The COVID-19 pandemic and South Africa’s continued lockdown has made working from home the new normal for many. 

While it presents several benefits, such as not having to sit in traffic for large portions of the day, remote working is not without its own issues. Outside of the increased costs of data and the need to be more cybersecurity conscious, there are also the holistic elements to worry about. 

When working from home, people can take their health, both physical and mental for granted, which is why it is proving essential to strike the right work/life balance and stay healthy during lockdown. 

To help you achieve said balance, here are five tips that you should follow while working from home during the lockdown.

1. Create a “perfect” bedroom 

After a hard day’s work you need time to relax and have good quality sleep that will energise you for the next day. So, it is essential that you create the right environment to get good quality sleep. Your bedroom should be a perfect environment to enable this. 

First and foremost, you need to have a comfortable bed that will help you to rest well. For that you need to invest in a good mattress like one from Nectar Sleep, it should help you sleep better as good mattresses provide solid support for your body. A good mattress also shouldn’t create pressure points, which is often the cause for why you wake up with pain.

Furthermore, a good mattress will regulate air properly and you won’t heat up or feel sweaty while you are asleep.

You should ensure that all the smartphones, tablets or notebooks stay out of your bedroom as the blue light emitted from their screen is not good for sleep and will have an adverse effect on your health.

Another important consideration is temperature. Here maintaining a cool temperature in your bedroom of between 16°C to 19.4°C is advised.

If you are looking for gadgets to assist in getting a good night’s rest, you should add a white noise machine that can play soothing sounds to mask outside noises that may disturb your sleep during the night.

Keeping the bedroom as dark as possible is also a worthwhile step, with dark blinds or heavy curtains getting rid of outside light piercing into the bedroom. If you are insistent on sleeping with some kind of  light on during the night, it should have red or pink bulbs as they are most conducive to sleep. 

2. Create Zones

Working under lockdown can be tricky. You may be used to working from home, but not for a very long time. With more lockdown alert levels planned for the country, this remote working environment is one you’ll have to set up for the next few months at least.

That’s why it is important to create zones in your home dedicated to work, eat and sleep. You can use a sofa or a desk in your living room for work purposes, but you should eat only in the dining area and not eat in your bedroom or at the workstation. Your bedroom should be used  for sleep only.

Having different zones will help to ensure that you do not fall prey to over-sleeping, or casual naps during the day, but sticking to your sleep schedule.

3. Meditate and exercise

Working from home can be equally tiring or sometimes even more tiring than working from the office. To keep yourself in a good state of mind and healthy, you should look into meditation and regular exercise.

You should do meditation or some mindfulness activity to stay calm and help your mind stay alert and relaxed during the day. There are a number of mobile apps designed to help you with mindfulness in particular, with them serving as useful guides on other stress-related aspects of work too. 

While locally there has been much debate about the times people can workout and exercise, regardless of what hours are being designated, you should try to exercise regularly. This helps not only in staying fit physically, but mentally as well, as it reduces stress level and helps you to get rid of anxiety. 

4. Watch what you eat and drink 

You should watch what you eat and drink in general, but perhaps even more so now that you’re in lockdown and working from home. At the moment it is easy to fall into the trap of eating junk food at your workstation, like many other people who work from home do. 

You should also avoid consuming caffeine-laden food and drinks a few hours before going to sleep. The same thing goes for carbonated and sugar-filled drinks, and you should not have too many during the day.

While the sale of it is banned currently under lockdown, drinking alcohol before sleep is also bad, as it spoils your sleep-cycle. Curiously too much water before heading to bed can become an issue too, as it can disrupt your nightly sleep pattern with trips to the bathroom.

5. Follow a bedtime ritual

You should create and follow a bedtime ritual so that you allow yourself to wind down properly without having to feel stressed about the day. 

This can take any number of things, with it best served to incorporate some of your daily routines into the process, such as brushing your teeth, washing your face, or applying lotion as part of your bedtime ritual. This can also help you to fall asleep faster, which ensures a better quality of sleep.

You may add reading, writing in a journal or listening to music to your bedtime ritual.

In uncertain times, you need to be more aware of your mental and physical health. Working from home is essential at the moment, but tiring too, and it can take a heavy toll on your health. 

Hopefully these tips can help you stay healthy, both mentally and physically during lockdown.

[Image – Photo by James McDonald on Unsplash]
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