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Great well being when working from home

Working from home is a way of creating a great work-life balance right? You can wash the dishes, answer your emails, take a conference call, go for a walk and be right home without any commute. However working from home takes discipline and it’s important to ensure you look after your well being just as much, or even more than, if you were in an office or other environment. So what can you do to ensure you look after yourself?

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Take regular breaks

It can be tempting, particularly when you’ve got a tight deadline, to sit tight and spend a good few hours working away. However there is evidence that your productivity goes down without regular breaks so make sure you step away from the keyboard or the phone and get a cup of coffee, take a stretch, or do some housework. You’ll feel more alert, and ready to get onto your next task.

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Use the right equipment, in the right space

When you work from home, it might be quick and easy to sit at the kitchen table and stoop over a laptop, but in no time you’ll have aches and pains and a back problem. Ensure you make space for an adjustable desk, a proper adjustable office chair and preferably enough space somewhere with good light and where you can access fresh air. Propping a table in the corner of a room might feel a better use of space, but ask yourself how will you feel looking at the wall every day?

Take a three minute breathing space

When you’re in a co-working space if you have a bad day or a difficult client you can offload to a colleague or get some peer support. When you’re working from home getting that kind of team support is much harder. A good way of calming down if you’re feeling stressed is a short, three minute breathing space which is a mindfulness practice. It’s great for pausing, taking a few breaths and re-setting yourself again.

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Eat well and drink lots

You might find yourself snacking mindlessly whilst you finish a project and then feeling sluggish and tired. Eating well will not only help boost your mood, it will also increase your productivity, and even improve immunity. Try a healthy snack such as avocado on toast, or some nuts and seeds as a pick me up. They’ll also increase brainpower! Similarly without the coffee addict in your team to keep you hydrated, or the water cooler near your desk you’ll need to ensure you keep yourself topped up with water to ensure the ideas keep flowing.

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You spend more time getting up and about in a formal workplace; whether it’s wandering to the photocopier or water cooler, getting a hot drink or ferrying documents from one floor to another. So in the home environment when you often have everything nearer to hand, it’s important that you make time for physically moving around. Whether a gym session before you start, a long walk at lunch or spot of yoga, it will make a big difference not only to your fitness levels but also your mood, your flexibility and your general good health.

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It can be isolating when you work from home, so ensure you make space for socializing out of your work time with either other home workers, or friends. This will help you maintain your work life balance and give you an opportunity to speak to real people rather than someone at the end of a phone line!

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About the Writer

Jo Holloway-Green is a mindfulness practitioner, workshop facilitator and freelance writer. When she’s not spending time with her family and her four cats and two dogs you can find her out wandering aimlessly in nature. You can learn more about mindfulness over on Jo’s blog, or catch her on Instagram/Twitter @mindfulhubuk

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