Guest blog by Patrick Young from AbleUsa

Trying to get used to working from home? I completely understand the struggle. I started working remotely years ago, and it took at least a year or so to figure things out. Now you can learn from my mistakes and make your own transition easier. So without further delay, here’s where I went wrong when I started my remote work experience: 

I Wore My Pajamas to Work  

When I first started working from home, my routine was: Wake up, move from the bed to the couch, start working — all in my pajamas! Now, if you’re new to remote work, you may be thinking that this setup doesn’t sound half bad. But work from home long enough, and you will quickly realize I was setting myself up for a self-care and productivity disaster by not getting dressed

If you want to be your best and most productive self, you have to put on real clothes. However, you can still stay comfy from head to toe, even if you’re not working in your pajamas. Start with some soft and luxe undies and then layer on some comfy leisure essentials, like simple tees and stretchy pants.  

I Usually Missed Out on Meals 

Did you notice that breakfast wasn’t part of my old remote routine? That’s because I had a bad habit of skipping breakfast so I could go straight to work. In fact, I would skip out on lunch, too, and mostly survived on whatever snacks were convenient. That usually meant reaching for a bag of chips or heading out for fast food once the hunger kicked in instead of healthier choices.  

As you can guess by now, those stretchy pants started to come in handy. I also felt horrible, and that’s when I realized that I actually needed to eat to stay healthy. One trick that works for me now is to blend up smoothies and shakes using high-quality protein powders. You can even use protein powder in baked goods if you tend to crave sweets, or you can just shake it up with milk and go. 

I Developed Dead Butt Syndrome 

Yes, you read that right. It sounds comical, but dead butt syndrome is a real and serious thing! Experts officially refer to this as gluteal amnesia, which also sounds hilarious. Sitting for prolonged periods of time causes your butt muscles to “forget” their job, so your back and legs will try to take over. This eventually leads to pain, inflammation, and serious health issues. 

If you’ve been working remotely and feel like your butt has amnesia, don’t despair! Waking it up and getting back into shape is simple. Take frequent breaks from sitting and maybe work in a few squats or lunges. Because I hate buying equipment, I tend to gravitate towards simple moves to keep my bottom alive and thriving. 

I Stopped Talking to Other People 

I’m an introvert, so working remotely felt like a dream come true in the beginning. I could seriously go weeks without talking to another soul, and I enjoyed the silence for a while. Like everything else on this list so far, I eventually realized that I, too, need connection with other people in order to feel my best. 

You also need to stay connected to protect your mental health. If you have coworkers, keeping in touch with them will ensure that you get help with work when needed. It’s a top tip for remote working newbies. And speaking of social ties, it’s also a good idea to keep your work separate from your personal and family life. 

Remote work can sound like a dream come true — and it really can be! You just need to figure out a routine and structure that works for you. Hopefully, my mistakes and tips will help guide you. 

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