Working from home is great, generally, and right now it’s a necessity, but how do you stay stress and pain fee when working on a laptop on your kitchen table sitting in a dining chair?
I’ve been asked this a lot over the last few weeks and in short I answer – find what works for you.
When it comes to your home office set up, you have to get creative. If you are working on a laptop try elevating it on a box or couple of books so the screen is at eye level. Invest in a separate mouse and keyboard so you don’t have to stretch. Try putting a cushion or small box on the floor under your feet. Remember the 90 degrees rule, all your big joints – elbows, knees, hips should be at a 90 degree angle and you should be able to sit comfortably without slouching or having to stretch forwards or twist. Of course these are all great in theory, and do work, but it’s difficult when you don’t have the right equipment in the first place.
One of the main things I say to my clients, whether working from home or office, is move around. Stand up, sit down, move your head from side to side, stretch your arms up and back, roll your shoulders, stretch your legs out, come up on your tippy toes. Anything, just don’t sit in one position forever, you’re asking for trouble. Movement is key, not just physically but mentally. You need good circulation to keep the blood pumping all the good stuff (water, oxygen, glucose) into your brain, and don’t forget it’s going against gravity too. So if you don’t move, your circulation will become sluggish and you start to feel tired and foggy in the head. And when your sofa is just over there, it’s very tempting to have 40 winks! Contact Peta for more information on home self care.
But how do I avoid distractions with everyone at home?
Ah, here’s another one. Difficult when the kids are doing their school work next to you and arguing over what cartoon to watch at lunch time. And the washing needs putting out. And the phone keeps ringing. If you don’t have a space away from everyone else where you can shut yourself away, make sure everyone knows that when it’s work time, it’s work time. Try short sessions, an hour at a time then a little break. (We should be doing this anyway…) Keep everything you need nearby so you don’t have to keep getting up – a drink, fruit, pencils and paper, your phone if necessary, but keep it on silent. You’re probably in some kind of new routine now anyway, but it’s always good to start work at the same time as usual and structure your day similarly so it’s not too disruptive. Routine really helps, especially when everything around you is anything but routine.
And drink plenty of water! This is always my main piece of advice to all my clients – keep hydrated. Stress dehydrates the body like nothing else. And with stress comes tight shoulders, headaches, sleepless nights, lack of concentration, apathy, etc etc. Read more. And right now it’s a very stressful time for many people. Change can be very stressful especially when you don’t know what’s going to happen or when. Look out for my next blog on the stress response and how to use it to your advantage.
So in short – get a routine going, don’t sit for too long, get as comfy as possible and keep hydrated. But most importantly, don’t beat yourself up. Take each day as it comes, it’s a strange time, and if you feel a little ‘off’ one day, that’s ok. We all deal with things differently, find what works for you.
For more information on self massage at home please contact Peta.
Vital Force Massage
After training as an Aromatherapist and in Seated Acupressure Massage, Peta set up Vital Force Massage in 1999 to provide stress relief and well being to the country’s workforce. Having spent many years working at corporate events and exhibitions nationwide she now specialises in helping the digital community keep healthy and happy at work. She has been a tutor for the Academy of On Site Massage, the country’s leading Seated Acupressure trainer, since 2002 and has trained therapists all over the country, so all Vital Force practitioners are hand picked, experienced, and trained to the highest standards.
Peta is passionate about all things healthy and is currently training in Nutritional Healing which she intends to take into the workplace in the form of online training to help people make more healthy and informed decisions about what they eat. Along side this she is developing a range of natural skincare products that are ‘good enough to eat’.
Tel: 0797 354 8858 / 0114 258 2211