This day comes for every home-based business owner: you get up, decide to check your e-mail and Facebook while being in your pajamas and then it’s 7 PM and you realize that you didn’t manage to get out of your bed or out of your pajamas after all. That’s the charm of being a home-based business owner, but at the same time – that’s also the biggest threat for us. That’s why it’s especially important to learn how to stay healthy while working from home. Here are some of my tips and experience from your peers.
How to stay healthy (and active) while working from home?
Understand the biggest threats
The way we work depends on our own preferences.
There are business owners who love to spend days and weeks in their homes, doing their job and enjoy the comfort of not being around people, and then there are extroverts (like myself) who are enjoying opportunities to meet people, be around them, work in cafes or coworking spaces.
But after all, it comes to one conclusion: the biggest threat to your wellbeing as an online business owner is the laziness.
Life seems so, so simple when you can leave your apartment only once a week, order some fast food (or work in the kitchen and eat all day), do some stretching only just before getting out of bed and from there – spend all day by your computer.
Whether you’re that really lazy type that loves my description and lives by that or you still tend to stay active while working from home, there are much more ways to stay healthy!
What I do to keep myself healthy
I have to say that I like to consider myself an active and healthy person. Although I haven’t always been this way!
When I just started freelancing, finding the right balance between getting things done in my business and taking care of myself was tough. Especially, because I had SO many huge business goals and overworking was a hobby of mine.
Therefore I’ve created several checkpoints that are working every day or weekly to remind me how to stay healthy and active:
- I start my day early. Just to have time for everything! And also enjoy quietness and the productivity of mornings.
- I do yoga at least 4-5 times weekly. Mostly because I LOVE it and if I don’t do yoga for a day or more I start to feel like I haven’t done it at all like EVER.
- I go to the gym whenever possible. Once again, I just love a good workout and gym is my new-found passion. Strength training – especially, weightlifting – have given a whole another perspective of myself. Who would’ve thought I could do SO much!
- I drink TONS of water. Like, A LOT. 2 liters a day is the bare minimum a grown-up should drink. So I aim for that, daily. I use a good app that calculates this for me and gives me some reminders.
- I challenge myself in the kitchen. I don’t like to cook. But I have to. Therefore I’m trying to do it a bit healthier each week. I used to have challenges: to get rid of one bad product per week. For example, don’t use sugar or salt, flour or bread, etc. It’s a nice way to challenge yourself and try out healthier options, step by step.
- I’m not drinking any sodas. I might drink some when going out or when I really, REALLY want to but I usually don’t. I prefer water, tea, coffee, fresh juices or smoothies.
- I use a standing desk when possible. My absolutely favorite productivity hack! Standing makes me more energized, it’s healthier than sitting and overall I feel more powerful when I can put in some movement between sentences. And the fun fact – I don’t even have a standing desk. But I always manage to construct one!
- I create several longer breaks. Even when my schedule is hectic (especially then!) I always try my best to go for a walk or have a full evening off. Taking time off is just as important as getting things done.
- I do get 7-9 hour sleep daily. This is my all-time favorite part of all this daily rush. Having a good nights sleep is crucial. No need for the scientific facts. It’s just… you know… a fact.
Other home-based business owner health routines
When creating this post, I got curious… What other creatives and freelancers do to stay healthy while working from home?
And here’s what they answered!
I go on a run (with my newborn in tow) and do a Crossfit workout before I open up my computer. It is crucial for me to get that early workout in or I just revert to work mode all.day.long.
– Malynda, Hey Over Here Creative
For someone who’s always at my computer and has joint/back problems the most important thing is having an ergonomic workstation. My screen is elevated so it’s at eye level, my arms rest comfortably at my sides when I use the keyboard and mouse, and my desk is a standing height so I can switch been sitting and standing. It’s really important to me since it prevents further damage to my body.
– Megan, Megan Stang
Second for the standing desk! It has made such a huge difference. Not only are back, neck and shoulder aches gone, my core muscles are much stronger and my energy and creativity levels have gone way up. My computer goes on a little stand from IKEA that’s made for cupboard organization so that it’s eye-level. Having a workspace that’s separate from the living area helps too, otherwise I’ll work during hours I shouldn’t and slack when I should be working.
– Christina, Meyne Design
One of the best things I ever did for my physical (and mental) health was to commit to going on a walk or run every other morning before I start my work for the day. It’s surprisingly easy for me to just sit down in my studio and not get up for hours and hours, and while that focus is great for getting work done, I wasn’t moving around very much and I got very easily burnt out. My morning run (I recommend a program like Couch to 5k… I’m so much more motivated when I have a measurable goal!) is a time that I have to myself when I can’t get any work done, so there’s no use stressing over everything I have to do each day. The fresh air helps too!
– Lauren, Fair Weather Friends
Eat healthy food at regular intervals! I tend to cook a big batch of something every few days so I can quickly reheat leftovers. I also keep reasonably healthy tv dinners in the freezer for really hectic weeks.
– Kythryne, Wyrding Studios
One of the main changes I made in the last year or so was to take a real break for lunch instead of just grabbing something random from the fridge or pantry and eating at my desk. I schedule an entire hour into my day for lunch, and many days I will cook something simple from scratch.
– Francine, Callaloo Soup
I got a joint gym membership with my fiancé, and that has really helped me stay motivated to exercise regularly! He’s great at encouraging us to get up and go to the gym together — and it makes a HUGE difference having a work out partner rather than attempting to slug it over there by myself.
– Miranda, Miranda Nahmias
I try to take a daily morning walk. It’s a great stress-buster! I also keep lots of fresh fruit around for those afternoon munchies.
– Heather, Heather Fonseca