Health

Maximize your mental, social and physical health while working remotely

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.

Mental

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!

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.

Social

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
  • Join a Mastermind group (see David’s tweet below)

Physical

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
  • Practice yoga
  • Walk your dog
  • Partake in group fitness classes (spinning, weights, cardio)

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.

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