Creating a Balanced Life: Health and Wellness Tips for Remote Workers

By Natalia Wolting  • Jan 5, 2024

Working from home as a remote employee has many advantages but having no separation between your work and personal life can also pose challenges. Without a conscious effort to set boundaries, remote work can easily lead to burnout, isolation, unhealthy habits and poor work-life balance. Implementing small healthy habits and self-care strategies into your daily routine can make all the difference in prioritizing your health and wellness while working remotely.

Stick to a Schedule

According to Northwestern Medicine, there are a lot of health benefits that come from keeping a regular routine. Structuring your day not only improves productivity but also makes it easier to keep stress levels under control. While it’s easy to linger in front of your laptop when there's no physical boundary between work and home, constant working can take a toll on your physical and mental health. That’s why you should set strict work hours, plan breaks and make sure to switch off at the end of the day.

Build in Regular Movement and Stretch Breaks

Be sure to use the flexibility that remote work provides to incorporate regular movement into your day. Set an alarm to remind you to stand up and stretch your legs for 5-10 minutes every hour. Simple stretches right at your desk can relieve muscle tension from sitting too long. Consider investing in a standing desk or walking pad for your workspace. Use your lunch break to exercise with online workouts, go for a walk around your neighborhood, practice yoga, or engage in any activity that makes you feel energized. Remote workers in Muncie, Indiana can learn more about qualifying for a free rec pass at Ball State University.

Establish Unplugging Rituals

Log off messaging apps at the end of the workday as a clear signal to yourself and others that you are “off the clock.” Designate work and leisure zones in your home by leaving work devices like laptops in your home office overnight. Unplugging fully in the evenings and weekends gives your brain much-needed rest from mentally draining work demands while promoting better sleep.

Nurture Social Connections

Humans inherently crave in-person social interaction and community and in one study almost 50% of those surveyed said that they had experienced feelings of loneliness as a remote worker. The social isolation of full-time remote work can negatively impact your mood, motivation and sense of purpose. While digital communication has its benefits, you should still make an effort to see friends, family and coworkers regularly in person. You can achieve this by attending conferences and professional development meetings, organize meetups with colleagues or other remote workers in your area and schedule time to catch up with family and friends.

Adopt Healthy Eating Habits

With the kitchen just steps away all day long, making poor diet choices and overeating can be a challenge for remote workers. Stock up on healthy snacks like fruits and veggies to avoid grabbing sweet or salty packaged snacks when hunger strikes. Drink plenty of water instead of sugary or caffeinated drinks which can heighten stress and anxiety when consumed regularly. Take lunch breaks away from your workspace to fuel your body and reset mentally. You can be proactive for the week ahead by meal prepping on weekends and making batches of nutritious lunches and dinners.

Make Self-Care a Priority

Remote work allows more freedom over your schedule, so take advantage by deliberately integrating relaxing and rejuvenating activities into your routine. Start and end each day with brief meditation or journaling. Schedule weekly massages, therapeutic baths, or meetings with a therapist or trainer. Say no to non-essential obligations to preserve time for restoring hobbies like reading, gardening or artistic pursuits.

By regularly caring for both your mental and physical needs, you’ll be more resilient to handle workplace demands. Try implementing self-care habits, ergonomic tips and general well being best practices into your daily life - you’ll be set up to thrive as a remote worker while maintaining a fulfilling work-life balance.

About MakeMyMove

Remote work has freed millions of Americans to live where they want, and many are making the move to places that better match their lifestyle. In turn, cities and towns across the country are offering incentives like cash, perks and programming to remote workers who move and work from their communities. At MakeMyMove, you can explore all the places, get personalized help to find the one that’s right for you, connect with locals, and access support to make your move a piece of cake.