By Cheryl A Major, CNWC
Depending upon how you use your “freedom”, working from home can have a positive effect on your health and wellness or it can have a very negative one. Let’s consider the possible positive effects first.
Positive effects can include having more control over your schedule. This can include reclaiming time for exercise because you don’t have to endure a long, stressful commute. When you don’t have to fight traffic every work day, you can use that time to move more. Just taking an early morning walk gets your blood flowing, clears your head and sets you up for a productive day.
Another positive effect can be a reduction in overall stress. Certainly a commute comes into play, but too often we hear about office politics and gossip. If you’re not the one gossiping, being out of this dynamic can be foster a serious improvement in your stress level.
When you work from home, you can schedule in more time for making healthy meals. Eating more healthfully and having more control over your food helps you make improvements to the actual quality of the food you’re eating. Another benefit is that it’s a huge saver dollar-wise over eating out or getting takeout all the time. Buying lunch every day at the office gets expensive!
What about your sleep? When you work from home, it may be easier to get and stay on a regular sleep schedule. Because you’re working from home, you may be able to work into your day small chores that you would otherwise tackle when you got home from the office or on the weekend; I’m thinking laundry just for starters. Working a couple of loads of laundry into your work at home workday could make getting into a regular sleep schedule easier to achieve. You’ll free up time on the weekend too!
What about the negative side of working from home? Freedom can be a blessing or a curse depending upon how you use it.
One negative effect is that you may not have someone telling you that you need to get something done in a certain timeframe. This may sound counterintuitive, but now your time needs to be monitored by you. Sometimes, especially when you’re new at this, it can be challenging to say the least to create and stick to an efficient work schedule.
If you’re a very social person, you may find working from home boring and isolating. The need to be in the company of others can be tricky if you suddenly find yourself working by yourself at home. Zoom meetings have certainly taken the sting out of being isolated, but if you’re a people person, it’s still not the same as hanging with others having a coffee break or chatting around the water cooler.
If you’re not used to keeping yourself on a regimen of choosing healthy foods, you may find you’re eating too many snacks…potato chips, crackers, cookies…you get the idea. It can be hard when you have this kind of freedom to choose a salad over a microwaved burrito. Also, the temptation to order food in is great. Remember the money saved by not eating out that I mentioned earlier? If you’re calling UberEats all the time, you can forget about saving that money. Another challenge; I’ve talked with too many people recently who say they have packed on the pounds once they suddenly found themselves working from home. Ah willpower…
Willpower extends to more than food choices. Let’s revisit that first negative effect of needing to create and stick to an efficient work schedule. Many people find themselves binge watching Netflix when they start working at home. This is detrimental not only because you’re wasting your valuable time, but also because you’re increasing the time you sit. Being a couch potato is never in your best interest.
Working from home; is it a blessing or a curse? As with so many questions, the answer to this one is, “It depends”.
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About Cheryl A Major, CNWC
I’m author, health coach, and entrepreneur Cheryl A Major, and I would love to connect with you! If you’re new to the world of creating better health, both mental and physical for yourself, please check out my training on how to get gluten out of your diet. Becoming Gluten Free Me is where to check it out. Learn how gluten affects us and how to go about reducing or eliminating it from your diet. You don’t have to suffer with Celiac Disease to benefit from getting gluten out of your life!