How to stay well when you’re a digital nomad

If you’re part of the growing group of digital nomads who choose to work-from-anywhere, we’ve sourced advice for helping you thrive, wherever you find yourself

One of the few positives to come from the Covid-19 pandemic is the realisation by companies and individuals that work can happen almost anywhere with decent WiFi. This has resulted in a spike in ‘digital nomads’ – those living the theory and working from locations that may be nowhere near company HQ.

No longer the preserve of travel bloggers and freelancers, the nomadic lifestyle has filtered into the corporate world, with more and more entrepreneurs and SMEs choosing to work remotely, sometimes from offices closer to their home and sometimes from other countries – the latter enabling them to enjoy the perks of a new culture while still having financial security.

However, digital nomadism is not without its challenges – from keeping fit to avoiding mental burnout. So for anyone new to the lifestyle, here are our top tips for staying well ‘on the road’.

Healthy body, healthy mind

There are many studies linking fitness with increased productivity and creativity, reduced stress levels and even greater work satisfaction. So prioritise your fitness during the working week and start the day by doing something physical, whether it’s stretches, a run around the block or a few laps in the pool.

If you can’t easily get to a gym, have an alternative exercise plan which doesn’t need equipment, such as running or yoga. Alternatively, download a fitness app, such as Seven, which offers bite-sized HIIT workouts just seven minutes long.

Keep to a routine

One of the main challenges of working to the beat of your own drum, is learning when to stop and take a break. Employees that work remotely are likely to log an extra three hours each day compared with those working from a traditional office environment – something which, if left unchecked, can lead to burnout.

To combat this, a study by Tel Aviv University showed that predictable, repetitive routines are calming and can help reduce anxiety. Even when working in a different time zone to your colleagues, it’s important to keep to a routine with set working hours, and factor in plenty of downtime to enjoy your new city or country.

Create your own schedule

For many, being able to earn a living working from anywhere in the world is a life goal – but it takes plenty of self accountability and discipline to get the work done, especially when you’d rather be exploring a new place. Using a coworking space, such as those offered by Spaces, takes away the hassle of finding good WiFi and a quiet desk, plus it immediately puts you in a professional mindset.

Once there, draw up a schedule to help you be productive, efficient and focused. If you’re most productive early in the morning, front-load your day with the most important tasks, then ease off in the afternoon for a spot of exploring.

Learn how to say no

To succeed as a digital nomad – and enjoy the benefits that come with the lifestyle – you need to find your ideal work-life balance – learning when to say no to travel opportunities and when to say no to work. ‘When you’re working in a different country and living within another culture that you don’t understand, you can find yourself focusing a lot on your career and ending up socially isolated,” explains psychologist, Carolin Müller, a digital nomad of six years.

She advises being hyper-aware of your ‘balance’ in order to keep yourself mentally well. “Experiencing new things is always nice, but keep checking in with yourself to make sure you have the energy to devote to all aspects of your life,” said Müller in an interview with Insider. “Don’t forget to take care of yourself. It’s important to sleep well, to eat well, to exercise, to keep to a certain routine.”

Eat well, cook local

One of the biggest perks of working from another country is the access to great local food. “Research shows that those who travel for business for two weeks or more per month have higher rates of obesity compared to those who travel less frequently,” says dietician and author Lisa Drayer.

While it’s tempting to eat like you’re on holiday all the time, try to mix it up a little and don’t solely live on street food (however great it is). If you have access to a kitchen, venture into the local market, pick up some fresh produce and learn to cook a local dish or two.

Don’t forget to socialise

One of the more unspoken issues of life on the road is loneliness. When you’re hopping around the world working from different coworking spaces, it can be hard to make friends and maintain a social life. Buffer’s The State of Remote Report 2020, showed that 20% of remote workers said that loneliness was their biggest struggle. Consider attending networking or social events held regularly in Spaces locations, or check out local meet up groups in your new city.

With our offices, coworking spaces and meeting rooms all over the globe, find out how Spaces can help manage your digital nomad lifestyle

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