Either you run the day or the day runs you.
If you’re recently working from home, you may be experiencing challenges as you adapt to your new arrangement. After all, you’ve gotten used to your work life and routine. Even if a break from a stressful commute and other daily irritations may be welcome, by now you may also be finding that working from home isn’t as ideal as you thought it might be.
Now more than ever, it’s essential for you to focus on your mental and physical wellbeing. Work can actually be a timely distraction right now, but it’s also important to find balance. You should ensure professional stressors don’t compound any worries you may already be experiencing. To make your time working from home stress-free, the Cenegenics® team shares a few tips below.
Many of our patients come from demanding fields, and for some of them, remote work is nothing new. Our clinicians are therefore experienced in helping patients strike a meaningful work/life balance and staying healthy by promoting wellness at every age. With stress management, exercise, and nutritional recommendations, our team helps patients reverse their biological age, rebalancing the body to where it was during their 20s and 30s. They take a highly scientific approach to get the body perfectly tuned at the cellular level, thereby setting them up for optimal performance both professionally and physically. See what they recommend for staying healthy and productive while working from home below.
#1. Master Video Calls
While nothing can replace in-person communications, video conferences are the next best thing. Stay in touch with your teams by having regular virtual check-ins. Make sure your home office is equipped with the technology you’ll need, including a desktop or laptop with a microphone and camera. Test out multiple video chat platform in advance to make sure there are no snags when it’s time for an important professional call.
#2. Maintain a Routine
Routines play an important role in mental health: when we’re organized and know what to expect, we’re better able to keep symptoms of conditions like depression, addiction, and bipolar disorder at bay. Plus, people with stable daytime routines have healthier sleep cycles and are better able to resist impulsiveness. 
While there may be some hiccups at first, it’s important to establish and maintain a healthy work routine, even when you’re at home. Get out of bed right when your alarm goes off and resist the urge to hit snooze. While you don’t have to put on your business casual clothing, change out of what you slept in to gear yourself up mentally for the day. Set a lunch time, and “clock out” by walking away from your desk when the day is over. While it may feel like you can let projects run into the night while you’re at home, it’s important to give yourself the time to refresh mentally, which brings us to our next point.
#3. Take Breaks
When there’s little separation between your home space and your work space, it’s easy to get stuck in “work mode” around the clock. Yet, this approach is unhealthy and can actually backfire on your work and mental health. Research shows that overworked employees experience chronic stress, which has been linked to everything from irritability to digestive problems and trouble sleeping. 
Over time, chronic stress can also have serious long-term implications on health, including an elevated risk for:
Breaks during your workday at home may not come as naturally as they would in the office. At work, you might need to get up from your desk to touch base with a colleague, but at home, you could easily find yourself going hours without moving from your desk. Being sedentary presents its own health problems, such as poor blood circulation and increased inflammation.  Thus, it’s critically important to take frequent breaks. Set an alarm or reminder on your phone to stand up every hour. Take this time to get up and stretch, walk to refill your glass of water, or even do a few jumping jacks. Don’t forget to take a lunch break, either.
#4. Eat a Healthy Breakfast, Lunch, & Snacks
You probably had an eating routines before you started working from home, but now that you’re not rushing out the door, you may be able to dedicate a bit more time to your meals and snacks. The food choices we make have significant effects on health, mood, and cognitive performance. 
Of course, it can be challenging to come up with healthy breakfast options. Here are a few tips to help:
- Purchase frozen veggies, like spinach, which you can blend into a smoothie or throw into an omelet.
- Stock up on plain Greek yogurt and top it off with fresh or frozen fruit instead of choosing sugary varieties.
- Think outside the box by eating nontraditional breakfast foods in the morning. Breakfast salads and soups can still satisfy your appetite; there’s no reason your first meal has to fall under the traditional “breakfast” category. Instead, aim for nutritional value by incorporating protein, healthy fats, and vegetables.
Don’t overlook the importance of lunch, either. While you may not be able to have your go-to salad from your favorite restaurant, you can still make healthy choices at home. Cook up some frozen chicken at the beginning of the week and reheat it with a side of greens for a quick and easy weekday lunch. Or, prep a big batch of wholesome chili to last you through most of the week.
Although it takes a little more effort to make healthy snacks the health benefits are ample. Whole foods (fruits & vegetables), animal and vegetarian/vegan protein, and combination snacks are often the most efficient for curbing appetite, maintaining energy, and helping to sustain a regular metabolic rate. Our Cenegenics® physician and clinical team work to provide custom tailored nutritional plans. They help make adjustments based on your lifestyle demands and they help you to effectively utilize your time.
#5. Make Time for Exercise
When you’re not physically going into an office, your daily activity is likely to drop. You won’t be walking to and from your car or taking the stairs, for instance. The good news is that without a daily commute, you might have more time for exercise than you normally would. You might even be able to fit a workout in during your lunch break.
Regular exercise helps to:
- Improve mood
- Promote quality sleep
- Boost energy
- Keep serious health issues, including metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, at bay
- Control weight 
For these reasons, you should be aiming for about 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, such as brisk walks, each day, or shorter bursts of high-intensity interval training. You can also mix up the two to keep things fresh. Fortunately, even when you can’t get to a gym, there are still plenty of heart-pounding workouts you can do at home. Cenegenics® clinical team is always available with support and suggestions.
#6. Set a “No Interruptions” Time
You’re probably finding yourself with a whole new crew of “coworkers”, your spouse, children, and pets. To ensure your ability to concentrate, it’s important to set boundaries during work time. It may take some fine-tuning to establish a schedule that works for the whole family, but make sure that anyone who needs it can have uninterrupted periods of time dedicated exclusively to work.
#7. Find Ways to Decompress
Switching out of work mode generally takes some time, so give yourself a little bit of a buffer between ending your work day and interacting with family. Take this time to jot down your priorities for tomorrow, go for a quick walk, or even do a short round of yoga.
#8. Save Household Projects for Later
Working in your home environment may have you crossing paths with piles of laundry, a cluttered closet, or other reminders of everything that needs to get done around the house throughout the day. The weekday hours should be reserved for home projects. Again, the importance of maintaining a regular schedule cannot be overstated.
#9. Resist the Urge to Scroll Endlessly
Since you’re not physically at work, you may find yourself giving in to distractions a bit more easily. As we mentioned above, breaks are certainly important for your physical and mental health, and they can allow you to come back to work refreshed and ready to go. Yet, your breaks shouldn’t consist of scrolling through the news or social media endlessly. The National Alliance on Mental Illness recommends approaching news consumption mindfully.  Limit your sources for updates to trusted authorities and try to consume only need-to-know news instead of clicking on every headline.
Staying Productive While Working From Home – In Conclusion
While it’s everyone’s priority to simply get through these challenging times, now is also a good opportunity to focus on your physical and mental health. Cenegenics® patients, including a high population of doctors and their families, trust in our physicians to help them feel dramatically better within 30 to 60 days on the program, and thus better equipped physically and mentally to manage any challenges life presents. We’ve pioneered the medical specialty of age management medicine to help our patients navigate optimal wellness at every stage of life, and one of our doctors even wrote the book on the subject, which is now used to teach other doctors. Don’t just take our word for it, though—visit the Cenegenics® reviews page to find out why so many satisfied patients continue to stay on the program and feel their best.
If you’re ready to find out more about what to expect on the program, learn about the Elite Health Evaluation, or inquire about Cenegenics®’ cost, contact your nearest location to set up a free consultation.
Next Steps – Learn about more Healthy Lifestyle Tips
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About the Contributor
Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise
Rudy Inaba is Cenegenics’ Global Director of Nutrition & Exercise. He is a recognized fitness and sports nutrition consultant with nearly 15 years of experience in clinical exercise physiology and lifestyle management. After pursuing his Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Rudy joined Cenegenics where he leads 20 clinical locations nationwide in their advancements in kinesiology, nutritional biochemistry, and their analyses of industry research & market trending.
This guide was produced with contributions from the following key resources:
The Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation
The Textbook of Age Management Medicine Volume 1: Mastering Healthy Aging Nutrition, Exercise and Hormone Replacement Therapy
Jeffrey Park Leake, M.D., CPT
Dr. Jeffrey Park Leake is a Partner and Director of Education at Cenegenics Elite Health specializing in age management and wellness. Having trained hundreds of physicians worldwide, Dr. Leake is also the Director of Education for the Clinical Strategies for Healthy Aging course at AMM Educational Foundation.
Todd David Greenberg, M.D., CSCS
Dr. Todd Greenberg is a practicing physician with a broad range of expertise, including wellness, exercise, sports injuries, and MRI of sports injuries. He is a Radiology Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington.
 The Power of Routines in Your Mental Health. Plata, Mariana. Psychology Today. Derived from: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-gen-y-psy/201810/the-power-routines-in-your-mental-health
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