24 Hours in Isolation: how to stay healthy!

Bracken Workspace Plus 24 Hours in Isolation: how to stay healthy!

08.00 – Time to get up and get ready!

Even though you’re working from home, it’s still important to have an alarm set to get you up in the morning. It’s not futile, it’s key for helping you maintain your normal working routine. On the plus side though, given your commute is cut down from a few miles to a few footsteps, you can probably set your morning alarm to wake you just a touch later than normal. The key is to be ready to start work at the same time you’d normally start, if you were in the office.

08:15 – Time to take care of yourself.

Once you’re up, it’s time to take care of yourself, get showered, get dressed (fully and appropriately) and get ready for the day ahead. You’ll feel refreshed, professional and ready to take on a day of work. Enjoy the fact you’ll be rushing around less too. You don’t need to get the kids off to school, there’s no traffic to worry about, all you need to do, is head on over to the kitchen and start with a good, hearty but healthy breakfast. A few of our favourites include:

“Apple pie “ porridge: this one is NHS recommended no less and only 315kcal per portion. Find out how to make it (with just 4 ingredients) here. Muesli is also a great choice and super versatile, you can buy it, you can make it yourself and you can liven it up with everything from Greek yoghurt and honey, to fresh fruit and even a few spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s rich in fibre and carbohydrates so it’ll give you plenty of energy and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

09:00 – Time to take a seat at your desk

If you are working from home, it’s important to have a dedicated workspace. If you’re lucky enough to have a home office or study then this is easy, but if you don’t, then it’s important to designate a workspace, be it the kitchen table, the spare bedroom or even the garden shed (for some inspiration check out this blog post)! By having a dedicated work area, it will allow you to keep clear mental divisions between the part of your home that’s for work and the part of your home that’s for leisure. Once you’ve found your workspace, you need to make it comfortable to work in and that depends on how you like to work.

Turning on the radio is good to provide background noise and set a rhythm for working without creating a digital distraction. Good seating is key for avoiding aches and pains and keeping your posture in good shape. Many of us are used to ergonomic seating in the office but this might not be so readily available at home, so make use of cushions and foot stools and other items to create yourself a comfortable perch. Finally, opening windows and letting in the fresh air can help keep you feeling fresh and revive you when you’re feeling tired. Last but by no means least, make sure all the tools and equipment you need are easily to hand, so you don’t need to go on search missions to keep being productive.

11:00 – Snack-time! Its elevenses.

After a couple of hours, it is important to take a break and move away from the screen to do something else. Now, if you have children this could be the perfect time to get started on that Joe Wicks workout that’s taking the nation by storm. It may be aimed at children but will definitely give even the fittest of adults, an all over workout. Believe me, there are parents up and down the country that are struggling to sit down after a session of lunges and squats with Joe. If that’s not your thing though, then it’s just as good to indulge in a small snack to help keep those energy levels up. A piece of fruit, a crumpet or a slice of toast are all good options. The key is not to go for something sugary. All that will do is give you a short term boost and then a serious slump however, if you do have a sweet tooth then a good healthy but sweet option is something like a banana muffin, popcorn or even cake – if it’s the right kind. BBC Good Food has loads of ideas here.  

12:30 – Lunchtime and a chance to chill.

We have been extremely lucky with the weather since the start of the lockdown here in the UK, so if the sun is shining and you are fortunate enough to have a garden or yard, take this opportunity for a picnic and a nice, big dose of vitamin D. If not, catch up with the family or watch some television whilst eating your lunch. The important thing here is to take the break. Get away from your desk and have some downtime, it will help you come back in the afternoon feeling refreshed and reinvigorated.

Like with breakfast and elevenses, make sure you take the time to prepare a healthy lunch that will keep you feeling full and provide plenty of energy. Avocado salads, eggs and asparagus, bean stews (which can be done in a slow cooker throughout the morning) or pasta and rice dishes are all worth considering. Getting a bit adventurous with lunchtime options whilst working from home can also help make this a time to really look forward to (and the cooking and prep (provided it’s done outside of work hours) can be a great way to kill some free time). Win win.

15:00 – Snack-time! Can we call this one threesies?

After cracking on with another hour or two of work after lunch it’s important to make time for another break and we think 3pm is as good a time as any. This doesn’t have to be elaborate, just making a fresh brew, perhaps even doing some stretches if the aches and pains are starting to set in, will be enough to just give you a little boost. If you are at home with children you will have heard the monotonous sound of “can I have snack” at least 236 times already by this point too, so perhaps it’s also an opportunity to follow their lead, and pick up another healthy snack to see you through the rest of the afternoon if you’re feeling peckish.

17:30 – Work is over and your evening can begin.

When your working day is done, turn off the laptop, it is still important to maintain that work/life balance throughout your time in isolation just as it is when things are normal. Current restrictions still allow us the freedom of having 1 hour of exercise a day (as long as you still adhere to the social distancing rule of 2 meters). Why not get yourself and the family out for a long walk before dinner, it allows the children to burn off some energy and it also allows those who have been working all day time to destress and recharge.  If you are needing a little more of a workout why not have a bike ride or go for a run. Whichever you choose, take advantage of it. It all helps maintain a good level of mental wellbeing and well as physical health and it’s another chance for a dose of vitamin D, even if the weather is not so sunny.

18:30 – Time for tea (or dinner – if you must)

With all this extra time on your hands, now is the perfect time to extend your cooking skills even further. Dig out those dusty recipes and give one a go. Why not create a whole theme to go with your choice of food – perhaps don a sombrero and put on a Mexican night with a selection of Fajitas and Burritos.      

19:30 – A chance to be social.

Even with social distancing regulations in place we still need that social connection with our friends and family, and because of advanced technology we can now have virtual get togethers. You can play quizzes or bingo or just sit and chat. Whatever you choose it’s important to get that socialisation and communication time in, especially if you are living and working alone at the moment.

20:30 – Wind down time and getting ready for bed.

Finish off the night with your favourite programme or watch a movie, maybe even play a game of do a jigsaw, the main thing is to ensure you don’t go back to work (unless it’s a real crisis). It can be tempting when things get slow, the TV is rubbish and boredom sets in to turn back to work, but long term this can become tiring, stressful and to be blunt, a bit of a bad habit, so spend your evening firmly away from your laptop, phone and desk. Finally, do make sure you go to bed at an acceptable hour, so that you feel refreshed and revitalised in the morning, ready to do the whole thing over again. And remember, set that alarm to get you up in the morning. It really is all about routine.