Winter is basically here (we can’t deny it any longer…) and that means ginger bread lattes at Starbucks, shorter and darker days, Michael Bublé coming out of hibernation, and the rest of us going into hibernation. No matter who you are, winter usually brings with it a sense of wanting to feel cosy, relaxed and full of festive food, and exercise tends to be pushed to the bottom of our to-do list. But what about if you work from home? Working in the house all day and not having any motivation to brave the cold in the evening means that you are not only seeing minimal sunlight during the day, but your health can be affected by everything from overeating to S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder) to lack of exercise. Here are a few ways you can make working from home work for you, even in the darkest, dreariest months of the year:
Make your desk an active place
The comfy couch is calling, but sticking to working at your desk gives you a dedicated work space and can keep you productive throughout winter, even when you’re starting to feel like winding down for the season. We should be staying active at our desk throughout the year, but as we tend to go out less frequently in winter it’s a good idea to start a few healthy movement habits while you work. This can come in the form of stretches, and a great place to look for ideas is Pilates At Your Desk. You can find our interview with Kerrie-Anne, founder of Pilates At Your Desk here, and take some inspiration from her. Staying active is key when you are constantly hunched over a desk, so incorporating some of these moves into your day can be the lifestyle change you need.
This is certainly not new advice on the Desk Life Project blog, but taking regular breaks has never been more important than at this time of year, when constant sitting and slouching can become a big problem. As well as stretching regularly at your desk, getting up several times a day to walk around, do some chores, and stop staring at your laptop screen can help with your health and even your sleep, since too much screen time late into the evening can stop you getting the good night’s sleep you need and eventually affect your productivity. Take regular breaks, just as you would if you were heading out of the house in summer for a walk or to meet a friend.
Just get out there
As most people with mental health concerns will tell you, getting out of the house and being a little more active can make all the difference, and since working from home can absolutely affect your mental health, it’s always a good idea to try and get over that initial feeling of not wanting to leave the house, and instead remembering that you will always feel better when you do. An exercise class at least once a week is a great way to kill all those birds with one stone; get out of the house, spend time around others, and get your sweat on for an hour or so. And you don’t even need to sweat much if you don’t want to, a gentle yoga class or swimming session can be just as helpful.
This month the team at GoSweat have been helping us all to feel more active, by offering Desk Life Project readers an exclusive discount – £5 OFF any class on their site! You can search for local fitness classes and experiences on GoSweat, and use code DESK_LIFE_PROJECT to apply your £5 off, so you can try out a new class and kick-start your winter fitness even if you work from home. What class will you be booking?