Working remote is the dream for most people. It enables you take better care of your mental and physical well being. You can travel the world, digital nomad style, and work from wherever internet connected location you want.
I’ve worked remotely for the past year and it’s been mostly great. But it’s forced me to take a hard look at my habits.
Cook healthy meals
Many of my friends say they don’t have time to cook meals at home. When you laeve for work at 7am and don’t get back home until 6 or 7pm that night, you’re exhausted and the last thing you want to do is get in the kitchen to start cooking.
Working remotely fixes that problem. You’re already at home so you have no excuse. Plus, you can grocery shop on the best days.
Have you ever been to the grocery store in the middle of the day on a Tuesday? It’s amazing.
Start meal prepping. Hell, go crazy and get a Costco membership. Costco is always busy though, there’s nothing amazing or peaceful about going to Costco ever. Sorry.
I love trying to imitate my favorite restaurants. One of my favorite new restaurants is Cava but it’s not located close to my house, so I make homemade Cava bowls for dinner.
Do you like Indian food? This tikka masala recipe is divine.
Get daily exercise
It’s so easy to sit in your office all day and crank out work. I’m a productivity machine when left uninterrupted. Give me a pot of coffee, some snacks, and good music in the headphones and I can go for hours.
But It’s not healthy to sit for that long. Despite how you feel about sitting being the new smoking, you should get up and move around every hour. Even stepping outside for 5 minutes every hour makes a remarkable difference in my mood.
I’ve found that walking in the morning helps me settle into the workday. A walk around my neighborhood is like commuting to work only better in every possible way.
I joined a gym shortly after starting working from home full-time and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I usually go around 1pm and it’s become my favorite part of the day.
Most weeks I go to the gym 4 or 5 times. Sometimes work gets in the way and my day is entirely spent in meetings, but those are the most important days to workout. The more I sit on my ass the more I feel the need to exercise.
Youtube is a great resource if you don’t have much experience in the gym. One of my favorite channels that cuts the bullshit is Athlean-X.
Interact with other humans
This is a side benefit to visiting the gym every day. I get out of the house and get to be around other humans.
That doesn’t mean I talk to them. Do I look like an extrovert? Come on.
Just being around them is enough for me. Having that social interaction is important to my mental health.
Working remote can be incredibly isolating. You can go days without seeing another human in person. Avoid the temptation to stay in and watch netflix after work.
Driving can be enjoyable when you’re not stuck in rush hour traffic. Hop in your car and go somewhere. Walking around the mall during a weekday afternoon can be so peaceful. Go to the park. You’ve been at home all day, so when work is over get out of the house.
Have a dedicated spot for work
When I first started working remotely I would work all over the house. I’d work standing up at my kitchen counter then transition to the couch when my legs got tired.
But I found that I was working later and later every day. I didn’t have a way to compartmentalize my work-life from my home-life.
So I got a tiny desk andput it in a corner of a room. Now that’s my work desk.
What also made a huge difference was buying a big monitor so I’m not staring at my tiny 13” laptop screen all day.
Now my work laptop stays on my desk. When I’m done working I close it and don’t open it again until the next day.
I also don’t have work email on my phone. I purposely don’t connect it because I don’t want to see work emails after hours. There’s no such thing as an urgent email.
I do have slack on my phone incase my team needs to get a hold of me. But I snooze notifications during my off hours. If they really need me, they can push their notification through and it’ll show up on my phone.
They also have my phone number for emergencies. Thankfully those rarely come up.
Those are my healthy habits
If I had to compare my mental and physical health before and after I started working from home, I’d say that I’m much healthier now that I’ve taken control of my day.
Hitting the gym every day has made the biggest impact. Lifting heavy weights is a great way to relieve stress. Interacting with other humans is a positive side benefit to that.
I eat out less now that I have the time and energy to cook at home.
Setting up my work environment, which took me months to get around to doing, helped separate work from my personal life.