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Working from home and your wellbeing

Working from home, for yourself is great. You get to pick your own hours. You have the flexibility to plan your day, slotting in family, fun and other commitments. More often than not can take a nap if you’re feeling under the weather. You can work in your comfiest clothes, you don’t have to sit in traffic jams or stand on packed trains.

But there’s a downside.

Working on your own all day every day can, at times, make you feel isolated and stagnant. You find yourself wondering if your work is actually any good, especially when things are slow. What on some days can feel like glorious peace from other people can, on other days, drop into loneliness and a craving for human company. Or a day wasted watching YouTube videos when you should have been working, because you just couldn’t find the motivation.

If you’ve ever felt that way, worry that you might or if you’re battling with this right now, you’re in the right place.

Get dressed
Simple but effective. Doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Just get out of your PJs (preferably before noon).

Get moving
It’s super easy to get stuck sitting at your desk or on the sofa when you work from home. Make it a rule to get some kind of movement in before evening falls, whether that’s ten minutes break for some yoga (my personal go-to), a spot of housework, weights, rowing machine, ANYTHING that gets you moving.

Get outside
Get some fresh air and sunlight on your face at least once each and every day. Easy and enjoyable enough in summer. Harder to drag yourself out in the grey dark winter.

Plan in your breaks
And take them. This will make sure you stop working for a short period (I’m dreadful for working through without lunch and barely taking a break). It also means you work better. It’s better for your brain and your wellbeing. And on days when the opposite is true and you’re struggling to get going at all, it’ll mean your day is in manageable chunks. Sometimes just sitting down for the first ten minutes of work is all it takes to get the momentum to carry on and achieve something.

Feeling down? Stuck for inspiration and motivation? Give mindfulness a go
It’s quick, only takes a few minutes and can leave your brain feeling a bit fresher and with more perspective. Ideally it’s something to do regularly, but if like me you can’t keep up that habit religiously, a few minutes when you need it is better than not doing it at all. Check out Headspace for a free introduction.

Get online (within reason)
Yes, we all waste hours on social media and online browsing. But social media and particularly online communities of other freelancers can be great for a bit of interaction when you spend your day alone. Just don’t let yourself get sucked in for more than ten minutes at a time!

Over to you – what have I missed? What would you add? Let me know in the comments below…

Originally published on my previous website on 26/6/2017

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