from home that’s helping us stay healthy in terms of nutrition, physical activity, and sleep quality.
We love working from home, but it’s not always the best for our health and wellbeing. It’s easy to forget to hydrate or even move when we’re spending all day at home. It can be harder to switch off after work since there’s no clear gap between that a personal time (something the commute would usually provide).
It’s also easy for bad habits to creep in… Many of us reach for the snacks when we’re feeling bored (or just because they’re tasty). But this can quickly become a daily habit.
So, we’ve been proactive about establishing a routine and finding ways to be healthier at home. Here’s a quick overview of a typical day…
- 08:00 – Large glass of water
- 08:15 – Exercise or chillout time
- 09:00 – Smoothie
- 09:00-17:00 – Work time
- 17:00 – Get outside
- 20:00 – Healthy treat
- 21:00 – Relaxing before bed
08:00 – Large glass of water
We start the day with a large glass of water to rehydrate. Reaching for the coffee might be more tempting but your body needs water after going without all night. It’s often part of the reason you feel tired first thing.
08:15 – Exercise or chillout time
We’ve found that exercise sets a positive tone for the day ahead and helps with both physical and mental health. Doing it in the morning means it’s out of the way and we’re less likely to flake out (which often happens the longer we leave something).
We’re currently switching between PE with Joe, Tyson Fury workouts, and yoga sessions.
But I don’t do this every day. Sometimes I just have a little chillout time before my workday begins. I’ll spend time writing a blog article, do a Japanese language lesson, or just relax on the sofa with a coffee.
Having space at the start and end of the day is helpful for work/life balance (and less stressful than rolling out of bed and firing up the laptop).
09:00 – Smoothie
As we’re sitting down to start work, we consume either a green smoothie or protein-packed one (depending on the workout done previously). These smoothies include 2-3 portions of my 5 a day and fibre for digestive health.
09:00-17:00 – Work time
I sit by the window so that I can still enjoy the sunshine and greenery even though I’m indoors. This can be helpful if you live in an apartment without a balcony and don’t have access to outside space.
I also take regular breaks from my screen, have a wander around my flat (even if it is only two rooms!), chat to my boyfriend, play with the dog, and hydrate throughout the day.
17:00 – Get Outside
In the UK we’re currently allowed to spending 60 minutes outdoors each day for exercise. I try to make the most of it, even if I’m feeling lazy from sitting down all day.
I’ll take the dog out for a walk or go for a run involving interval training (because I can’t run for anywhere near an hour straight!). If I’m walking, I listen to podcasts as I find them uplifting and they stimulate ideas which helps with creativity.
20:00 – Healthy Treat
We’ve fallen into the habit of having a treat every day after dinner. I try to make a healthy option in advance so that we have a fresh fruit salad or homemade cookies on hand. This means we’re less tempted to pop out to the local corner shop for chocolate.
It’s not about being perfect, just as healthy and happy as you can be under these strange circumstances.
Making your own treats rather than buying them in is often a healthier option. Sometimes the extra hassle of preparing them will be enough to put you off! Research nutritious snack recipes online and think about healthier alternatives to standard ingredients.
Great alternatives to flour, eggs, and sugar include oats, ground almonds, bananas, peanut butter, lemon zest, and spices.
21:00 – Relaxing Before Bed
What you do in the hours right before bed will have a dramatic impact on your sleep quality. I find that watching dramas or thrillers on tv makes my mind super-active so it can be hard to switch off straight away.
So, I now watch chillout programmes that relax me before bed – Hyori’s B&B is feel-good entertainment on Netflix. Then I read a few pages of my book (currently American Gods by Neil Gaimen) to make me even more tired.
This isn’t something I was doing before I started working from home but I’ve found it helpful for improving sleep. Since I’m not getting tired out by being active throughout the day as I usually would, I need to take extra steps to keep my sleep quality tip-top.
We hope you find this wellness schedule and tips useful. Let us know what you think on Facebook…