Written by Accredited Practising Dietitian Vicki Foord
Who doesn’t love working from home? No communiting, no ironing, no packed lunches and best of all, you get to stay in your pyjamas all day (unless you have a Zoom meeting)! But this can also present a new set of challenges, especially when it comes to your health and well-being. The lack of social stimulation, reduced level of productivity and the tempation of reaching for desirable snacks in the kitchen can become a recipe for disaster!
Below our Dietitian has provided some helpful tips on how you can stay healthy and productive, while working from home.
Maintain a similar morning routine
Human beings are creatures of habit. Having a routine does help us mentally prepare for the day ahead. Whether it’s taking a shower, drinking a cup of coffee, eating your breakfast, reading the newspaper or even walking the dog, try and to stick to those morning rituals as much as possible. This will help get you ready for the work-day at home, just like it did when you were working in the office.
Plan out your meals
Planning your meals for the week can help you manage your time more efficiently. This also means you’ll spend less time thinking about food when you’re hunger, so will be more likely to make better food choices.
To get you started, we’ve included some healthy meal ideas below:
Breakfast: milk with natural muesli, handful of blueberries and almonds
Morning tea: fruit with natural yoghurt
Lunch: chicken and salad sandwich or wrap (wholegrain)
Afternoon tea: vita-weat biscuits with cottage cheese and tomato
Dinner: salmon with salad and wild rice
Supper: handful of unsalted nuts
Keep healthy snacks on hand
It’s so easy to fall into the habit of mindless snacking when you’re working from home, particulary when the fridge and cupboard is so readily accessible! A great tip to help minimise the mindless eating throughout the day is to always check to see if you’re actual hungry before grabbing a snack. Chances are you could be getting peckish due to stress, lack of motivation or boredom.
Stocking up your pantry with some nourishing items will certainly be a great strategy. We have listed some healthy snack options below that will help keep you satisfied and energised while working from home.
- Yoghurt and fruit
- Unsalted nuts
- Vegetable sticks with hommus or gaucamole
- Wholegrain crackers (e.g. vita-weat) with avocado and tomato
- Roasted chickpeas
- Homemade muesli bars (see recipe)
Try and eat away from your desk
You might be tempted to work all day without a proper break so you can get all your work done in the fastest possible way. We highlighly recommend for you to take some time out for yourself and step away from the computer, particulary when you’re having a snack or eating your lunch. This will allow you to focus on what you’re eating, enjoy your meal and become more satisfied. Studies have shown, breaks can actually significantly improve productivity levels and a person’s ability to focus. This may help you get through the afternoon when three-thirtyitis hits!
Set some time aside for exercise
Since we don’t have to travel anywhere, working from home can quickly lead to a sedentary lifestyle. It may take lots of self-discipline and motivation, but it’s important for us to remain active for our mental and phyiscal health. Throughout the day, look for reasons to stand up and move. Go for a walk or join a Zoom fitness class when you have a break. Studies have demonstrated that exercise can help improve your mood, stimulate creativty and enhance focus, making it an all-round win for your health and productivity.
There are plenty of free and inspiring exercise videos on YouTube and smartphone apps ranging from yoga, pilates or total body workouts. Exercise Right at Home also provides a range of free workout videos created by ESSA accredited exercise physiologists. The workout videos offer a range of programs such as strength training, aerobic activities and falls prevention exercises that can all be completed right at home. For more details, please visit their wesbite on: www.exerciseright.com.au/exercise-home/
If you’re unsure whether these exercise videos are right for you, please speak to your Doctor or an Accredited Exercise Professional before commencing these workouts.