With most of us working from the comfort of our homes these days, there’s no denying that creating a work routine and feeling productive are easier said than done with an environment change. When your place of leisure also becomes your workspace, differentiating your relaxation time from your time to focus can be quite the task. We’re providing a few tips that will help make this process easier:
- Take the time to prepare healthier meals
For those of you who enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, cooking up some nutritional meals can be a great way to escape the mundanity of a lockdown - but even if you’re not too savvy in this area, we suggest you throw in more fruits and veggies into your diet, and focus on creating a balanced meal plan. We all know that eating right can help you feel motivated and ready to take on any project!
- Work from a different space to where you would normally relax
Although this may not always be possible, if you have the opportunity to differentiate your workspace and relaxation area at home, then it is so important that you do! While working from your bed or your couch may seem tempting, seeing as you have always used these spots to wind down, it can be a challenge to mentally associate them with work. Try create a desk setup with all your favourite work necessities in one space - and if that isn’t possible, move to the dinner table or kitchen countertop for heightened productivity.
- Treat yourself to me time
These days are undeniably rough for many of us, and part of making your home life enjoyable is fitting in more of the things you love. Listen to music that soothes or energises you depending on your to-do list, make time for a warm bath and skincare rituals - love yourself and prioritise the things that make your day better.
Incorporating exercise into your daily routine will not only benefit you physically in the many ways we know, but it will also aid you mentally. All you really need to start with is a yoga mat - once you’ve found a rhythm that works for you, you can always buy additional equipment! If you’re interested in yoga, it is worth noting that several studios offer online classes - we would recommend you take a look at Raw Yoga Studio or Island Yoga to find something that’s just right for you.
We spoke with Karen Ryan, a physiotherapist and pilates instructor here in Malta, to understand more about the benefits of keeping active at home:
Q: Could you tell us a little bit about what you do?
A: I am a physiotherapist with my own clinic in St. Julians. Alongside this I became a Pilates instructor 12 years ago and most recently, a yoga instructor. I like to keep myself active with my biggest love being swimming. I also practise running, having run a few half marathons and enjoy any way to keep myself moving!
Q: What would you say are the main benefits of keeping active, especially at a time like this?
A: Apart from the benefits we all know about - feeling good, strong, healthy, mental care - I would like to point out some benefits that I have been seeing as a physiotherapist. This past year, I have seen a rise in cases of back pain, neck pain and headaches. These are most likely caused by working from home, spending long hours on chairs and tables (or beds, sofas…) that may not be ideal for our posture. How can you help prevent this? Get up and move! Do it often! Even a minute away from your workspace every hour can make a huge difference.
Q: What tips could you provide for anyone looking to start being active and exercising from home?
A: Working out from home is probably new to a lot of us. Say the willingness and ideas are there, it just doesn’t happen - what can you do then? Set. A. Routine. Straight out of bed, before lunch, before Netflix - whatever works for you! Saying ‘you’ll do it at some point in the day’ makes it harder to stick to. Plan a time and get it done! Maybe get a friend involved for even more accountability!
Yes, it may not be what you’re used to, you may not have your usual equipment but don’t let that stop you. Keep it simple and be willing to adapt. Minimal or low weights can also be beneficial - go for higher repetitions and/or more holds where it burns (time under tension). Try new things! There are so many great ways to get a workout. Not feeling motivated to do that? That’s ok too! How about taking this time to work on little weaknesses you may have? For example, maybe you don’t usually spend enough time on mobility and stretching, try that! Or you have knee pain while running, focus on noticing any differences between your right and left leg. Always felt like you wanted to improve your core stability? That’s a super easy one to incorporate with limited space and equipment.
Q: Do you have any online Pilates classes you could recommend?
A: There are so many great trainers out there online, for all types of workouts. I’d like to invite you to have a look at my YouTube channel - k.r.physiomalta - where I have uploaded a few Pilates classes. Otherwise, you can find me at St.Julians Dental and Medical Clinic.