Working from home is something only a few people considered just a year ago, but times have changed.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, then you’d know that more and more businesses worldwide are starting to transition online (if they haven’t already).
The number of home-based job opportunities is higher than ever.
And you start asking yourself – “Is working from home actually good for me?“
As a military spouse with years spent in the corporate world, I had little to no time to spend with my (at the time) 2-year-old son. I was wasting hours commuting to work and going back home.
I felt sad and frustrated. I loved my job but wanted to dedicate more time to my family.
So, I decided to start working from home.
Since starting my journey 7 years ago, I launched my signature program, 90 Day VA; because I was becoming SO booked out with work, I had no one to refer clients to!
I discovered some significant advantages of this lifestyle that I want to share with you today.
Take a peek at these 5 benefits proven to boost your mental health when working from the comfort of your couch.
You might never want to look back at your corporate job again!
1. More Family Time
Having little time to spend with your family can often be the reason for tension and misunderstandings.
The kiddos want to spend more time with you, but you are drowning in work. They want to share discoveries with you and play, but you cannot find the time.
The day feels so long, but at the end of it, you can spare less than a few hours with your family.
Not to mention that statistics show that for 2018 the average American worker spent over 9 full calendar days commuting. 9!!
Wait, what?! This is one entire vacation spent alone in your car!
By working from home, you can exchange those endless hours stuck in traffic for quality time with your kids.
Say hello to more conversations and more games.
You will be able to help your little ones with their homework, knowing you’re not missing out on those precious moments because of work at the office.
You will feel more relaxed by not having to do the robot-like cycle of wake up – go to work – get back home – eat – jump to bed.
Believe me, I’ve been in your shoes, and I KNOW how much stress and exhaustion this can cause, and the worst part – only getting to see your child on the weekend.
Stress is the natural response of your body towards anything that disturbs its natural mental and emotional balance.
When you know you have so much to do, but all you can think is how you want to hug your kid, help with the homework and just be there, but you can’t, this naturally causes you stress.
The freedom of managing your work schedule gives you the flexibility to spend more time with your kids, run errands, and do the things you need to do when you want to do it.
2. Eating Healthy Makes You Happy
You decide what to eat because you can, and you have the time.
No more rushing to the closest fast-food restaurant to grab a bite to eat because you forgot to pack your lunch that morning.
Working from home often means working on your own terms.
This is a valuable asset that can give you enough time to prepare some good quality meals, which often require surprisingly little effort.
Pinterest is a great place for some quick meal prep ideas.
When you have time to pay attention to your food, you will notice how much more energy you have. You will be able to do more, and you will feel happier and more productive!
“You are what you eat!”
Your brain and emotions are linked to your diet. What you eat affects your mood because it affects the structure and function of your brain.
When you have to go to work, you probably grab something quickly in the morning.
During a lunch break, you just eat whatever because you HAVE to get back to work.
By the time you get back home, you’re so tired that you just eat the pizza in the fridge you ordered for dinner yesterday.
Studies have shown that an important neurotransmitter called serotonin that helps regulate appetite and mediate moods is 95% produced in our digestive system, lined with a hundred million neurons guiding our emotions.
It’s all connected!
A diet high in vegetables, fruits, grains, fish, and unsaturated fats such as olive oil can reduce depression. And eating less sugar can decrease anxiety.
Maybe there are days in which you feel more nervous, and you never thought that the cause of that could be the quality of the food you eat. Or the lack of food at all!
When we get so deep into our day-to-day tasks, we all have those times that we either completely forget to eat or get so stressed about things that we don’t even realize we have finished off a whole chocolate bar, half a pizza, and a liter of soda.
The good thing about working from home is that you can prepare your own food.
3. Hanging Out With Your Friends Is Energizing
Every day at work, you meet with your colleagues, hang with them at lunch and during breaks.
But work colleagues do not necessarily mean friends.
Chances are there may even be one or two that you avoid, like the plague.
Working from home is great, but it can get lonely. That’s the truth!
So, when you get to see your friends or connect with your online work community – it will re-energize the shiz out of you!
The good thing about working from home is that you get to choose when you’re due for a catch-up.
Late morning coffee with the bestie? Why not.
A nice afternoon walk? Yes.
A drink in the evening? You bet!
It’s really up to you!
Spending time with close friends can reduce stress and anxiety.
Friends can also:
- Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
- Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
- Encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise
So, having the power to manage your own time, meet up with friends any time throughout the day can sometimes be JUST the thing you need to get you motivated to work again or even get out of that weird funk you’ve been in lately.
4. Move Your Body
You’re probably aware of the benefits that physical activity brings, such as lower blood pressure, increased energy, and reduced risk of diabetes. But there are also many benefits for your mental health.
The 5 most common benefits for your mental health that exercises bring are:
- Decreased symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Reduced stress levels
- Better sleep
- Strengthened memory
- Increased self-confidence
Of course, when you work Monday to Friday and must be in the office by 9 AM, it’s hard to wake up half an hour earlier just to get a bit sweaty before jumping into the day.
Although, I know there are some 5AMers out there who can do that with no problems. If that’s you – PROPS!
Not everyone is a morning person, though! If you’d rather work out in the afternoon or evening, you totally can.
That’s the best part about working from home. You work at the times that are most convenient for you!
So, whether you want to hit the gym first thing in the morning or last thing at night – do it!
Incorporating any movement into your daily routine will have a significant impact on the way you feel!
There are plenty of short workout ideas on YouTube that take no more than 10 minutes (some even less!).
If workouts aren’t your thing, walking is just as good for reducing your stress levels and increasing self-perception and esteem.
Stressed about a specific project? Go for a walk or do some quick stretches to get your mind back on track.
When you’re at home, you can decide to step away from the desk and do a few stretches just because you are tired of sitting.
The world is your oyster when you work from home!
There’s also no boss who will notice that you’re missing from your desk for a 10-minute walk.
5. Having Time for Yourself Is Essential
Spending time on an activity you enjoy can boost your mental health and wellbeing.
Some research shows that people who spend time on hobbies have a lower risk of depression and are less likely to suffer from stress and bad mood.
Sounds good, but let’s be honest – time for hobbies is hard to find.
I used to take classes in drawing and painting in college, but after I started work in the corporate world, I completely lost touch with the arts.
I only returned to painting after starting to work on my own terms as a Virtual Assistant.
Working from home can free up time for the activities you ALWAYS wanted to do or for those you reluctantly dropped because of your busy schedule.
You can always take a break in the middle of the day and do something you love, or you’ve never done before, like baking your own bread. I mean, why not!
Maybe you never even had the chance to discover what you like. The freedom to organize your time will give you that chance.
Having time for yourself, for the things you love, or even just doing nothing is vital.
Here are some great ideas:
- Read a book that you have been putting on hold forever
- Experiment with gardening and discover how relaxing it is
- Try out a new activity such as playing an instrument, crafting, painting, and so much more!
It is all about the freedom to do the things that YOU love.
Often, our mental health suffers when we don’t take care of ourselves, do things that WE love, and work at our most optimal times.
Gone are the days of ONLY selling things so that you can work from home.
There are SO many businesses looking for people like YOU to help them with their business.
And if your mental health is taken care of, you’re unstoppable!
This is also why I’ve sprinkled mini mindset modules throughout 90 Day VA.
Just like learning anything new, it can be scary, and your inner critic gets REALLY loud. But if you put the work into your mental health over time, the hard stuff becomes more manageable.
So if you want to see if virtual assisting is right for you, check out my FREE class. I teach you everything you need to know to decide if you want to do this.
You’ll also get a clearer idea of what working from home looks like FOR REAL and what business owners are looking to hire for TODAY.
In 90 Day VA, Esther teaches her students how to research and repurpose current content into blogs for the VAI website. Julia is the student we’ve chosen this week to feature what she’s learned in the course. Get to know her:
Julia is a virtual assistant passionate about helping small and middle-size businesses and entrepreneurs achieve their goals.
She’s a member of 90 Day VA and assists with everything from admin work and content repurposing, to social media management (and more!).
When she’s not helping her clients, she can be found on the basketball playground, traveling around the world with friends, or reading the newest discoveries in science.
To see all of the services Julia offers and how she can help you, check out her Facebook page here.