Remote work has seen huge growth over the past five years (44 percent growth, in fact). With more people working from home than ever, it’s logical to assume that these remote worker numbers will only continue to grow.
There are plenty of benefits that come from working at home (such as increased productivity and reduced expenses), but some find that these remote working conditions create additional stress. So, if you’re feeling the stress, here are a few tips and tricks to keep your mind healthy while working from home:
1. Spend Time with the “Outdoors”
Being outdoors has been linked to better mood, creativity, vitamin D levels, focus, immunity, and more. So, interact with the outdoors in whatever way you can during the workday. This may be a walk around your apartment grounds, breathing in some fresh air from your porch or balcony, buying a houseplant, or just opening the windows.
2. Take Breaks
Have you ever been so focused on a project that your brain started to feel fuzzy? With remote work and potentially fewer coworker distractions, you might find this sensation occurring more often in your workday. Take this brain fog as permission to carve out a break. Better yet, schedule those breaks throughout your day as preventative measures. If anyone questions this practice, they’ll find comfort in the fact that breaks contribute to better decision-making outcomes and added creativity, just to name a few benefits.
3. Recharge with Hobbies
Give your brain a break from work tasks and instead use your brain to enjoy an engaging hobby. You won’t regret it, and your work may actually benefit from it. It turns out that certain hobbies can actually benefit your brain in a number of ways, depending on the activity. For example, painting can increase your creativity and memory, while language study helps with brain connectivity and slows brain aging. Even video games benefit your reflexes and strategic thinking abilities.
4. Exercise Your Body
It’s well-established that your brain and body are interconnected. But did you know that exercise has been linked to new cell growth in the brain? Stepping away from your work to get some exercise could be hugely beneficial and serve as a great remedy for stress.
5. Feed Your Brain
When you’re working from home all day, it can be tempting to grab convenient (often unhealthy) snacks instead of being selective about the foods you consume. Putting forth more effort in the food department could prove to be extremely helpful to your workday. There are plenty of foods—such as broccoli, nuts, fatty fish, and blueberries—that are considered “brain foods.” Each food that made the list has shown to boost the brain in one way or another, from memory to mood.
If these new remote working conditions are stressing you and your brain out, don’t forget to add these tips into your daily routine. Spending more time in the outdoors, taking breaks, pursuing beneficial hobbies, adding in exercise, and making better food choices may be just the prescription you need to keep your brain healthy and invigorated in your new remote work scene.