As the Omicron variant has surged over the last month, more an more of us find ourselves back to working from home. While the disruptions to our daily lives will hopefully be short lived, you could do some major damage to your body and mind if you are not able to take care of yourself properly. Sitting for long hours at a desk, working on a laptop, desktop, or smart phone can cause severe strain to your back, neck, shoulders, hips and legs.
To keep you feeling healthier and happier, we offer up these 10 Tips on How to Work from Home:
1) Optimize Your Desk Set Up - many of us have resorted to the kitchen or dining room table. It's time to ramp up your home office set up. You need a comfortable and supportive chair. Something with some cushioning is ideal. You also should be sure to have enough space on the surface where you are working to extend your arms as to not strain wrists.
2) Lighting - it's very important not to strain your eyes, even while spending hours in front of a screen. Proper lighting is important and you should ensure you have a lamp or overhead light (but not too bright such that you have to squint).
3) Back Buddy - of course the best way to stay pain free is to alleviate tension as soon as it begins. The Back Buddy trigger point massage tool is the best and most efficient way to keep pain and tension at bay. Simply place the Back Buddy on the back of your chair (or on the seat) and lean back to experience the pain and tension melt away. Using the Back Buddy is like getting a back massage while you work!
4) Take Regular Breaks - this is key. Every 20 minutes, try to step away from your desk and stretch out by taking a short walk around the room or house, or step outside for a breath of fresh air. You should also use the 20/20/20 rule and try to focus your vision on something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds, every 20 minutes.
5) Stay Hydrated - especially during the cold and dry winter months, it's very important to keep yourself hydrated. Dehydration can creep up quickly and if you find yourself thirsty, you're likely already dehydrated. Keep a water bottle or glass of water at your desk at all times.
6) Arm & Wrist Stretches - with all the time spent on computers and smart phones, we all have to take care of our arms and wrists. A great way to do that is to do daily stretches to prevent conditions like carpel tunnel syndrome.
7) Take a Walk Daily - getting outside is so important, but especially during these challenging times. Even with cold temperatures, just getting out for a brisk 10-15 walk can work wonders for your mind, body, and soul. And the bonus, each day we are getting more daylight, which is a certain mood booster.
8) Eat Proper Meals - due to our schedules being disrupted, many of us have resorted to snacking and grazing all day. This can derail healthy diets and you can inadvertently consume unhealthy quantities and foods. Make an effort to take a break for lunch, step away from your desk, sit and eat lunch without distractions if you can. You'll be amazed at how much more satisfied you feel after eating.
9) Breathing Exercises - the stress of the last 2 years has been immense and even if we don't realize it, it has taken its toll on each and every one of us. Breathing is crucial at helping to regulate blood pressure, cortisol levels, and overall wellness. Take some tips from this amazing book, Breath - try what Navy Seals do to stay calm under pressure - box breathing. 4 counts of an inhale, hold for 4 seconds, 4 seconds exhale, hold for 4 seconds, and repeat.
10) Connect with Others - we all need to connect with others for emotional and mental wellness, either virtually or in person. Connecting with friends and families gives us an instant mood boost. And if you can't socialize safely now, at least make a plan to get together in the upcoming weeks. Having a positive, joyous occasion to look forward to provides a level of hope that we all need.