After my brain surgery in November, I developed diabetes insipidus and had low cortisol levels after coming off of steroids. In other words, I had to make huge changes to my daily life after surgery. My health goals shifted to focus on two key things on a daily basis: staying hydrated and reducing inflammation.
I immediately began researching ways to improve my health without needing to rely solely on medication. The best advice that I received was to learn from nutrition and wellness experts who have studied the power of lifestyle and dietary changes to combat many of the issues that I was facing.
One of my favorite parts of the research process was digging deeper into resources from my friend and wellness expert, Robyn Downs. She is the founder of Real Food Whole Life, a multi-media wellness lifestyle brand with a mission to provide simplified solutions for real life wellness. Robyn frequently shares real food recipes, minimalist meal planning tips, simplified self-care inspiration, focused productivity hacks, and inspired ideas for a healthy life.
Using Robyn’s Wellness Personality Quiz I discovered a ton of valuable information about how to set myself up for success.
Here’s a little intro to my wellness personality:
“You’re a cultivator. You’re just beginning (or returning to) this whole journey called “healthy living”. You’re in the process of educating yourself — maybe you’ve had a health scare, or perhaps you’re in a life transition that’s truly opened your eyes. You’re seeing wellness in a totally new light, and you’re ready to dig in and take your health to the next level.”
If you take the quiz, be sure to let me know what personality you get in the comments below! I’m curious! It was a ton of fun to learn more about myself through a wellness expert’s eyes.
As many of you know, I’m about to make the move from San Francisco back to my hometown of Annapolis where I will be working from my home office each day. I reached out to Robyn and asked her for some advice that I could implement to ensure I don’t get off track when I return to my pre-surgery lifestyle. Rather than keeping all that info for myself, we decided it was an amazing opportunity for a collaborative blog post! That way… we all win!
Without further ado, I am thrilled to have Robyn on the blog sharing about simple ways to practice wellness when working from home! Be sure to check out her blog, listen to my episode on her podcast, and/or leave her some love on Instagram if this content resonates with you. She has been an incredible friend and advocate for me in this journey. I have no doubt that you’re going to love her.
5 Simple Ways to Practice Wellness
When Working From Home
By: Robyn Conley Downs
Who would have guessed that one of the biggest challenges facing the work-from-home solopreneur is the sheer amount of sitting that’s required?
Without an office to walk to, meetings to attend, or quick trips out to lunch with coworkers, the work-from-home life can get seriously sedentary.
Here’s the thing: frequent, daily movement isn’t just good for your mood, heart, and bod, but it’s also highly related to productivity.
So what’s a person to do when staring down a laptop, a desk, and a mountain of work?
Build in frequent movement breaks throughout the day, put ‘em on your calendar, and treat them just like an important client meeting.
And please resist the urge to go all-or-nothing here.
I’m not talking about an hour at the gym or marathon training; though if those things float your boat, go for it!
I’m talking about physically moving the blood in your body, stretching your muscles, and slightly elevating your heart rate, which can be accomplished in just a few minutes per day. Some of my favorite mood-elevating, productivity-boosting movement hacks?
Next time you have a client call, try taking it while on a walk–just pop in some headphones and go. Or pace around your house if the weather’s no good or if you need quick access to your laptop.
Another great option is taking a mid-day walk break. Listen to a biz podcast for a brain boost, or just breath and notice what’s going on around you.
Finally, I love adding 2-minute brain-boosting movement breaks every couple of hours to refresh and energize.
Simply stand up from your desk, stretch, and set a timer for 2 minutes. Then do as many squats, lunges, planks, mountain climbers, or any other movement that gets your heart pumping.
Adding these little movement breaks into your day might feel a little strange at first, but soon you’ll start to crave them.
Let’s face it: working from home can be so isolating.
And while it’s tempting to grab your phone and start scrolling, mindless social media stalking can make feelings of loneliness, boredom, and isolation worse. If you’re looking for connection, check out collaborative work spaces in your area and consider scheduling a day or two to work away from home.
Coffee shops and libraries are also a great options for getting out, or reach out and connect with other work-from-home solopreneurs in your area to arrange a weekly work date.
I also love the Vox, a free walkie-talkie style app that allows you to send voice messages to friends and other boss babes.
Talking with friends, either in person, or virtually, is a great way to connect and feel that sense of community you’re craving.
When you do pop onto social, remember to actually be social! Instead of mindless scrolling, comment and support your fellow biz buddies.
Trust me, engaging is so much more fun than falling into the comparison trap.
pssst: Natalie and I had an amazing conversation on this topic, which you can check out, here.
Of course, checking out your local Rising Tide Society is a surefire way to stay connected with other work-from-home solopreneurs!
3. Meal Prep
One of the biggest mistakes I see work-from-home solopreneurs make is ignoring meal prep and planning.
We tend to think that because we’re home the food stuff will be easy.
But if you’ve ever found yourself working through lunch, and falling back on takeout for dinner because you were working on a deadline, than you know exactly how easy it is for healthy food to take a backseat to the biz.
Look, I get it. I’m a busy working mama who has very little time to fuss around in the kitchen.
I also know that eating well is absolutely key to fueling my body so that Ihave the energy required to crush my business goals.
Healthy food and productivity? Yeah, they go hand in hand.
Here’s the good news: you don’t need to spend hours planning, prepping, and cooking to eat well and thrive as a work-from-home solopreneur.
Beyond make ahead meals, my best tips for streamline and simplifying is to create a capsule pantry. Just like a capsule wardrobe, a capsule pantry allows you to mix-and-match for endless variety, while reducing the decision fatigue that goes along with grocery shopping and meal planning.
Want more details on how to make simplify healthy, real food? Grab my favorite freebie, The Simplified Guide to Meal Prep & Planning!
4. Kick the Crash
Hey, coffee is the lifeblood of the solopreneur, and I’m not saying to give ditch your morning late.
Here’s the tricky thing about caffeine, though (and the sugar that often accompanies our favorite coffee house drink): too much of it inevitably leads to a crash. A big one.
My invitation? Start to notice the after-effects of your caffeine habit. If you do notice a huge crash in the late afternoon, try reaching for water instead of more caffeine. Then, work on cutting back your morning habit until the afternoon crash goes away.
Understanding the connection between what you’re eating and drinking and your overall energy level is key to thriving as a work-from-home solopreneur.
Running a business is no small feat, and requires so much focus, creativity, and drive. But a racing mind can be a distraction from work, and also lead to decreased wellbeing and dissatisfaction.
Give your brain a much needed rest by practicing what I like to call micro-mindfulness.
Micro-mindfulness is simply pausing throughout the day to breathe and practicing a little intentional attention.
Taking a break from multi-tasking and focusing in on one thing, like breath, can do wonders for you mood, focus, and overall productivity. Want more on mindfulness? Check out this interview with workplace mindfulness expert Dr. Leah Weiss What You Really Need to Know About Mindfulness.
Working from home as a solopreneur can be all at once exhilarating, frustrating, joyful, and lonely. Taking time for wellness will not just help you increase productivity and creativity, but also help you feel good and truly thrive.
So here’s to taking care and feeling good. Cheers!