I truly love being able to work from home. The flexibility to work from anywhere with internet access is a fantastic benefit of technology. That being said, it’s too easy to end up sitting in an office chair and staring at a screen for longer than is healthy. If you’re working from home, it’s important to be deliberate about taking routine breaks.
An easy way to incorporate this is by setting a time or reminder to get up once per hour. Many fitness trackers and smart watches have options that will give you a reminder if you’ve been sitting for more than an hour. Set the reminder, and then don’t ignore it!
Breaks don’t have to be long to be effective. Just walking out to the mailbox or upstairs to switch over a load of laundry gives me a chance to stretch my legs, move a bit, and let my eyes rest for a few minutes. When I get up to refill my water glass, I take a moment to look out the kitchen window and just enjoy the beauty of backyard nature.
For a longer break, I’ll usually fold laundry, walk around the house watering the plants, or pick up my knitting. It’s amazing how refreshing 10 minutes of laundry folding while listening to music can be!
If I’m feeling a bit stiff and sore, then I’ll do a few stretches, take a short walk, or even just lie flat on my back for a few minutes. When that happens, I know that I’ve probably slipped into bad posture habits, or have been sitting for too long without a break. Now that I’m creeping into middle age, I’ve found that my body is pickier about things like ergonomics and posture than it used to be!
It’s not just my body that needs breaks though. Sometimes when I’m working on a particularly difficult project or dealing with a tricky situation, my brain needs a few minutes to step back. If I’m really stressed, then a quick walk is my go-to. If that’s not possible, then I pop in my earbuds and turn up the music. (Phantom of the Opera or anything directed by John Williams are some of my go-to playlists when I need a brain break.) Sometimes stepping away, even just for five minutes is enough to give you more clarity, or make a difficult situation seem more manageable.
Taking the time for regular, short breaks while working from home keeps our bodies and our minds healthy, and that allows for us to get more work done in the long run!