5 Things to do right now to make working at home easier on you and your family.
1. Set hard start and stop times for yourself. Don't look at your phone or laptop and begin working as soon as you wake up. Before starting to work, enjoy some coffee or tea. Try deep breathing, stretching, or even meditation for 5-10 minutes. Take breaks and completely disengage from work throughout the day. Especially to eat. Your kitchen shouldn't become your work cafeteria. Don't work at night. In times like these, we all want to feel like we're in control. Doing work throughout the night might help us feel like we're doing something constructive, but it ends up physically and mentally draining us in a matter of days.
2. Stand up! Alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day. Posture and ergonomics suffer when working from home. Bring your laptop to a counter and work standing for a little while. Sitting increases lumbar spinal load by 25%. Stand whenever you can. Also, never work sitting on the couch or in bed. It is next to impossible to have good posture working from the couch or in bed.
3. Buy a wireless key board and mouse. The small keyboard on laptops lead to internal rotation and forward flexion of the shoulders, head and chest. This results in tight muscles, compressed ribs, and decreased oxygen. A full size wireless keyboard will allow you to work with your screen at eye level and your shoulders, neck, chest, and back can remain in a more neutral position.
4. Schedule family time. Working from home can be frustrating when children are constantly interrupting you. Set time limits and a schedule with your children so they know when to let you work. If you have younger children, divide your time with your spouse to make sure each of you has time to get work done. Let your children know what times you all will be doing things together and what times you will be working.
5. Exercise, exercise, exercise. Stretch every hour. Try balance and body weight resistance exercises whenever you take a break from working. Our bodies are made to move. We are more effective and more at ease when we move. Take walks throughout the day. Walking briskly for two minutes will increase your heart rate just enough to mobilize blood sugar and keep you alert.