Working from home is the new normal since the outbreak of COVID-19. We are all now sitting down at our computers going from call to call on Zoom and then continuing to work on our screens in between these times.
Do you sit down in the morning to work and then come up for air at 3pm and realise you haven’t taken a break, eaten or looked after yourself?
Doing this every day can really impact your health both physically and mentally, and at a time when we need to be keeping our immune systems strong, we need to be doing the right thing by ourselves.
When we are at work, we have people around us and different times when everybody heads out for a coffee meeting, or goes and gets lunch, or just leaves their desk to go into a meeting room. All of this is moving around and brings us away from our screens.
This new way of working actually requires thought.
Working from home is actually a very different animal to working in an office environment. We need to pay attention and make sure we are looking after ourselves, otherwise we impact our health both physically and mentally.
Our body thrives on exposure to light during the day, so we need to continue to regulate this, even when we are working from home. Either going for a walk outside during your breaks or actually work outside for some of the day if you are able to sit in your backyard, patio or balcony is a good way to make sure you are getting your natural light exposure for the day.
Routine while we are working at home is our friend. Setting yourself a schedule. Using your phone to set alarms to make sure you are moving around and taking breaks is one way to assist. This could look like:
- 9am start work
- 10.30am take a break from your screen and walk in the back yard
- 12.30pm have a lunch break for 30 minutes/ 1 hour
- 2.30pm go for a 10 minute walk
- 5pm sign off and leave your computer for the day.
Being aware that when you are working at home, your meetings, your work and any discussions with work colleagues are all done on a screen, so it is important to step away from your computer. This allows your eyes to get some time away from constantly staring at a screen. It also lets our bodies relax away from all the blue light that comes from our computers, tablets and mobile phones.
With this new, though temporary reality, we need to be mindful as to how we are working from home. It is very important to keep yourself healthy in both body and mind.
So organise your workday, create your schedule, make time to take breaks, eat good food, drink lots of water and look after yourself.