Many of us have been stuck working (or looking for work) from home during the pandemic. Even with the vaccine rollout moving forward, we still don’t know exactly when restrictions will end. Many people who transitioned to remote work will keep working from home after business as usual resumes, so it makes sense to devote some thought to staying healthy while doing so.
One benefit of the lockdown has been the way technology has stepped in and stepped up to fill in many gaps for us. Technology has helped us stay fed, employed, occupied, connected, and active, even as we manage everything from our homes. Consider these aspects of staying healthy — and using tech to do so — while working remotely.
Start with a secure and healthy household
When you spend most of your time at home, it’s a good idea to give your house some extra attention. Both traditional and smart tech can help you keep your household safe, secure, and healthy, starting with these options:
- Looking into home security and monitoring apps; many are plug-and-play now.
- Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace batteries if necessary.
- Add an air purifier to improve the air you breathe all day and as a further precaution against respiratory illness.
Taking precautions associated with the finer details in your home can make the difference between health and illness, or even life and death.
Make smart nutrition choices
Even under quarantine, you’ve got to eat. But grocery stores are often crowded, and many people still aren’t quite comfortable with indoor dining. Sure, it’s easy to mobile-order pizza or other takeout food, but over time, this diet will have negative effects on your health.
However, you can still take advantage of mobile apps to order groceries and meal ingredients for delivery. You’ll have healthier options, and it’s easy to do. If your local grocery store doesn’t offer what you need, you can look to InstaCart or Amazon Fresh for healthy, fresh food options. And for nights when you just can’t figure out a menu, meal kit services are an easy option.
Designate an exercise spot
Too hot to go for a walk or run? Making time to work out, stretch, or meditate is harder if you don’t have the indoor space for it. Start thinking about designating an exercise spot so you can continue workouts if your gym is closed or you aren’t comfortable being indoors in public.
Start by clearing out the clutter, donating anything you don’t need, and throwing out extraneous junk. You can rent a storage locker to help facilitate the process, and even go hardcore and convert an extra bedroom or basement into a home gym.
Once you get your space set up, create a routine. From stationary cycling to weights to yoga, creative online options can keep you exercising. Apps and YouTube videos are great resources to get you into a good groove.
To keep yourself accountable and help reach your daily or weekly fitness goals, get help from a wearable fitness tracker. If you have an Apple Watch, take advantage of the workout app and its built-in coaching and tracking capabilities. Other brands of fitness trackers even offer a social media platform to help you connect to your workout community.
Get out of the house
You need to stay healthy on the mental health front, too. Isolation and claustrophobia can lead to depression, anxiety, and the kind of burnout many remote workers have been experiencing.
Use a combination of tech and traditional methods to maintain your mental health. Too much tech leads to information overload (especially if you’re spending all day on your laptop), but the connectivity it allows can literally be a lifesaver. Try these methods for getting out of the house and getting social:
- Meet up with loved ones if you can. If you can’t, stay connected via text, chat, video calls, or voice calls.
- Don’t forget to go outdoors for some fresh air and physical activity in the “real” world. For example, you could spend your lunch break enjoying music, podcasts, or audiobooks while you stroll around your neighborhood.
- Go for a drive. Not only is the occasional ride around town good for you, it’s good for your most expensive piece of tech: your vehicle. If your vehicle has been sitting idle for a while, be sure to check your tire pressure before you hit the road.
Get enough sleep
Living on the same schedule day in and day out during the pandemic gets monotonous. As we’ve seen, this can diminish your motivation and lead to quarantine fatigue, which creates other mental health issues and can negatively impact your sleep. But technology (or limiting it, in some cases!) can help in this area, too.
Consider these methods for curbing your screen fatigue and getting better sleep:
- Limit screen time and set a hard-stop time for the workday, hours before bedtime.
- Minimize blue light with a light-adjusting app or blue-light-blocking glasses.
- Banish screens from your bedroom at least an hour before you go to bed.
- If you can, keep your devices in a separate room from where you sleep.
- Track your patterns and address disruptions with a sleep-monitoring app.
Stress and a disrupted daily rhythm can rob you of sleep, which can diminish your overall health. Take proactive measures to combat sleep problems before they become problematic.
Connect with telemedicine
Telehealth options have expanded exponentially since the pandemic began, allowing more people to access medical care without going to an office or clinic. Connect with doctors via phone or video calls for exams, diagnosis, treatment, and prescriptions. You’ll enjoy the convenience and safety this technology offers while helping lighten your health care provider’s in-person workload.
Don’t forget your finances
Stress over resources is one of the longest-standing health detriments that humans still experience. Whittle down a chunk of stress by getting your money under control. Dozens of platforms, services, and apps can help you work toward financial security by:
- Creating a household budget
- Tracking your daily expenses
- Setting and meeting goals for your savings
- Monitoring and improving your credit
- Making solid investments
Getting a handle on your money issues can cut your stress in half. Start by setting financial goals, then begin taking the proactive steps necessary to achieve them. Soon you’ll be on your way to financial freedom.
Technology offers amazing and creative ways to stay healthy while working from home. Use it strategically and wisely, and remember to take breaks. Overwork is a primary symptom of working from home, so be sure to give yourself a healthy balance between work and play.
Article by Molly Barnes