Maximize your mental, social and physical health while working remotely
June 1, 2018
When you’re working remotely, you’re not necessarily engaging with people throughout the day. You may be at a desk a large portion of the day, too. Here are a few ideas from #remotechat participants to keep your mental, social and physical health at their peak.
Variety is the spice of life. It’s no different for your brain! When you’re working on a task for long stretches, make sure you take a few minutes periodically to give your brain something else to do. If you’re desk-bound, get up and stretch or go for a quick walk, or do something that’s a total shift from what you were doing before, like playing music, reading (not a work-related book) or working on a puzzle.
Laurel talks about how she builds variety into her work, accepting jobs that challenge her creativity. She also takes time to record and celebrate her progress. That’s SO important: look up every once in awhile and recognize the work that you’ve done!
A6: Mental: Accept new gigs that challenge my creativity, block time for reading/innovating, strict office hours, and record (and celebrate!) progress. Social: @zoom_us and @voxer. Physical: Treadmill desk, @fitbit, and homemade dinners. #healthylifestyle#remotechat
When you’re working, you can stave off mental fatigue by playing music, or using ambient noise services like brain.fm. Most importantly, though, recognize that it’s not all about the work. Set hours that you’ll start and finish for the day and try to keep to them.
Everyone has social needs that are different. You may be living on your own, have a spouse and children, or somewhere in between. If you’re alone for most of the day, you may find that connection to other people is very much an essential need for you. At work, you can use chat apps and make an effort to get to know your colleagues better when opportunities arise. Outside of work, however, is where you have to get involved to be more social. There’s always family and friends, and spending a few hours working at a coffee shop during the day. Here are a few other ideas for greater social engagement.
Join a fire department auxiliary, or be a volunteer firefighter
Help build a house with Habitat for Humanity
Join a faith-based organization for fellowship and social activities
Help with food pantry distribution
Get involved with youth organizations
Join a running group through a local running store
Join Rotary or Chamber of Commerce
Help out with civic groups that help spruce up your community
Volunteer at local festivals or concerts
Organize a local 5K fundraiser
Volunteer at your local library
Sing in a community chorus
Go to a local meetup (see meetup.com)
Work at a co-working space a few days a week
Attend concerts or classes at a local college or university
Physical: Exercise at least 90 minutes a day, 7 days a week. Eat right. Social and spiritual: Go to church every week. Try to hang out with close friends at least once a month. Mental: Mastermind groups help. So does reading a lot.#remotechat
Remote workers say it’s easier for them to be physically fit, and for a variety of reasons. The most important thing you can do for yourself physically is to commit to a plan and then execute on it. Franklin plays (and used to coach) basketball, which also meets a social need.
Pick a running race, register for it, and launch into a training plan
Challenge yourself to some Fitbit goals for each day
Walk your dog
Partake in group fitness classes (spinning, weights, cardio)
A6: Physical: MX4 classes 3x/week + basketball, Social: spend time w/ fam & friends, volunteer w/ church. Mental: used to be coaching basketball, but since I'm taking the year off w/ baby on the way I'm going back through & creating a program manual for my next team. #remotechat
As a remote worker, it’s important for you to eat well, too. You’ll eat what you stock in your kitchen, so make sure you stock up on good, whole foods. Minimize the processed stuff. Plan ahead and make healthy dinners. Lastly, take the time to eat. Even if you’re by yourself, take the time for lunch and dinner without working.