10 Ways to Self Care as Remote Workers
As an ex-remote worker, now freelancer (so very similar conditions) I liked to practice routine habits that helped my mind and body relax during the challenging work day. Here are a few of the ways I use self care when I was a remote worker and ones that I’ve adopted when working solely from home as a freelancer too.
1. Dedicate 15-minute for Calls/Breaks
Jumping on a lunchtime call can really help out. Weekly I tend to have a 20-minute chat on the phone with friend Marc and a 10-minute call with my Grandpa, just so I can chat with someone. This small but simple habit has really helped to get some two way conversation, if I don’t have any meeting scheduled for the day. Remote worker isolation can be a reality. Remember doesn’t have to be long.
2. Open a Water Cooler on Slack
One thing I missed doing when at my previous companies was creating a Slack channel for random conversations. Although I’d swap songs with one of our designers at FlashSticks before we got on with work, I' would have liked a space to speak with each other about all sorts outside of work topics. Buffer does this in their community and many others have found it to be a positive technique to creating a healthy remote culture, when not in meetings.
3. 10-minute Podcast Park Walks
Killing two birds with one stone here. 10-minute walks around my local park over the last 6 months have really helped. Grabbing my headphones and playing a short podcast helps to feel like I’m enjoying nature and taking things in. Sometimes when I’m chuckling at a podcast, like Thomas Frank’s one, I do look a little crazy… Although this is totally fine I think.
4. Plan a Routine Date Night
My wife and I used to have a routine date night and we’re looking to continue our streak soon with a set night of the week all for us. You might think, okay this is out of work hours, but it can really help the self care side of things.
When you work from home, and then you have an evening in, it almost feels like (despite your walk) you haven’t really been outside. Plus, during your lunch break, you can plan it too by calling a local restaurant or booking a slot at the ice skating centre (although I’d have to convince Becca, my wife, to do this first, aha).
5. Light a Candle at Your Desk
Okay, I’m not responsible for any fires here. But one thing I started to do is burn a candle by my desk the last few weeks. Scented candles work a lot better, but the act of doing this has helped me to relax a little when doing focused work. There’s something about a candle that is relaxing. But do remember not to leave the room, or leave the house with it still on as you begin this habit.
6. Introduce a Friendly Office Plant
Office plants have been on the rise for many years. You can find plenty of YouTube videos outlining the best ones. Getting one does make you feel much more productive, I’m not sure what it is, maybe it’s the addition of nature or the feel of them on your desk, getting one has helped to bring some life to my desk when it previously looked a little stiff. You should check out Aileen’s advice on indoor plants, it’s nifty!
7. Night Shift & Natural Light
Using the night shift mode on MacOS and using natural light only has been a small hack I’ve introduced the last few months. Reducing exposure on your eyes can have better results for you when it comes to the evening.
You don’t feel as tired or as much eye strain. Remember you are staring at a screen all day, the more you can do with light, the better.
8. A Posh Cup of Teas
Occasionally, I’ll pull out our posh tea mugs and a posh tea leaf maker/thing and create a fresh tea. It’ll take an extra 5-minutes than a normal tea, but the process of making it and brewing it helps to just slow the day down.
And actually useful for creative moments of the day. I sometimes bring a notepad if I’m feel uber creative.
9. Schedule Time To Journal
Carving time out in the calendar for journaling can be very therapeutic. The last few months, my writing on Therachat has helped me to research a range of ways that journaling has enhanced many people’s routines and mindfulness, even to the standard that meditation has. It’s well worth experimenting with breakout sessions across the work day.
10. Get a Dumbbell or Weights
Sometimes going outside isn’t practical every time you want to stretch or exercise. So picking up some simple dumbbells is a good tactic. I use 8KG ones, just one, that I store behind my sofa. When things are quiet or I’m brewing a tea.
I’ll crack out 5 or 6 squats or maybe just stretch using it. Nothing hardcore, just a weight to get my body into some form of exercise state.
Let me know in the comments how you get on with these recommendations. I’d also love to hear how and what has helped you as a remote worker, so pop them in the comments below!