10 Tips for Staying Healthy While Working From Home
Published Mar 23, 2020, Updated Nov 18, 2021
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Staying healthy while working from home can be a real challenge, but it’s totally possible. After six years of working from home I have learned a ton! Here are my best tips.
I know that many of you have recently transitioned to working from home in the past week or so. In theory, working from home sounds great — you can sleep in, wear whatever you like and make yourself a homemade lunch. On the other hand, working from home is difficult because there can be a ton of distractions at home, it’s hard to create boundaries and it’s easy to run into the kitchen to snack whenever you get stressed.
I know many of you are craving your normal work routines with your offices and desks, SO I wanted to share my best tips for working from home… and staying healthy and productive!
1. Have a morning routine. Think about your routine prior to working from home. You likely did at least a few of these things daily: shower, do your hair, put on make-up, sip a cup of coffee, walk your dog, commute in to work. With working from home, it’s so easy to just roll out of bed and onto your computer. As tempting as this may be, don’t do it! Keep your morning routine. It might look a little different, but reserve that time for you. Pro tip: You don’t have to do a full face of make-up, I certainly don’t. But I have a few items I swear by to make myself look put together. Two of go-to skin products that leave my face feeling refreshed and glowy are Tula’s cooling & brightening eye balm and their face filter blurring primer. In terms of make-up I can’t live without brow gel and this mascara.
2. Get dressed. I know it’s tempting, but don’t stay in your pajamas all day. Wake up, do your usual morning routine and be sure to throw on some real clothes! No need to dress in full on business casual, but put on something that makes you feel productive! I’m sharing some of my favorite WFH items below but my current uniform usually involves leggings (these or these) and this waffle top (I have it in four colors). If I’m feeling fancy or have a visitor, I’ll put on a pair of jeans.
3. Create a list of top priorities for the day. If you’re like me, you feel like you have a never-ending to-do list. I like to write out everything I have to do for the week and then each day pick top priorities to focus on. Limit this to just 3-5 items! I use this journal which has a spot for 5 game day tasks, which is perfect.
4. Have a dedicated work space. If you have a spare room you can turn into an office, great. If not, create a space in your home that can serve as an office for now. This might be your kitchen table, a corner of your bedroom… anywhere! I have a home office with a sit to stand desk and Isaac typically sits at the dining room table, which isn’t ideal. Hopefully one day we’ll have space for him to have a home office as well.
5. Have a planner or make a schedule. Block off set times to do certain work tasks and block off other times for lunch, movement, housework, personal calls, etc. When you’re home all day, it’s easy for the day to blur into one long work day. Set aside times for specific tasks. I also like to set “working hours.” It’s easy to be online from the moment you wake up to when you go to bed, so I try to only work during my set working hours each day and keep my computer closed at night.
6. Take an actual lunch break! Don’t eat your lunch in front of the computer. Close down your computer and take your usual lunch break. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the best at this one, but it’s seriously so good for your mental health to take an actual break. It’s also healthier because you’re able to focus on what you’re eating, which will help prevent overeating.
7. Plan out your meals for the day. When I know the plan for the day, I’m less likely to skip meals or raid the pantry when lunchtime or the 3:00 PM snack time hits.
8. Keep healthy snacks on hand. Trust me, it’s so easy to fall into the habit of mindless snacking when you work from home. And if you’re surrounded by sweet treats and unhealthy munchies all day, it’s much more tempting to grab those! If you have health snacks like fruit, protein bars and energy bites, it’s much more likely that you’ll be inspired to reach for those instead. Some of my favorite healthy snacks: veggies and hummus, protein balls, chia pudding and/or smoothies.
9. Get outside! I try to get outside once a day, even if it’s just a short walk around the block. Fresh air and a little Vitamin D do wonders for your mental health and productivity!
10. Move. I’ve mentioned this in a few other points but I highly recommend getting daily movement in! Go on a run or a walk or do an at-home workout. There are a ton of apps that are offering free workouts right now. Here are some I recommend:
- Tone It Up – offering free 30 day trial
- Peloton – offering a free 90 day trial
- Orange Theory – offering daily 30 minute workouts
I hope these tips are useful as you navigate life working from home. I know it can take a bit to get used to a new routine, but you’ll find your rhythm after a few weeks! And who knows, maybe you’ll find that you’re even more productive at home than at the office!
I subscribed to your web-site this year & I really love it. Your stay at home tips are great. I think getting sunshine daily whether going outside, on your terrace, back patio, back yard or through a window is really needed as it gives you vitamin D as well as helps with depression.
I hope that many people will adopt from local shelters as dogs, puppies, cats & kittens are amazing, full of happiness & are at the shelters through no fault of their own & deserve a happy life. They have also proven to extend peoples’ lives…help you live longer by having one, two, three or more snuggle buddies to care for & offer a “forever home” during this unique time. You will not only be saving a life, but extending yours as well. Many animal shelters will be closing which is heartbreaking. Please remember that adopting is “forever” and not as entertainment or to occupy time while we go through this current situation, but is forever as animals are not inanimate objects any more than people.
Eating Bird Food is a great web-site. Stay happy, strong & fearless, Melissa
Hey Melissa – I’m so glad you’re loving my blog, thank you for the support! I totally agree, animals are so comforting especially during hard times. Hoping that the animals in shelters are able to find forever homes. <3
Such great tips, thank you!! We’ve been abiding by all of them except getting totally dressed. We can’t seem to bring ourselves to choose jeans over leggings, haha!
xo, Brooke & Kelcy of The Inspired Abode
Hi Brittany, I write for a local newspaper, and was wondering if I could have permission to use the content of your blog to give people ideas about working from home during this pandemic. Thank you and please let me know – Cheryl
Hey Cheryl – Thanks for asking. What newspaper do you write for?
These are great tips, Brittany! When I started working at home, absolutely everything distracted me. I worked lying on the bed in my pajamas. I got up 10 minutes before the start of the working day, and so I sat until the evening, in my pajamas and with disheveled hair. I felt not productive and I saw your advice. I really liked this article and I decided to try it and I can say that the morning routine is very important and it is also important to dress in normal clothes. Thanks for the tips!
Of course, I’m so glad they’re helpful!
An awesome post.
Well said Brittany, When everyone is inside their home in this pandemic situation, most of us are following work from home and doing our work. But somewhere we are not feeling so productive as we are not doing our work in the same way as before. Chaotic hair, casually dressed, and of course connecting the laptop lying on the bed leaving us distracted and more importantly it also costs on our health.
I really liked your article as all these tips really matter a lot especially the morning routine, getting well dressed, and a proper lunch break. Thank you for sharing a useful piece of information.
This is very fantastic and useful and tips. This grate tips. thank you for the post.
This quarantine and staying indoors is really taking its effect on fitness and health, These tips are gonna come in handy thank you very much.
Great tips for those that are working from home or may plan to do so in the future. Keeping a routine is key to making this a success.