How to Prioritize Wellness in the Virtual Workspace

From fancy in-home spin bikes to endless supplements and superfoods, we’re often made to believe that feeling our “best” requires an excess of time, money, and a finger on the pulse of every latest trend.

However, it’s more about what makes you feel good and can require as little as a 15-minute walk around the block.

Heading into a new year, we recommend stepping away from the glow of your email inbox to spend some time defining what wellness means to you. Here are a few ways to approach doing so in the virtual workspace.

Structure Your Day Accordingly

It’s one thing to say you need to take breaks and another to take them. Just like any other item on your to-do list, downtime needs to be scheduled.

Consider setting aside time in the mornings and during lunch for things that bring you joy. Additionally, work in shorter 10 to 15-minute breaks every hour or two for time away from the screen.

Pay attention to when you feel most productive and focused during the day. Position your most important, brain-intensive tasks for those times with the rest of your day dedicated to administrative tasks, professional development, and/or passion projects.

Turn Off Notifications and Disconnect

When you work from home, co-workers are less aware of when you’re available. This is why developing tiny habits—like creating chat statuses and setting yourself as “away”—are crucial for boundary setting.

These habits come in handy when making time to disconnect. Put up that status, turn off screen notifications, and put your computer in sleep mode if you need to.

Keep a small bookshelf next to your desk with some of your favorite books and allow yourself at least 10 pages of “fun” reading throughout the workday. Alternatively, recenter and decompress with moments of silence, focused breathing, and meditation as needed.

Make Time for Movement

Any little movement counts when spending hours hunched over a computer. Set an alarm for “deskercise” routines throughout the day to help mitigate neck and shoulder pain. And when you are stationary, make sure you’re supported with a quality chair or explore adjustable standing desk options.

Of course, there’s never a bad time to relieve stress with a walk around the neighborhood and your favorite podcast. You can also find plenty of free fitness resources on YouTube covering everything from yoga to 20-minute HIIT challenges.

Set Some Spa Vibes

You might not be able to slip away for a 90-minute massage every week but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bit of spa-like luxury. For starters, combat post-sanitizer dryness with moisturizing hand cream and a tube of lip balm stashed in your desk.

Pull up a playlist of nature sounds (or whatever you find to be relaxing) for soothing background music. Or sit back with a tension relief heating pad and let hours of YouTube nature scenery videos transport you to another place entirely.

By Staples Canada

January 22, 2021

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