Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Proximity of a Kitchen

What do a teleworker, a freelancer, a retiree and stay-at-home parent have in common? The proximity of the kitchen! For those of you who work in a big corporate cubicle field you may think this sounds like the best thing ever. And, it is! Though a fully-stocked, nearby kitchen is not for the weak-willed. Here are some tips for successfully maintaining some wellness while working at home, in whatever form:

  1. Buy carefully. You are innocently perusing the aisles of your grocery store and your very favorite treat from childhood catches your eye. The internal dialogue begins: I've been good lately. I deserve a treat. I'll only have one cookie a day. You take the cookies home. Day 1 you're pretty good and eat 1 cookie. In the morning of Day 2 somebody upsets you and you have 2 cookies, by afternoon you're so stressed out you eat half the package. The moral: Buy fruits and vegetables. You can't do much damage to your waist line if you go on a celery binge. 
  2. Exercise before Email. The EbE rule is an important one. How many times have you decided to take a quick peek at email first thing in the morning and the next thing you know it is 3 PM, you have to be on a Skype video call and your flannel PJs will match oh so nicely with you bed-matted hair? There is a better way! When you get up in the morning, do some exercise, eat a healthful breakfast, shower, get dressed and then look at email. The moral: When you work from home take care of you first. 
  3. Phone a Friend. It is the middle of the afternoon, you're bored and haven't spoken to another human being all day (pets and children don't really count). You don't feel like starting the next project and you've managed to wander the web for the last 30 minutes and you're bored. You get up and walk into the kitchen... must be something in there not so boring. If you haven't followed tip #1 this could be disastrous! Instead of walking to the kitchen, phone a friend. If you're really bored you can even phone your Mom. She'll think you're the best ever and you'll save yourself from the kitchen doom. The moral: Don't use food as a substitute for socializing. 
  4. Body Breaks: The best thing about working from home is you can take advantage of little small breaks in between tasks and you can use these breaks to your benefit. When you finish a task, do a little stretching routine. Your morning and afternoon breaks be devoted to a 10 minute strength training session. On a long, boring conference call? Hit the mute button (please, please, please) and do some sit-ups or push-ups next to your desk. The moral: Use the mini-moments to get healthier. 
With a little planning, a bit of awareness and a dose of creativity you can avoid the commute and use the extra time for you. Remember, wellness is a personal quest and once you find what works best for you staying healthy is easy! 

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