We're all experiencing some huge changes to our daily lives at the moment, leaving many of us working from home and completely out of routine.
While it's understandably a very difficult and stressful time, keeping on top of your healthy habits and setting yourself up for the best mental and physical health is of utmost importance.
Here's our top tips to keep yourself as healthy and productive as possible in the midst of all the changes:
1. Start the morning with movement/exercise Now that you’re working from home, it’s tempting to let routine completely slide and start hitting the snooze button on your usual early morning alarm to skip your workout. It definitely doesn’t make it any easier now that many gyms are closed! Try to maintain your usual exercise regime despite the disruption to routine, and set aside 30-60 minutes on most mornings to go for a walk, do some yoga or a home workout. Setting yourself up for movement first thing in the morning will also help you with productivity, and boost your mental health during a time that’s understandably unsettling and stressful.
2. Continue to meal prep It’s definitely a welcomed luxury to be able to whip up whatever you want right then and there for lunch, and to enjoy your food fresh - but sometimes the freedom is a little too freeing! If you can, aim to meal prep at least the basics to form a healthy meal. Roast veggies in advance, have your protein sources cooked and portioned, and fill your fridge with plenty of veggies so that when lunchtime comes around, you’re conveniently set up to make healthy and informed choices.
3. Establish set meal times Just as you usually schedule and plan out the rest of your day, don’t underestimate the importance of locking in your snack and meal times. Establish when you’re going to eat and what you’re going to eat so that you have some structure and goals to work towards. Opt for protein and fibre rich foods to keep you full and keep your blood sugar levels balanced. Sticking to a schedule will help you avoid mindlessly grazing all day long, or equally counterproductive - falling into the trap of skipping proper meals, only to over-eat later in the day.
4. Stay on task to avoid mindless snacking Working from home doesn’t mean you can slack off - even if you’re not in the physical presence of your colleagues! Make sure you’re keeping yourself busy and productive - because this will actually help you mentally feel fulfilled and like you’ve achieved things (which can be hard to feel when you haven’t left the house!), and will also safeguard you from boredom eating or comfort eating to fill a gap you may feel from the restlessness of being at home all day.
5. Stay hydrated Dehydration can often be mistaken for hunger, and when you’re working from home and out of routine, you may find yourself drinking less water without even realising it. Keep a bottle or glass of water by your side at all times during the day, and take the opportunity to refill it every 2-3 hours. This will not only keep you hydrated, alert and fend off false hunger cues, but will also keep you moving throughout the day as you get up and down to top up on water.
6. Go for a walk on your lunch break or after work Without heading into work each day, you will most likely be taking fewer steps and missing out on the usual incidental exercise you’d otherwise be getting in on your commute to and from work. Use your usual transport time to go for a walk in the fresh air either on your lunch break or after your working hours to get some steps in and to help you unwind from your work, so that when you return home, you can separate yourself from the ‘working day’ and don't feel constantly switched on in work mode.