How to keep your mind and body sane while working at home

How to keep your mind and body sane while working at home

I know there are a lot of people out there who work from home as a freelancer, and the lucky few manage to achieve their ambition. But once you've realized the dream, it's really important to maintain the work-life balance or there is a high chance that your effectiveness declines. Working at home still has its own pitfalls: you've left the day job and you're no longer shackled to the desk, you are not longer part of the system, you don't need to answer to "the man" anymore, screw the man!! But your new boss can be even more annoying, perfectionist, workaholic, and yes, it's you!! 

The urge to make your business succeed is powerful. 

All entrepreneurs feel that sense of urgency, and the need for perfection. As one of my client always says "We all have to remember that the most important business asset we hold is ourselves, and we should prize it accordingly."  It is a kind of evident that we only get one body, so we should take care of it. Treat yo self with the right diet, rest and exercise.  

The chances are that your workspace wasn't designed for the job. If you don't use an office chair you are likely to be hunched over your screen, risking upper back tension and repetitive strain injury. But don't worry, I'm not suggesting you to invest thousands of dollars on a chair but it is possible to work in less-than-ideal conditions and survive, as long as we take some sensible steps and regular breaks.  

How not to go crazy working at home  

The other risk of working as a freelancer is a decline in your fitness if you're not very careful. It's easy to feel that time spent working out is time wasted. Also, the work at home entrepreneur often spends hours each day without talking to another human being face to face, if it weren't for my husband and cat I'd go even crazier. My solution: I bought Just Dance for PS4 and I use it to do a bit of cardio every now and then, it's super fun too! or just walking outside can do wonders to the mind and body

To deal with your posture and fitness needs, make sure you get out of the chair at least once every hour and do a few stretches and shrugs to release tension in your body, this is especially good for your neck and shoulders. Stand with feet slightly apart and let you body relax downwards as far down as you can reach.

It is a really good idea to leave your home office once every three hours. You can also set an alarm on your phone to remind you to go outside and walk for at least ten minutes. If you have been hitting some blocks during the working day this is an ideal time for problem-solving: the fresh air will help you think clearly. Pro tip: If you use the Pomodoro Technique, go outside every 3 cycles. I explain the technique here.

Once a day, do some type of fitness work, at least for a few minutes. Here are a few exercises you can do anywhere:

  • Stand up and place your hands on your knees and breathe out, pulling the abdominal muscles in strongly. Hold for at least ten seconds, and breathe in. This the easy cat cow yoga pose. Repeat it ten times.

  • Stand up and raise elbows level with your shoulders, and twist slowly as far as possible to your right. Repeat the exercise to the left, do at least ten repetitions in each direction.  
  • Stand up facing away from a solid table or chair, place palms on the surface with fingers pointing forwards.  Lower your body, keeping back straight and a slight tension in your abdominals. Come back up using the strength in your arms. Repeat at least ten times.  

Also, check this other poses you can strike at your desk:

It's also important to manage your time and allocate breaks as well as time to spend with friends and family. If you are in the first year of setting up your business try to spend at least 30 minutes a day on something that is not related to business, instead of thinking and talking exclusively about the business. Try to make this a habit, and your sanity will appreciate it, as well as your friends and family.

What is the favorite routine you do every day, to keep you sanity in check?