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8 Easy Tips: How To Stay Active Working From Home


Working from home has become a new part of our lives for so many people in the last year and a half. And for so many of us, it will remain 'the new normal'. Loads of people and companies found out that working from home can actually be more efficient, save people time and money they can then invest it themselves and overall, for so many people working from home = more happiness.


And I can see why. You do not have to constantly fight with your colleagues over the air conditioning, no one is stealing your milk or tea and sometimes it is nice NOT to have that annoying small talk with the person you do not like at all, but you must pretend that you do because it is just much easier. But it also means that you do not have to spend extra money on transport, you can get up later because you are not stuck in traffic for an hour in the morning...and in the afternoon... For loads of people, it means they can take their kids to school themselves and they do not have to rely on grandparents. For some of us (myself included), it also means wearing oversized PJ most of the day. Bra-less, obviously.


But unfortunately, it also means that loads of people are less active now. You do not have to walk to get to work or public transport. Or you do not have to walk from the car park. You also do not have to take the stairs to get to the restrooms or your colleague's office for a chat. You do not have to walk to the printer every ten minutes. Or to the kitchen to make another cuppa. And with that, loads of people are working much harder at home, forget to take a break and feel guilty for taking time away from the screen.


In this article, I will show you 8 easy tips on how to stay more active working from home, enjoy the movement, take time for yourself and who knows, maybe be even more productive thanks to the endorphins.

 

1. Plan your activity!

Planning is such an important tool. Write down your weekly plan of activities and try to stick to it at much as you can. It can mean that you write down days when you want to to the gym and decide what activity you will be doing other days. You can go for a short walk, you can dance, you can attend some yoga classes in a park, you can try to learn a new sport and meet new people. Or you can just walk to the town centre for your favourite takeaway coffee and support local businesses while meeting your friend.


There are so many amazing weekly planners or diaries that you can use to motivate yourself. And trust me, it feels so amazing to tick that activity as completed. If you are feeling creative, why not buy a plain notebook, some stickers and colourful pens and create yourself an activity log that you can later also use as a journal to analyse how did certain activities made you feel and what you enjoyed the most.


Planners or to-do lists are an amazing starting point when building new routines or new habits. You will see that after few weeks of using the planner, activities will come more natural to you, and you will start looking for more opportunities how to be active yourself. And perhaps you will also discover some hidden sports talent. :-)


2. Stick to your morning routine

Right, I know how tempting it sounds to have a sleep in, get up at 7.55 am when you have to log in to your zoom meeting at 8 am but try not to do so that often. Having a regular sleeping and morning routine and sticking to it is important and can help you with your productivity during the day. Try to go to bed and wake up at similar times every day and you will see by yourself how easier it will be to wake up in the morning. Also, if you are staring at the screen the whole day, and often to late-night, invest in some blue light blocking glasses. There are several types of glasses suitable for different activities and I will soon do a post about them too!


A morning routine will be different for each person so try to find what is best for you and do what you enjoy starting your days on a positive note. Me personally, I have two different morning routines. When I go to the gym, mornings will be different to the mornings when I don't. But I will still wake up at nearly the same time, I go to the bed at the same time and try to keep both of my routines consistent.


What can your morning routine consist of? As I mentioned before, everyone's routine will be different but there are some tips that you might like.

  • Put away your phone. Seriously, do not stare at social media immediately after you wake up. Overall, we are spending too much time on social media so try to reduce your screen time in the morning. Those stories can wait. E-mails can wait too.

  • Make your favourite drink. You need to hydrate your body in the morning. Make a fresh cup of tea or coffee or water with fresh fruit. Just make sure you drink plenty after waking up.

  • Do your skincare routine. It can be as little as washing and moisturising your face (and putting on sunscreen!), but it is important to keep your skincare routine consistent and wash your face after the whole night.

  • Listen to your favourite music or audiobook. I have a favourite type of calming music that I listen to after waking up. It helps me to get into the mood and smile as I sing along.

  • Do a small activity to get your blood flowing. Go for a short walk, quick stretching or foam rolling. If you feel sore in the morning, there is nothing better than to get your blood flowing and do a few minutes of activity. You will feel much better after it.

  • Open a window and get in some fresh air. Even in the winter, just imagine how refreshing it is to breathe fresh air in the morning?

  • Create your to-do list for the day. Some people prefer to do so in the evening, some in the morning. The goal is the same - write down a plan for that day so you will not spend it scrolling through your insta feed.

  • Have an amazing and fuelling breakfast. Again - I know some people prefer to skip breakfast but if you don't... prepare yourself some tasty breakfast and make sure you enjoy it. :-)

Some people also enjoy morning meditation or journaling. Try to find what works best for you and for what you have time in the morning.


3. Take a break - dedicate time to yourself

I see this very often now. People feel like they do not 'deserve' a break because they are working from home. Or they have lunch while working without paying any attention to the food. And if this is you - please, do not feel like this. You have a right to have a break, you have a right to get away from the screen for a while. It will help you so much to concentrate more on the second part of the day. Especially if you have a sedentary job and you are staring at the screen the whole day, take a break and go out for a short walk. Get some fresh air, clear out your mind, let your eyes rest. And honestly, do not ever feel guilty for doing so. You have to take care of yourself and your mental health.


4. Try some short active breaks

I understand that not every day is a great day for a walk. Sometimes the weather is against us, sometimes we do not have enough time or sometimes we simply do not want to. Although it is okay not to go for a walk when the weather is bad just keep in your mind how important and refreshing the fresh air is and make sure you are working in a well-ventilated room and open the window regularly.


When you have a day when a walk outside is just not on your priority list, but you still want to keep active, try to include some short active breaks in your day. And try to use youtube for inspiration. Try to look for 10 - 15 minutes long dancing videos, Zumba videos, pilates or simply just some mobility videos or stretching. You can simply quickly turn on the telly or youtube on your laptop, throw in a 10 - 15 minute long dance and you will see for yourself how great you will feel afterwards. Or you can just simply put in your headphones, play your favourite music and let the rhythm lead you.


5. Plan your hourly challenges

If you are a sports watch owner, you will already have a reminder in your watch. My Fitbit would remind me that it is time to get up for a few minutes and be active every hour. And I honestly think that is such a great feature that can help you keep more active, boost your NEAT (non-exercise activity during the day) and helps you to stretch your legs when you are sitting down all day.


And yeah, it might be difficult to get in some steps during the day, especially if you live in a small flat but remember, that it always does not have to be steps. You can plan different activities for each hour to keep it interesting. What do I mean by that? It can be anything that makes you feel good and you feel relaxed and refreshed after. Check some suggestions below.

  • Low intensity jumping jacks for 2 minutes

  • Bodyweight squats

  • Bodyweight walking lunges

  • Arm mobility and stretching

  • Back mobility and stretching - downdog, cat and cow pose

I would always keep in mind that especially if you are sitting down the whole day you need to make sure you are stretching your hamstrings, chest and back muscles regularly during the day as they tend to shorten when you are sitting down for a longer period of time. It is much better for your posture and can highly reduce your back pain. Check out some stretching videos on youtube. You can do so many of them from your desk even when you will be back in the office.


6. Actually, go twice

You know that situation, when you just got back from groceries shopping, your car is overflowing with stuff, but you just will not go twice and are trying to get everything in one go? Been there, done that. Most of the time, to be honest. But since I started working from home and I noticed how much my activity decreased during the day I just decided I will not do that anymore. If I need to take more things upstairs, I will simply go twice. And I am not saying that you have to go separately with each thing. Let's not get crazy. But if you are struggling and it would be easier for you to actually go twice. Then go twice. Or thrice.


7. Plan ahead your cleaning schedule

This can be another great way how to keep more active during the day. Maybe do not do all cleaning all in one day - try to split it all into small daily activities. Maybe instead of cleaning for 5 hours on weekend try to do small chunks every day. One day you can do the dusting and clean windows, another day you can do proper hoovering and wipe the floors, another day you can take care of your flowers and do laundry. And maybe by splitting your cleaning schedule to the whole week, you will find out that you are actually doing much more than before and cleaning is not as stressful and it can get.


8. Really busy week? Try some weekend getaway

Some weeks are simply too busy and before we even know, Friday is here. And sometimes we just do not have time to get enough activity in during the working week. And that's absolutely fine. We can have all planned, we can be motivated but sometimes, life happens, and we just can't do it all. Well, if your week was that busy, why not go for some weekend getaway? Plan some nice time in nature, go hiking, go to the seaside, breathe in the fresh air and most importantly, allow your mind to have a rest and take care of your mental health. I promise you, if you spent the whole week working and being very busy, after the weekend surrounded by nature you will feel extremely rested and relaxed and ready for a new week. Green colour has an extremely calming effect on our minds and daylight and fresh air work miracles.

 

So, these are my 8 tips on how to keep more active during the day when you are working from home. I understand that not all tips will be suitable for everyone. Every one of us is different, has a different lifestyle and circumstances and we all have to find what works best for us individually.


How do you keep active at home? Put some more tips in the comment section below! :-)




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