Looking forward to working remotely? This self-care checklist. will help you be a productive remote worker without compromising your health and well-being.

While finding remote employment may be your dream-come-true, virtual work comes with its own set of challenges because working in a geographically diverse team is not the same as working in an office environment.

As someone who has worked from home for over 20 years, I’ve learned about the pitfalls of remote life, such as how easy it is to burnout when working from home, because the concept of work-life integration makes it hard to draw boundaries between work and family life.

That said, I’ve also learned some essential remote workers’ best practices for managing my energy and productivity over the long haul.

This list of 21 self-care tips for remote workers will offer useful advice on how to work remotely effectively without compromising your health and well-being.

1. Know your personality type

One of the most important steps to improving your remote work productivity is to understand your personality type. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

The difference between introverts and extroverts lies in how they manage their energy – introverts recharge their batteries when alone, while extroverts feel recharged when interacting with other people.

While remote work may seem like a natural fit for introverts, extroverts can learn to enjoy the advantages of virtual teams once they learn how to get the social interaction they need to thrive.

2. Get attuned to your biological clock

Most of us would categorise ourselves as either a morning person (lark) or a night person (owl) and circadian rhythms matter when it comes down to productivity and self-care.

Working all the time can not only impact on productivity and creativity, but also trigger a higher level of burnout. The ideal remote job for you would be one that fits into your personal circadian rhythm.

3. Find your Ikigai

The Japanese word, Ikigai, is used to denote your “reason for being” – what gets you out of bed in the morning or the work that helps you find purpose and passion.

The best way to find happiness and fulfillment in your remote career is to either choose work that you’re passionate about or to find purpose in the work you do.

4. Create a remote work schedule or routine

Most people benefit from having a remote work routine when working from home. It helps your family so they know how to plan their schedule around yours.

It also helps you need set boundaries with co-workers or family members who make excessive demands on your time and energy.

5. Create a comfortable home office space

You don’t have to be a Feng Shui master to create a comfortable and nurturing home office space in which to work. Choose home office furniture that will help you do your best work while preventing injury.

Plants boost productivity and certain common indoor plants, such as the common money plant or golden Pothos, may also remove volatile organic pollutants.

Declutter your workplace and place objects that are pleasing to you, such as paintings or a water fountain, make you feel good when you look at them.

6. Play music while you work

Listening to some types of music can make repetitive tasks more pleasurable, and increase your concentration with the task. Listening to music in-between tasks can also boost your mental performance.

Calming nature sounds have a restorative effect on cognitive abilities and music with 50 to 80 beats per minute can enhance and stimulate creativity and learning. Try out your favourite instrumental tracks in different situations to learn what works best for you.

7. Start a mindfulness practice

Mindfulness can be a great productivity tool and one of the best mental health and self-care practices you can include in your remote work schedule. Starting a mindfulness practice can help you become less susceptible to stress or anxiety, and make you more mentally resilient.

8. Take lots of work breaks

Many studies have shown a link between taking breaks and increased productivity and employees who took frequent breaks were consistently more productive than their peers. Studies found that the ideal work rhythm was 52 minutes of work time followed by a 17-minute break.

9. Move your body often

Prolonged sitting leads to poor blood flow, while regular movement maintains optimal circulation to the brain. Regular exercise improves mental sharpness, time management and work performance.

Just getting up and out of your seat every 30 minutes could help to reduce the harms of sedentary behavior and help you live longer. Choose a form of exercise that you enjoy and love to do so that you’re motivated to be consistent with it.

10. Eat a healthy diet

Snacking on junk food is one of the occupational hazards of working from home. Improve your cognitive function with brain foods that are particularly rich in healthful components like omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, and antioxidants.

11. Get enough sleep

Sleep deprivation drains your mental abilities and puts you at risk for health issues. Among all the self-care practices for remote workers, perhaps none are more important than getting an adequate amount of sleep, typically 7 to 9 hours each night.

12. Cultivate a hobby

Cultivating a hobby in your downtime is a good way to disconnect from your work day and boost your creativity. Expressing your creative side outside work can boost mental health, increase happiness and fulfillment and help you rediscover your creativity and passion.

13. Relax on the weekends

Give up the need to constantly prove to your social media friends how great your life is and just do something that rejuvenates you on the weekend. For extroverts that may mean spending time with friends and family, while introverts may prefer Netflix and chill.

14. Make use of your vacation days

Use your vacation days to enjoy a digital detox and travel somewhere fun, as soon as it’s safe to do so. Instead of air travel and sightseeing in crowded places, you could go on a road trip and spend time outdoors, which is relatively safe.

15. Take a mental health day

There is a clear link between depression and productivity and many remote workers experience depression and anxiety. Don’t hesitate to take a mental health day when you need it, and don’t feel bad or guilty about doing so.

If you’re dealing with depression, anxiety, mental health issues or relationship issues, or grieving a death in the family, connect with a counsellor on the AskSHEROES free online counselling chat helpline.

16. Get your family to pitch in

If you’re a mom feeling the burden of the second shift – having to deal with housework and childcare - get your spouse and family to pitch in. Or if you can, hire a maid to help with the household duties.

17. Find ways to stave off loneliness

Remote workers often miss the lack of contact with one’s co-workers, the water-cooler banter, sharing a cup of coffee with a colleague at work, and most of all, hanging out with work friends after work.

Social distancing is causing and exacerbating loneliness for people of all demographics. Spending more time with your loved ones, like family and friends, will help you feel less lonely.

If you miss interacting with your work colleagues, participate in virtual team bonding activities wholeheartedly or offer to help organise them for your company.

Visit your local shelter and adopt a pet. The unconditional love of a pet can transform even the loneliest hearts.

18. Be gentle with yourself

Self-love, self-acceptance and self-compassion teach us to be gentle with ourselves and accept ourselves the way we are, warts and all. Accept mistakes and failures as part of your learning process on this great life adventure.

19. Focus on solutions, not problems

When facing a problem that is getting you down, turn your focus away from the problem itself to look for a solution. The problem is always at a different vibration than the solution, so you need to be in a different frame of mind to receive the solution.

20. Start writing a journal

If you find yourself obsessing about events and people, start writing a journal just before you sleep and just put down the thoughts that are stressing you out and get them out of your mind.

21. Create a vision board

A vision board is a powerful tool to help you visualize your best life and bring your dreams into reality.

Put your vision board up in the space above your computer where you can see it every day. Just looking at your vision board every day can put you in a positive frame of mind.

It takes more than just having the tools for working remotely to become a successful virtual worker. Your mindset and habits play a significant role in the success of your remote career.

This self-care checklist will put you on the path of success by helping you work productively from home without compromising your mental, emotional and physical health.

Author's Bio: 

Priya Florence Shah is the author of Devi2Diva, an emotional self-care book for women, award-winning publisher of Naaree.com and Group Editor of SHEROES, a women-only social networking platform.