Self-Care Tips for Computer Users

As we all work from home and spend hours at our desks, we need to take steps to care for ourselves. Here are some tips to help you get started.

By Richard Williams ~

My Post 5

Before 2019, many companies looked down on working from home. Strong opinions have been shared both ways. However, after the pandemic, it's almost as if work from home was imposed on all of us. We can't even just go to a coffee shop and work either to get some space occasionally. We are holed up in our homes and asked to be as productive as we were before the pandemic. Many of us are left without childcare, schools, helpers, etc.

As we retreat indoors and the world around us changes dramatically, we are expected to keep the balance and be productive. In times like these, we tend to forget that self-care is critical. If we don’t take care of ourselves, it's going to be almost impossible for us to function. As the hours we spend on our laptops rack up, taking care of ourselves becomes imperative.

Below are some self-care tips for all of us who spend innumerable hours in front of our computers and screens:

Set a routine

Self care tips for work from home - Lifeism

When you are living and working in the same location, it's harder to draw the line between work and life. It's very easy to just pop on the desk and respond to that email that just came in. The first and foremost tip from us is to ensure that you are sticking to a routine. Decide what times work best, when you have meetings, follow the set schedule.

Even if an email comes in, don’t sit on your desk and start responding to it. We have so much work open on our desks that we tend to start working on something else after responding to that email and don’t even realize when 2 hours fly by. Overworking is one of the biggest risks. Don’t burn yourself out, pace yourself and follow a routine.

Take breaks

Self care tips for work from home - Lifeism

Taking breaks is an integral aspect of productivity. There are so many ways to incorporate breaks into your workflow. You can follow productivity practices such as the Pomodoro method, Kaban, etc., or just set a simple timer each hour to take a break. If your days are super stressful, you can also try out the 3 simple practices we outlined in the article we wrote last month.

Taking a break to breathe deeply for just 1 minute also helps. Breathing deeply signals our primal instincts that we are safe. It is a sign that we are not running from a predator, huffing, and taking short quick breaths. Taking just a few deep breaths will help you relax instantly and destress.

While all these practices of taking a break are great, we also encourage you to add a little fun to your day. Watch a funny video, panda cam, or kittens being kittens. Do what makes you smile for just one minute to change your mood.

Take care of your eyes

Self care tips for work from home - Lifeism

We all know that staring at the screen can be detrimental to our eyesight. Taking care of our eyes is vital for those of us who spend hours in front of screens. If your eyesight is great, protect it. If it isn't, even more reasons to take care of it. Here are some suggestions to take care of your eyes while sitting in front of the computer:

Look in the distance

When we stare at our screens for hours, we are using our near sight. Taking a break from our screens and looking at an object afar will help in decreasing the stress on your eyes. Just take a break every few hours and look in the distance for a few seconds.

Remember to blink

Often, we reduce the number of times we blink when we are looking at our screen. Observe your behavior and see if this is something that you do. Not blinking often can lead to dry eyes and cause irritation. Blinking is important for keeping our eyes clean and moist.

Wear Blue Lens Glasses

Our screens emit blue rays and prolonged exposure to these rays can harm our retinas. When you wear glasses with protection from blue rays, it protects your eyes. If you wear glasses already, just get your lenses swapped and get ones with the coating. If you don’t wear glasses or prefer lenses, then you can get numberless glasses with blue ray protection. You only need to wear them when you are looking at the monitor or tablet.

Note: Consult your ophthalmologist before changing your regular glasses.

Use artificial tears

If your eyes tend to get extremely dry during the workday, and blinking on a regular basis does not help, try Artificial Tears or Rewetting Drops. Available over the counter, they are eye drops that help in keeping eyes moist and also help in reducing eye strain.

Note: Consult your ophthalmologist before changing your regular glasses.

Use comfortable furniture

Self care tips for work from home - Lifeism

While body posture is important when sitting on your desk for long hours, the posture is dictated by the furniture you use. If your chair is not comfortable, and you sit on it for hours, you will run into back, neck, or wrist issues. Having a good workspace is like having a good bed/mattress. You spend so much time on your chair and desk, it's important to be comfortable.

Desk

Be it a standing desk or a sitting desk, invest in something that is the right height for you. Are you lifting your shoulders to keep your hands on the table? Are you looking down too much and getting neck pain? Choose the desk that works for you. It does not have to be expensive or pretty, it should just be functional and something that makes you comfortable.

Chair

You are likely going to sit on this chair for 8 hours or more. Getting a chair that is comfortable and again, of the correct height, is critical. Make sure that the chair you choose has good lumbar support, is the right height for you, and is comfortable. Add a pillow or a leg rest if buying a new chair is not an option. Make sure that you are using a stiff, good-quality pillow, especially if you are going to sit on it.

Hydrate more

Self care tips for working from home- Lifeism

We’ve heard this one plenty of times. But it is so important that it's worth mentioning again. When we are sitting at our desks, we tend to neglect drinking water. Since there is little movement or sweating, we think it's ok not to drink it. Many times, we simply forget.

But the truth is, water is essential for many bodily functions. We need to drink water to keep the minerals and vitamins flowing, to regulate our body temperature, and remove toxins from our bodies. Many times, our hunger pangs are just a manifestation of thirst. Keep a large water bottle on your desk and drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Stretch often

Self care tips for work from home - Lifeism

Sitting in the same position all day makes our bodies stiff. If the day was stressful, we tend to hold a lot of tension in our bodies which causes chronic pains and aches over time. Take some time out each day to stretch your body. Here are some stretches you can do if you spend a lot of time on the computer:

Get social

It’s easy to get carried away with work, especially if you enjoy what you do. There is so much to do and so little time, we are constantly on the edge. We forget that humans are social beings and that we need social connections and interactions. If it's possible, talk to someone at home in person. If you live alone, hop on a video call with your family or friend. Chat with your colleagues and see how they are doing. Taking a break at the end of the day to connect with loved ones is one of the best ways to care for yourself.

Unplug

Self care tips for working from home - Lifeism

At the end of the day, unplug from your desk. Take a break, read a physical book or a magazine. Try to limit your TV screen time to reduce stress on your eyes. Opt for listening to audiobooks or even to your favorite music instead. Solve a puzzle, draw, play with your kids, or simply step out for a walk. Stay away from your workspace and give yourself some time to rejuvenate, so you can come back to your desk again the next day, feeling refreshed and ready to work.

Now, don't get overwhelmed by the tips. They are all simple and will likely just take a few minutes of your day, but benefit you greatly. The goal is to identify the ones that will benefit you the most and then work those into your routine. We hope you found these self-care tips while using the computer helpful. If you think someone else can benefit from these tips, please share this article. We hope you have a wonderful day.

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