Healthy at home while working from home
Even after retail stores, offices, and fitness centers reopen, many will continue to work from home in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Here is a guide to help you make this time a little more manageable and to make sure you are meeting your nutrition, health and wellness needs.
Keep a schedule
Right now, it’s easy to let the days slip away without getting done what you originally planned. Keeping a schedule helps keep your workouts, meals and tasks on track. If you haven’t been able to keep the same schedule as before quarantine, then now is the time to rethink your current routine and make the effort to shift to a plan that meets your new daily needs. To assist with this, you could download a smartphone app like Any.do for daily planning or ZenDay to help you boost your productivity. These are both available for iPhone and Android users. But if you’d rather use a pen and paper type of planner, then that’s a great option too! There are plenty of styles from the simple calendar type of planners to systems like the Happy Planner that allows you to fully customize your planning needs using colorful themes and stickers.
Set up a work zone
Set up a comfortable, well-lit area and designate it for work. Try to avoid working from the kitchen or your bed since those areas are associated with mealtime and bedtime. Even working from your couch can cause adverse effects like back or hip pain. Check out this article from EXOS at Home to learn how properly sitting helps to reduce aches, pains, and health issues.
Try to keep meals simple
Keeping meals simple helps when the grocery store shelves are empty or when they don’t quite have the exact ingredient you were looking for. Make meals that are familiar and that won’t make cooking difficult for you. You can go to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ website for tips to Fake a Homemade Dinner. Go to the grocery prepared with a paper list so you can minimize touching your phone and avoid contacting an additional surface that is used often in your daily life.
Regulate your bedtime
Try to set a regular bedtime and wake time for yourself every day of the week. This helps to regulate your body’s natural clock and keep you on a consistent schedule. If you are having trouble sleeping, try unplugging all electronics and avoid screen time within two hours of bedtime. You can also try ‘breathing yourself to sleep’ which can lower your heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels. Try the 6-3-6 technique: inhale for a count of 6 through your nose, hold for 3, then exhale for 6. Repeat the series four times.
Keep it consistent
If you were used to meal prepping a certain day of the week, continue to do so. If you were snacking between meals or before your workouts, keep it up! It’s important to keep this time as consistent as possible with your old schedule (it’ll make returning to normal life much easier).
Go easy on yourself
It’s important to remind ourselves that if we’re not eating what we usually would, we are all doing the best we can with what we have. You may also consider not starting any type of diet or trendy eating plan during this time so you can keep things simple for you and for your family.