How to Stay Healthy in a Work From Home Environment
By Cole Editoral
Stop for a second and think about what you did last week.
You consistently answered your ever-ringing cell phone, you responded to hundreds of emails, you perfected your virtual meetings backdrop to make the corner of your bedroom or home office look as professional as possible, you edited and posted half a dozen video tours of your open listings, and learned how to navigate several online office platforms to keep communications open between you, your clients, escrow officers, your broker, and other real estate agents.
You’re self-employed. Busy doesn’t even begin to describe your day-to-day routine. You’re probably pounding the coffee or chugging those energy drinks just to make it to lunch. You yawn all day to toss and turn all night. Before you know it, you’re losing your edge, your motivation, your drive to win the day. You love your job but something’s gotta give.
Thankfully there are a few things you can do that will not only to up your game but help you regain some of that sanity you may have lost along the way.
Your body needs sleep. It’s a scientific fact. Memory loss, slowed reaction time, crankiness, irritability, reduced motivation, distractibility, weight gain… sound familiar? These are all side effects of both sleep deprivation (not getting enough sleep) and sleep fragmentation (not getting quality sleep)1.
When it comes to sleep, quantity and quality matter.
Want to sleep better? Here are a few tips:
Spend some time outside during the day. Soaking in the sun helps balance your body’s circadian rhythms and helps you fall asleep faster once the sun goes down and helps you stay asleep until it comes back up.
After lunchtime, opt for a decaf coffee or herbal tea. Better yet, drink water. Hydrating your body and avoiding that afternoon caffeine can help regulate your metabolism which helps improve the quality of your sleep.
Have a bedtime routine. Every night, around the same time, take a shower or a bath, wash your face, brush your teeth, put on that lotion and then crawl into bed. Better yet, you choose the nighttime activities. Make up your own routine, but once you have one picked out, stick to it.
Just like it helps our kids fall asleep when we give them a bath, read them a book, sing a song and say “I love you” as we turn out the lights, adults benefit from bedtime routines as well. After a while, you’ll find that once you start your routine, your body will key into the fact that it’s bedtime and you should be able to fall asleep faster.
You don’t need a gym membership to reap the benefits of exercise. 30 minutes of a brisk walking 4-5 times a week can improve your mood, help regulate your metabolism, and increase your stamina2.
If you have the time, try some strength training as well. Yoga, pilates, and low-intensity weight training are all processes that stimulate your muscles in a way that encourages continued toning, calorie burning, and protein absorption even after you’re done with your workout3.
After all of these activities help regulate your metabolism and your hormones which help to improve your mood, increase your energy levels, and even help you sleep better.
You may have heard of mindfulness. It’s a modern take on meditation that’s been shown to improve your mood and lower anxiety while increasing focus and awareness4. The main objective is to spend about five to 10 minutes a day in a calm, quiet space, being present and focusing on your breathing.
Essentially, mindfulness is about being aware of your thoughts. While there are some apps out there that advertise mindfulness training, you can try it on your own by turning on some soft music, or sitting in a quiet room, closing your eyes, taking deep breaths and focusing on your thoughts.
The benefit comes from directing those thoughts. Write down your personal goals on a worksheet like our free Personal Evaluation and when you close your eyes, picture what it would take to reach those goals. Think about how it would feel to be successful. Imagine yourself sitting on a throne of accomplishment.
Now breathe out.
Taking a few moments everyday to be still and focus on a few directed thoughts, getting some exercise a few times a week, and working to improve your sleep can help you maintain during those busy days, excel during work hours, and get you that much closer to where you want to be.
1Pilcher, J. J., & Huffcutt, A. I. (1996). Effects of sleep deprivation on performance: a meta-analysis. Sleep, 19(4), 318-326.
2Morris, J. N., & Hardman, A. E. (1997). Walking to health. Sports medicine, 23(5), 306-332.
3Mindfully, L., Lifestyle, H., Eating, H., & Better, L. (2020, February). Pilates: 9 Longevity Benefits of This Physical Workout. In Pie (No. 1/383).
4Schreiner, I., & Malcolm, J. P. (2008). The benefits of mindfulness meditation: Changes in emotional states of depression, anxiety, and stress. Behaviour Change, 25(3), 156-168.
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