I’ve been working from home for about 8 years or so, not going to lie, I’m not always the most productive, but I’ve picked up a few tips along the way to make sure I’m being a little healthier, as it is so easy to eat a whole packet of biscuits while hoping for inspiration to take.
Being healthy isn’t just about exercising, of course, that’s important, but it also about keeping your mind and soul healthy, having fun to ease stress and just adding relaxation into your schedule.
5 Healthy Tips While In Lockdown
Start the day right
It is so easy when working from home to go straight to your desk, switch on your computer or laptop, and basically get stuck into your emails. One of my golden rules is to start the day right with breakfast, a cup of tea, and a chat with my husband. It used to be we’d eat breakfast and then he would head out to the office, now we head to our separate rooms in the house to get on with work, but we still sit down at the kitchen island and have something to eat, even if it is just a piece of fruit.
While I would normally suggest going to the gym, grabbing a yoga class or go for a swim, these aren’t normal times, but thank god for technology there are a lot of at-home alternatives – most of which are free.
For me, physical activity is a must, whether it is a long dog walk, yoga or pilates – it really helps boost my mood and makes me sleep better, it also eases my anxieties.
During the lockdown I’ve been giving DownDog a try, it is an app that literally lets you do yoga anywhere, and until May 1 it is completely free. There are a number of different apps you can try, yoga for beginners, more challenging yoga classes, as well as barre, the ballet-inspired workout that I really want to give a go, and there is even a high-intensity interval training app.
Another go-to online yoga class has to be Yoga With Adriene, I’m obsessed with these YouTube classes and I really like the 30 Days Of Yoga series, as well as the specials she does like yoga for digestive health, and yoga for sensitive knees. Basically, Adriene has a yoga class to suit all abilities and ages.
Want something that’s not yoga, try The Body Coach, he is doing a fun PE workout class each day for the kids that is fun to join in with, plus his YouTube channel has weekly HIIT workouts and most of his workouts can be done anywhere in the home or your garden with no equipment.
Sweaty Betty have also launched a series of online fitness classes ranging from yoga to HIIT, try the bum-sculpting super workout for a fun fitness hit.
Get a bird feeder
Stick with me, you might be thinking a bird feeder, really? Yes, really. I promise you it will be the most stress relieving thing you will ever do, it boosts my mood and for 15 minutes it really can make you take a break from your phone, computer and the never-ending scroll of social media.
Meditation, breathing exercises
I really enjoy meditation, as it helps me take a moment, especially good when my anxiety is high, as it centres my mind and helps me focus on what really matters.
For me, and especially important during these unprecedented times, meditation and doing breathing exercises really brings me a sense of calm, placing me back to the present, as my anxiety is generally steamed to getting worried about what’s ahead, and helps me sleep better.
Never done meditation before, these are my three simple tips to get you started:
- Find a comfortable and quiet spot – I like the conservatory or my walk-in-wardrobe as they have great light and cosy corners.
- Set a timer, I like to do 5 to 10 minutes.
- Sat comfortably – now time to focus on your breathing – take a deep inhale through your nose, and then exhale slowly through your mouth
For more guidance, try apps Calm or Headspace, both of which offer guided sessions of various time lengths. I also really recommend Yoga With Adriene’s 15 Minute Meditation For Anxiety as I find it calming and hopefully it will also provide you with a little relief from anxiety and stress.
Remember to switch off from work
It is so easy, especially when working from home, to continue working late or do long hours, but you have to ensure a balance between work and home life, even when working from your home.
I set myself working hours, it doesn’t always work out as I plan, we all have projects and deadlines, but for the most part, I’m at my desk around 7am, walk Falcon around 11.30am, followed by lunch, and then back to my desk until around 4.30pm. That’s what works for me, but I have friends who prefer to do what I call the nightshift, they get up a little later, and do their work in the late afternoon and evening. There is no right and wrong timings – forget the concept of 9 to 5 as that isn’t for everyone – the important thing is to create your own balance.
Need help with your mental health? Head on over to my previous working from home blog on the five creative things I do to help get me through the anxiety.