I’ve worked in offices for a couple of years at the beginning of my career and there had not been a day I hadn’t wished to work remotely instead. I live in a big city so commuting to work always meant overcrowded subways or hours spent in traffic.
The office itself hardly ever helped in any way with the work I did. On the contrary, it was more often than not distracting, tiring, and all in all, less productive. I always felt I could do it remotely from the comfort of my own place or from a sunny terrace close to home. Plus, the waking hours felt inhumane.
My meals were almost never home-cooked, nor healthy. I never had enough time to go to the gym. I was always tired.
Now that I’ve been freelancing for over ten years and working remotely full time for three years, there’s not a day that goes by when I am not happy with the choice I made. The quality of my life has improved dramatically. I can make my own schedule and I always feel like I work because I want to, because I like to and not because I have to.
However, the first few years had their rough moments. Having all the freedom in the world sometimes meant working too long and forgetting about all the good things in life I was so conscious of not having while stuck at the office. It took me a while to realize that if I want to live a beautiful life, discipline is everything. But once I learned my way around discipline, I never went back to a hectic schedule.
So, here are 5 tips for living a healthier, happier life, full of energy and positive vibes while working remotely.
1. Chronometers are key if you want zero stress while working
Whether you go for the Pomodoro technique or you choose any other timer online, trust me when I say this, your body and mind will thank you for it. Working without any distractions for as little as 25 minutes and with a short break of 5 minutes will do wonders on your productivity and stress levels.
You will learn to relax (and those 5 minutes might seem like nothing, but they will feel like much longer!). Because when it’s break time, you stand up from the computer and really take that break. You can lie down, you can listen to a relaxing song, you can stretch, you can dance, or you can do anything that will defocus your mind from all the productive hard work that you’ve done in the past 25 minutes.
On top of that, you will feel less stressed with the abundance of tasks you are usually working on, simply because you’ll take one at a time. Splitting your time into 25-minute sessions of work will force you to stop juggling between tasks and just focus on one, each session at a time.
2. Reward yourself with getaways
I couldn’t emphasize enough on the importance of detaching yourself from work. If your home is your office, we all know how easy it is to slip into the habit of working more than if you were actually going to a workplace.
Leaving town three times a year is not too much. Not at all. Whether you decide to take one longer holiday, maybe go on a beach yoga retreat to recharge your batteries and then choose two-weekend getaways on a budget, the three vacations you reward yourself with will make all the difference in the world.
3. Your meals are at least as important as your deadlines
The first thing you need to do is to set time apart for your meals. Take an hour if you want to cook something, but whatever you do, don’t snack in front of the computer, caught between tasks.
Eat at the table or eat out with a friend. You’ll have much more control of your food intake this way, plus you will become more conscious of what you eat. Lunches will feel like a real treat. For a change of scenery, I usually schedule at least two lunches out every week, if possible in places I’ve never been to before.
I also made a habit of not bringing any food whatsoever at my working desk. But I always have homemade infused waters, coffee, or tea. This also helps with not having to wonder if my body is hydrated enough throughout the day.
4. Set a daily time to exercise and stick to it as if it’s a crazy important deadline
If you’re a morning person, exercise in the morning. Do it before you start your day, even if it’s for as little as 20 minutes. You won’t believe the difference these 20 minutes will make. You’ll feel more energized, more empowered, and more content.
If you’re more of a night owl like me, then afternoons or evenings are the right time for physical activity. You can go to the gym, but you can also work out from the comfort of your own living room, following any YouTube video that best suits your mood that day. As long as you schedule your everyday workout and stick to it no matter what, I bet you will not only feel great, but your body will look leaner and stronger, too.
It’s not that you’re too busy. I gave myself this excuse long enough to realize it’s not that I can’t set aside as little as 20 minutes for a relaxing yoga practice or an energizing Pilates class. It was not that. When it came to working out daily, I looked for “motivation” for many years before realizing that it’s as simple as putting your mind to it and doing it even if you don’t feel like it. It’s all about starting, because three minutes into the practice, you’ll know you did the right thing.
5. Nourish your mind with meditation, yoga, or any spiritual practice that suits you
Once I realized that I can go against my mood and be successful with anything I plan for myself, I made a habit of constantly engaging in activities that I don’t feel like starting. And that’s when I realized how important meditation and yoga truly are.
If you are not sure of the meditation or yoga style that best suits your personality and needs, then here is a list of spiritual yoga and meditation retreats that you can embark on. There are so many unexpected benefits of a daily yoga or meditation practice that I don’t know where to start. But just imagine changing the scenery for as little as a weekend and taking some quiet time just for yourself. You will spend time in the midst of nature, indulge in some easy stretching, coordinate your every move with your breath and most importantly, learn to meditate and do yoga on your own.
Having the luxury of working from wherever you please can come with longer working hours and less focus on your own well-being and overall quality of life. But once you realize that your health and well-being are more important than any of your deadlines and most importantly, you stick to a healthy routine regardless of other working distractions, you’re on the right track of living your best life yet.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Irina Gabriela Pele
Irina is a Contributing Writer for BookYogaRetreats.com. She is a rookie yogi and meditator and a continual seeker of truth and spiritual adventures.