Stressed physically and mentally from remote work? Here’s how to stay healthy when you work from home.
Working from home isn’t for everyone, although it has become more popular in recent years. I personally love remote work, but there are still things I struggle with, as most entrepreneurs and work-from-home employees do. Working at home can make it harder to maintain your mental and physical health, so it’s important to make sure you are taking care of yourself.
Based on my experience and tips I’ve learned from others, here are 18 ways you can stay healthy when you work from home.
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1. Establish a routine and stick to it.
If you work from home, having a weekday routine is crucial because it will help you maintain a healthy work-life balance. As a blogger or entrepreneur, it’s common to have an “always-on” mentality—however, to take good care of yourself, you need to find a happy medium between work and play.
When you know what’s going to happen next, you will feel less stressed. Keeping a routine will also help you meet your health and wellness goals, like getting in shape or enjoying a nutritious diet.
2. Exercise in the morning.
I always start my day with a workout. It clears my head, and I treat it like “me time.” When I’m at the gym, I don’t worry about unanswered emails or any of my tasks for the day. I exercise to relieve stress and start my day off on the right foot.
Exercise will work wonders for both your mental and physical wellness. I recommend working out in the early morning (like 4, 5 or 6 a.m.) because you’re less likely to experience interruptions or make excuses to avoid hitting the gym.
3. Get ready like you’re going to work at an office.
This is mostly a mental thing, but it really works!
I feel much more motivated when I get dressed and fully ready for my day. That means I put on some cute (but comfortable) clothes, spend 15 minutes doing my makeup, and make myself feel like I’m about to go into a regular office.
When you get ready for your day, you’ll be in a more productive mindset. Instead of lounging around your house in a bathrobe, you’ll feel professional and ready to take on your day.
4. Keep your workspace clean, organized, and separate from your living space.
For me, cluttered and disorganized workspaces create anxiety. They aren’t good for my mindset or productivity.
Take some time every day to clean your workspace so you’re not stressed out every time you look at it. Working from home is inherently stressful, so anything you can do to reduce it is a good practice for your health.
5. Don’t overdo the caffeine.
Don’t get me wrong—I am addicted to caffeine. But like all good things, it should be enjoyed in moderation.
Because caffeine is a stimulant, it can cause anxiety in some people. It could cause more harm than good if you aren’t careful.
It’s hard to say how much caffeine is too much because it affects everyone differently. Above all, you should listen to your body. If you don’t feel good, cut back on the coffee!
6. Make sure you’re drinking enough water.
Try to drink eight glasses of water per day.
I like to carry a reusable water bottle around with me so I can refill it and have water readily accessible. To keep my water cold, I love using insulated containers like this:
Simple Modern 32oz Ascent Water Bottle – Hydro Vacuum Insulated Tumbler Flask w/Handle Lid – Double Wall Stainless Steel Reusable – Leakproof -Midnight Black
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7. Take time to cook at least one of your meals every day.
Remote work can get busy—like really, really busy—but maintaining a healthy diet is crucial for good long-term health.
When you cook your own meals, you control what goes in them. You won’t have to worry as much about undesirable ingredients and preservatives.
It would be great if you could cook for yourself more than once per day, but that might not be a realistic goal. It depends on your schedule. As long as you cook at least one meal a day, you will be able to eat more of the right foods and enjoy a healthier diet.
8. Have healthy snacks on hand.
Snacking isn’t inherently bad—in fact, nutrition professionals recommend that you eat small, but more frequent meals throughout the day.
The key is to always have healthy snacks on hand so you aren’t as likely to crave potato chips or pizza. Go grocery shopping frequently to stock up on better-for-you items.
What is “healthy” and what is “unhealthy” is debatable. Personally, I love snacking on dried fruit, nuts, and Greek yogurt when I’m hungry in between meals. Those snacks work for me, although there are definitely healthier options out there.
9. Maintain good posture.
No matter what setting you’re in, you can seriously mess up your back if you don’t have good posture. Good posture is crucial if you want to stay healthy when you work from home. Invest in an ergonomic office chair that will help you sit up straight and correct your posture. Check out this one below:
Ergonomic Office Chair Lumbar Support Mesh Chair Computer Desk Task Chair with Armrests
10. Get up and move around every hour or two.
Even just standing up for a short period of time can lower your cholesterol and provide additional health benefits.
When you’re sitting at a computer all day, you’re not working as many muscles as you would by standing or moving around. Taking short breaks from your work will improve your health and make you more productive!
11. Be mindful of eye strain.
Staring at screens can strain your eyes. Even if your job requires you to sit in front of a computer all day, there are ways to combat eye strain.
Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away from your screen and focus your vision on something that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will also help you remember to take breaks, which will boost your productivity when you are working.
12. Take a nap if you need one.
Not everyone agrees on the benefits of naps. However, naps work wonders for my productivity and overall feelings of wellbeing.
Lately, I’ve been waking up at 4 a.m. every day, so I’m usually tired by the early afternoon. Because I work from home, I can schedule a 30 to 60-minute power nap into my day. When I wake up, I feel refreshed and ready to take on my next task!
Napping doesn’t work for everyone. If you’re the type of person who has a hard time waking up after a nap, it might not be beneficial for you. But I thought I would mention it anyway since naps help me make it through my long days!
13. Track your hours to avoid overworking yourself.
I use an app called Toggl to track my time when I’m working. I use it for billing purposes, but I also use it to monitor my time so I can make sure I’m taking enough breaks.
How much work is too much? According to science, working more than 10 hours per day can be detrimental to your health.
However, as a beginning entrepreneur, there’s no way around working long hours. I will probably be working 10 to 12 hours a day for the next two years at least. To combat the negative effects of working too hard, I make sure to take short breaks often and slip a power nap into my day if possible.
With so many different things going on in my life, I know my routine will never be perfect in every aspect. All I can do is find a balance between working and caring for my health.
Getting enough sleep and going to the gym regularly are two mandatories in my life. I’d advise you to choose one or two healthy habits and prioritize them over everything. After all, habits set the foundation for long-term success in anything you do.
14. Work somewhere else every once in a while.
I love to visit coffee shops, libraries, or cute restaurants when I want to get work done outside of my apartment. The change of scenery makes a big difference for me.
If you feel uninspired and unmotivated by your home office, why not find a cool new place to work? You’ll get a thrill from the mini-adventure of hunting for the location—and if you haven’t been outside in days, you’ll get the fresh air you need.
15. Maintain a healthy work-life balance.
I wish I could be productive 24/7, but that’s not humanly possible. We all need balance in our lives.
Traveling is one of my favorite ways to maintain a healthy work-life balance. I plan my trip in advance, and then I have something to look forward to for the weeks leading up to my adventure.
Even if you’re not big into traveling, you should find something you really enjoy doing—like a hobby—and make sure you regularly dedicate time to it. Hobbies are great for your mental health, too!
If you want to stay healthy when you work from home, you need to make sure you balance work and play.
16. Plan at least 30 minutes for a screen-free activity every day.
The digital world can be overwhelming—it’s important to make time to unplug and enjoy the physical world. Whether you read a book, take a bath, or cuddle with your pet, try to plan for at least 30 minutes of screen-free time every day.
I get stressed when I spend too much time on the Internet, and it really helps me to take a step back and do something different, even if it’s only for a short while.
17. Avoid looking at screens for an hour before bed.
Sometimes, I have trouble going to bed. Part of the issue is nighttime anxiety, which is complicated to fix. However, I do notice an improvement when I avoid looking at my phone, using my computer, or watching TV before bed.
The blue light emitted by screens affects your sleep cycle, and it can cause irregularities. So, try to read a book or do something calming before bed instead of scrolling through Instagram.
18. Plan time for self-care.
Self-care is important for your mental wellness. It isn’t selfish at all—in fact, when you take better care of yourself, your relationships with your friends, family, and significant others will improve.
Want to practice self-care but not sure where to start? Check out these resources:
- 31 Self-Care Kit Ideas for Physical and Mental Wellness
- Build Your Own Self-Care Routine + Free Printable Checklist
- 30 Ways to Practice Self-Care in Under 30 Minutes
- 60 Easy Self-Care Ideas for Everyday Life