World Health Week 2021: How to Stay Healthy While Working from Home
BAJAJ FINSERV HEALTH EXPERTS
April 07, 2021
Remote work is now a more or less permanent fixture in our daily lives. It’s not hard to see that work from home is a blessing in several ways: less commute, more time saved, better work-life balance, and fewer costs. However, remote work wasn’t an intentional choice during the initial work from home wave, and this meant that many were caught on the wrong foot. Physical and mental health took a toll but as the mist clears, many want to stick to remote work (at least partially). It’s easy to perceive how the model can be a win-win for all, if only we abide by a handful of healthy habits while working from home.
Here are 5 habits to pledge to this World Health Day.
Establish a routine for the day
Structure is not boring—it’s strangely freeing. Routine in fact ensures you do the right things and do them well! Being healthy while working from home requires that the different elements of your day and the various facets of your life converge and coexist. And routine helps you prioritise events and allocate time to what is important. When offices shut, at the onset of the pandemic, huge tranches of the workforce found themselves, suddenly, with a workday that lacked any structure. Such a situation can be immensely stressful, and with loads of ‘free time’, you can find yourself focusing on all things negative.
However, those keen on staying healthy while working from home swear by their routines and the benefits are for all to see:
- Better sleep
- Reduced stress
- Higher efficiency
- Improved focus
- More time saved
As per one survey , as much as 75% of workers, would choose to continue remote work post-pandemic. This just goes to show that when woven into your day well, work from home can be a great boon. To get a routine in place, try these healthy work from home habits:
For those who are single:
- Wake up and sleep at the same time each day
- Login to work and unplug at fixed times
- Schedule time for meals, snacks, and rest
- Slot in time for household chores and cooking
- Give dedicated time to family and friends
For couples (extra tips):
- Figure out a morning remote work schedule
- Decide when lunch is and who is involved is getting it ready
- Have a shared calendar
- Draft a plan B for when your partner has to work late
For couples with kids (extra tips):
- Fix a time to put the kids to bed
- Plan activities for your kids in advance
- Stagger work timings and opt for shifts if possible
- Know who is responsible for what and when
Stay hydrated and nourished
‘Man is what he eats’ according to an old adage, and that’s why a bulk of health tips for working from home revolve around your diet. A good practice is to plan your meals in advance, perhaps on a Sunday, so that you do not run into decision fatigue and fail to fuel up for your next session. How to stay fit while working from home? A nutritionist would say eat well and among the best tips for staying healthy while working from home include:
- Increasing your protein intake
- Getting enough fibre
- Eating more fruit and vegetables
- Reducing your calories
However, with the sweltering heat of the summer beating down on workspaces (many of which lack ACs!), the tips to stay fit while working from home now centre around hydration. Water is great, and a must. But for a quick boost of energy, nothing works as well as DIY homemade drinks. Some lip-smacking concoctions that will help you stay healthy while working from home include:
- Coconut water with lemon
- Kokum and coconut water
- Basil lemonade
- Aam Panna (green mango refresher)
- Mango pineapple agua fresca
Carve out time for some digital detox
When adhering to healthy habits working from home, the challenge is to maintain a balance. However, staying healthy while working remotely can get tricky because of unhealthy behaviours we may have unconsciously built. The work from home revolution, unfortunately, meant being plugged in all the time. With the increased use of digital devices, many people are reporting issues ranging from reduced attention spans and low-quality sleep to ‘Zoom fatigue’ and lack of time.
The impact of an extremely high degree of exposure to digital devices and media are both physical (your eyes need rest) and psychological (you partake of life and relationships less). This is why keeping healthy when working from home requires a certain amount of digital abstinence. Researchers are still investigating the effects of digital devices and media on the brain. However, there is good reason to include a few daily hours of digital downtime or a ‘digital detox Sunday’ among the tips to stay healthy while working from home.
Connect with family and friends
The surveys are unanimous: among the things we most miss about the office are personal interactions, real-life meetings, in-person collaboration, pantry breaks, water cooler chit chat, and good-natured colleague banter. This is just a reaffirmation of the fact that man is a social being and to stay healthy working from home it’s crucial that you pay extra attention to your relationships.
Good habits for working from home include having dedicated family time, and with less commuting work from home does give you ample opportunities for it. The problem is quality. So, try things like:
- Eating meals together
- Starting a project
- Going on an outing
Healthy habits for working from home extend from connecting with family to reconnecting with friends and tending to your social relationships, as this is important to your emotional wellbeing. In fact, if you are wondering how to deal with anxiety try talking things through with someone you trust. The exercise is sure to lighten your heart, free your mind, and bring in a fresh perspective.
Take care of your mental wellbeing
Many agree that amid the physical trials of COVID-19, the most challenging aspect of maintaining employee wellbeing while working from home centres around being kind to the mind. If you want to know how to stay fit at work, it is crucial to spot and then address the effects of stress. These range from anxiety all the way to burnout. Thankfully, most of the working from home healthy habits mentioned above like maintaining a routine and connecting with others will help you safeguard your mental wellbeing whilst working from home. Some also try to fight coronavirus with pranayama and breathing exercises can double up to help reduce stress.
However, one remedy for stress must be highlighted and that is professional help. If you find yourself in need of help, simply open the Bajaj Finserv Health App and search for a psychologist near you. You can set up a virtual consult or an in-person meeting within minutes and get quality assistance without hassles.
Now that you know how to stay fit working from home, pledge to live to your fullest potential and to a life of more smiles and happiness this World Health Day!