The Unhealthy Side of Working from Home

You’ve heard me say it over and over and over again, but I absolutely love working from home and there’s a long list of reasons for that. Just to name a few…

I’m more productive.
 I’m not sitting in an office worried about what’s going on at home.
 I’m not distracted by the office politics.
 I have the freedom to travel.

​Related Post: Top 7 Much-Needed Tips for Traveling While Working from Home

The list really does go on and on, but those are just a few of the reasons working from home is the ideal arrangement for me as a single mom who is focused on work-life integration. It’s not for everyone, though, and I fully recognize that as I’ve mentioned before. In fact, it could be downright harmful to your physical and mental health if you’re not careful…and I say that from personal experience. Okay, let’s get into it because my goal with this post is to share some tips for those already working from home and really give those considering a work-from-home opportunity an inside look into the not-so-glam side of working from home. Not to deter you, but to educate you.

1 — Weight Gain I have been working from home for the past 5+ years and have been fortunate enough to not really put on any extra weight. For that, I thank my parents. It’s just not in the cards for me at this time and possibly won’t be in the future. I do know colleagues, however, who have complained about the weight gain associated with working from home. There’s a strong chance that you’re not as mobile as you might be if you had to walk over to a co-worker’s desk to ask a question, walk to the next floor for a meeting, or scoot down to the cafeteria in the adjacent building to grab lunch.

I’ve been there. I didn’t have an activity tracker ​back in my on-site days, but something tells me I would have certainly logged more daily steps than I do now.

How do you avoid falling into this weight gain trap? You definitely don’t want to wait for the pounds to start adding up before you take action.

  • Be mindful of your meals, specifically as it relates to your snacking habits. It won’t end up in the house if you don’t buy it, so make healthy choices starting at the grocery store.
  • Consider preparing healthy snack options ahead of time. Set aside 5 small containers at the beginning of the week with your fruit/veggie snacks. Make enough homemade ranch dressing (or dipping sauce of your choice) to get you through the week.
  • In addition to healthy snacking, look into standing desk options and even replacing your standard office chair with a balance ball or something along those lines.

Looking for more suggestions? Go ahead and follow my growing Pinterest board below. ​

Have suggestions for your fellow readers? We’re all ears. Leave a note in the Comment section for us.

2 — Self-Care Okay, so this next section is specifically for me but you can feel free to read along. Take a deep breath, Kristina, because you’re not going to really like every word I’m going to say. You HAVE to pull it together! Yes, part of the benefit to you of working from home is that you don’t have to worry about what you wear to work or how your hair is done (or not done). I can tell, though, that you’re starting to get a little too comfortable and you’re letting your self-care slip. Are you pleased with what you see when you look in the mirror each day or are you able to only pull it together once or twice a week? Here’s what I’d like you to do, Kristina, effective immediately…

  • Show up to work in your home office at least four days each week feeling good about YOU! Is that going to require you to spend a few extra minutes on hair, maybe put a little gloss on the lips, or put on a motivational tee with your yoga pants?
  • Exterior appearance aside, what are you doing for your mental care? Are you drowning yourself in work each day because it’s so easy to do so or are you taking regular breaks during the day to do something as simple as read a chapter in a good book or thumb through your favorite magazine? Yes, you should still take your 15-minute breaks even when you work from home.
  • Continue to start and end your day with gratitude. The Happiness Planner is an awesome tool for that and will help you be more mindful of all that is going well. Positive energy goes a long way.

This brings me to my next point which is really what lead to me writing this blog post.

3 — Isolation I had a conversation with a friend and former-coworker last week about lack of a life outside of the home. This is a really tough thing for me to admit, but I spend entirely too much time in my house and I recognize the fact that it is very unhealthy. Adult interaction is a critical component of your health and well-being. So how do we get in front of it and avoid struggling with isolation while we work from home?

  • Be intentional. Look at your planner and set aside one day each month to attend a public social gathering just for fun. The first thing that comes to mind is Meetup.com where you’ll find a wide variety of opportunities to interact with individuals who share your interests.
  • With your planner still open, set aside one quarterly event (conference, workshop, etc) to contribute to your personal and professional growth. The first one that comes to mind for me as a busy mom is the Choose Your Vibe Women’s Workshop in Panama City Beach, FL. This beachside workshop focuses on incorporating more positive emotions into the lives of women that will translate into their lives at home and work. Click the link HERE to check it out and set aside a day to take a road trip to Florida for this amazing one-day event.
“Connection with others is one of the most impactful ways we experience a positive emotion. It is a natural human instinct that feels energizing and comforting to our soul. This can be felt not only in a long-term friendship or romantic relationship but also in brief conversations with someone you just meet. Unfortunately, it is very easy to lose the ability or desire to connect with others when we isolate ourselves or turn to our mobile devices for comfort. Therefore, those of us that work from home should make an extra effort to get out of the house and find opportunities to connect with others.” — Angie Chanel — Choose Your Vibe Founder and Host

In order for any of these suggestions to work, I highly recommend you find a friend (or a Facebook group) to hold you accountable. It is very easy to slip back into our comfortable ways and begin neglecting physical and emotional care while we work from home. Don’t let it happen to you.

You know better, so now commit to doing better. And while you’re at it…go ahead and make sure you’re signed up to receive the weekly newsletter which includes current opportunities to work from home and tips to succeed while doing so. Click HERE to make sure the next email hits your inbox.

Wishing you nothing but continued success,

KB


Originally published at www.virtualsixfiguremom.com.