Whether you work from home on a regular basis or are temporarily unable to get into the office, self-care is important for home working. Little things that seem unimportant can make a big difference to how well you work, stress levels and your work/life balance.

Self-care is vital and even more so when you’re working from home. It is easy to slip into bad habits when spending all day at home. To work efficiently and to take good care of yourself, there are few things you can do.

Remember that everyone has their own ways of keeping the life balance. Whether it’s taking a proper lunch break, setting up a desk area, heading out for a run or ensuring your working environment is kept clean, there are many simple things to do to make working at home productive and enjoyable. I believe that one of the most important things to do is to draw a line between work and personal life.

Here are some self-care tips for working from home:

1. Draw a line between your work and home

When you are not in the office, it is easy to start working after hours and late into the evening. Put clear boundaries between the hours you need to work and the time you have to yourself.

2. De-clutter

A study by Princeton University found that clutter, so the objects that are irrelevant to the task you are at, overwhelm the visual cortex and reduce your focus. This can slow you down and increase your stress levels.

3. Stock up on healthy treats

Because your daily activity level decreases when working from home, keep your kitchen stocked up with tasty and healthy snacks to graze on during the day. A bowl of fresh fruit or nuts by your desk are a great way to keep the hunger at bay in between meals.

4. Look after your back

British Chiropractic Association, looking down at a laptop screen while sitting in bed can damage the posture and cause back pain. The top of your screen should ideally be at eye level, so that your head is not tilted downwards for long periods. If you work from home permanently, getting a proper chair is an important investment for your long-term health. If that’s not possible, make sure your back is supported by a cushion and avoid chairs that put you in a slouching or hunched position.

5. Use proper lighting

Lack of appropriate lighting can hurt your eyes, affect your concentration and mental health. Try to get some natural light in your workspace, as this will impact positively on your mood. Also make sure your room is bright enough to enable you to read without straining and position your screen away from glare or reflections.

7. Try to fit in some excercise

A light exercise will increase your motivation and productivity. You don’t need to prepare for a marathon all of the sudden! Even a quick 10-minute cardio workout in your living room will provide you with more energy to last through the day.

8. Make a to-do list

When working in an office setting you can physically move yourself away from the working environment. It is not as easy for home workers. Where possible try to work from a room different to the one you usually relax in at the end of the day. If your living situation doesn’t allow that, try to pack up all your work gear at the end of the day to get it out the way of your personal time.

9. Set up a sleep schedule

This applies to all – office as well as home workers! If you aim to get at least eight hours sleep every night, you will have enough energy and motivation to get through yet another day.

Caring for myself is not an indulgence, it is about self-preservation.

Audre Lorde

In conclusion and based on the above self-care is self-discipline. It’s not something you do once in a while when the world gets crazy. It is what you do every day, every week, month in and month out. It is taking care of yourself in order to restore balance.

Remember, when you really care for yourself you are in a much better position to look after those around you. By exercising the self-discipline that is essential to maintain a good level of self-care, you will become a happier parent, a fully engaged employee, a better colleague and a healthier you. When you take care of yourself you will have the energy to take care of those around you, because you are not doing it at your own expense.

When you take care of yourself, you have the strength to work towards any goal that you set yourself. And that in turn means that you will become happier and more successful person, who can make the world and work a better place! So, my last piece of advice…

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