March 23, 2020
Clinical Contributors to this Story
Michael Carson, M.D. contributes to topics such as Internal Medicine.
For some of us, working from home is normal, but for others, this pandemic may have you working remotely for the first time. Whichever category you fit into, it’s important to have healthy habits when working from your home “office”.
- Pretend like you are actually going into the office. Set your alarm, make coffee, take a shower and change out of your pjs to help you get into the “I’m going to work” mindset.
- Set boundaries such as defined hours and breaks throughout the day. Just as you would leave the office, you need to know when to stop working and take a breather for a good work-life balance.
- Don’t forget to give your eyes a break too! It’s not healthy for your eyes to be glued to a screen all day. Several times throughout the day, take a few minutes to look at something else to make sure you’re not straining your eyes.
- Working from home with your new “co-workers” could take some getting used too. Stock up on time consuming projects like, puzzles, crafts or activity books help to keep the kiddos busy. Take advantage of video chatting to continue learning opportunities such as piano lessons. Mix up your hours (if your job allows) – try to squeeze in work when your toddler is asleep such as early morning, nap times and at night – you’ll be more productive if you have quiet time to yourself.
- Create a dedicated work space – although it’s tempting to work from your bed, it’s important to set up a dedicated work space with a door that you can close if you need to drown out the noise of your pets, kids or TV to remain productive and professional. Also, if possible, invest in a good chair. Your home chair/desk/keyboard setup might not be the same as at the office and comfy sofas or bed pillows don’t offer the necessary support for your back, which can lead to poor posture and back, shoulder and neck pain.
- Set goals by writing out a daily and weekly to-do list involving your work and the tasks that need completing.
- Working from home can be isolating especially if you’re used to a busy office environment – check-in with people throughout the day. Just because everyone is practicing social distancing doesn’t mean you need to actually feel so distant.
- Keep your kitchen stocked with healthy food. Since you’re now so close to your kitchen, it’s even easier to snack on everything and anything. To avoid unhealthy snacking, keep healthy snacks readily available. Drink a lot of water throughout the day, too, which can help curb mindless snacking.
Next Steps & Resources:
- Meet our source: Michael P Carson, M.D.
- How to Stay Healthy When Stuck At Home
- Kids and COVID-19: Here’s What We Know
The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.