As the weather gets colder and the sun setting happens well before 5pm, seasonal depression seems to be setting in pretty quickly. Working fully-remote is a blessing for many reasons. Cutting back on commuting times means more time for errands, activities, and spending time with friends & family. It cuts back on transportation costs, maintenance needed on vehicles, and clothing purchases. Everyone raves about the benefits, but there are not many conversations with the negatives..
As a sales professional, I have the luxury of speaking with people every day but I know a lot of people don’t have that. Just a simple check in in the morning then it’s off to the races to get the days tasks completed. The days either fly by or go really slow, when they drag they really drag. When something goes wrong you’re alone and when you want to celebrate something you’re also alone. It can be a very lonely very sedentary life. As it gets even colder and dark out earlier, the opportunity for getting outside and moving your body gets more difficult to find.
Here are 5 ways to keep your body moving as a remote worker…
5 Ways to Stay Active as a Remote Employee
Early Morning Walks
The sun rises before 9am, which means plenty of time to get some movement in before the work day even starts. Start with a 10 minute walk then slowly work up to 30 minutes or even 1 hour! Sitting at a desk, or at your kitchen table, or on your sofa is exhausting and draining because of how lazy it is. Keeping your body in motion not only gives you energy for the rest of the day, but the bit of sunlight you can soak in the morning hours will keep you in good spirits throughout the day.
Even as it gets cold, the sun will be up before a typical 9am-5pm job which leaves plenty of time for morning activities. If you’re feeling motivated, go ahead and make that walk into a ran! Who knows, a small winter walk habit can turn into a big lifestyle change. You could be running a marathon before you know it!
Lunchtime Gym Sessions
Use your lunch hour, while the sun is still up, to get yourself to the gym. Whether it’s a gym down the street or your home gym, or even just a body weight workout outside, using your lunch break for physical activity is the best way to take advantage of the sun during the shorter winter days. Not to mention as a remote employee, actually taking your lunch break, and going to the gym, is a great way to break up your day. You come back to your desk feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the afternoon’s tasks.
If your looking for ways to boost your productivity as a remote worker, this is a great way to make that happen! Planning your day around a midday gym session means you have clear goals for your day and can make personal deadlines to finish projects or start them before or after your midday gym sessions!
So maybe you’re not a morning person or don’t have a gym membership… That’s ok, there’s still plenty ways to get active as a remote worker and these don’t need to be done early and won’t cost you an additional penny.
Sure doing a YouTube workout won’t get you out in the sunlight, but it will get you moving and that’s the bigger picture here. Not letting the seasonal depression sink in and getting up off your butt from spending all day working! YouTube workouts are a great way to fit in a quick workout and get a sweat. You can do these in between the work day, before, or after. Whatever time you decide, block it off and stick to it. From yoga, zumba, and even bootcamps, YouTube has everything. A quick search for “20 minute Yoga” and you are likely to find hundreds if not thousands of hits for yoga workout videos to try. Don’t like one you picked? Go back and find another. Who knows you may find an instructor that you really enjoy and starting watching more of their workout videos.
Top of the Hour Exercises
I started doing this back when I got my first remote job almost 4 years ago now and its been a habit ever since. I get so focused into work that I lose track of time and before I know it the day is over and I have done nothing but stare into my laptop screen and have calls with my team. Then all of a sudden it’s 5pm, dark outside and I feel like a giant slob.
To combat this I started doing exercises at the top of every hour I was working. So I’d take 3-5 minutes every hour and do 10 air squats, 10 sit-ups, and 10 push-ups, then get right back to work. Incorporating this little addition to the top of every hour means every day your are doing 80 squats, 80 sit ups, 80 push ups. Every week that adds up 400 reps of each exercise weekly!! I chose these exercises because they hit all parts of my body that need to be moved, but you can make them any ones you’d like! For added accountability, I have alarms set on my phone. When I hear the ring, I stop what I’m doing, hit my quick flash workout, then get right back to where I left off!
Sunset Breaks / Resets
Part of turning down and getting ready for the next day, is acknowledging that the day is over or ending. The sun may be setting before the workday ends, but going outside breathing in the fresh air and seeing the sunset marks that the day is almost done and you will be closing out soon. Getting up, even if it’s not for a walk, but just to go outside can help you get through these short days and add a tiny bit of movement back into your life.
Put a block on your calendar for the time of sunset and always head outside to watch the beauty that unfolds. Sunsets are the prettiest in the winter and it’s a shame to miss the few minutes of beauty while being stuck into an excel spreadsheet on your laptop.