Looking After Yourself With The “Friend”

looking after yourself

Working from home for the past 19 months has been a learning curve and a challenge. We’ve all learned how important looking after yourself is in difficult times, and developed our own ways of working.

But sometimes we’ve lapsed into bad habits when it comes to posture, screen time and snacking!

Whether you’re working from home or not, here are some tips on getting through the day as well as you can.

Head, shoulders, knees and toes

Head Take a minute to clear it. A really good breathing technique is to breathe in for a count of three, hold your breath for four and then breathe out for five.

Shoulders Never underestimate the power of a good shoulder roll. Sit or stand and roll those shoulders backwards then forwards. This is a great tension reliever.

Knees They like to stiffen up after a while if you’ve not been moving. Try to get up from your seat every 20 minutes or so and move around, even briefly. Even if your knees then make a noise, they’ll thank you for it.

Toes My dentist told me than when he has a nervous patient in the chair he tells them to wiggle their toes! Trust me on this, it really works!


Find your own way of stretching that doesn’t cause pain.

One I like to do is to stretch my arms up to ceiling, drop my shoulders and take deep breaths. I try to hold it for a count of 20, but find what suits you best.

The ideal time to do this is when you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, which brings me on to  . . .


Whatever you like to drink, use the time getting or preparing it to have a bit of movement.

I’m not a teabag-in-a-mug person as I like to make myself a pot of tea as it always seems like a lovely treat. And don’t forget to drink some water too.


Oh, dear. I try to cut down my snacking to every second day. This has varying degrees of success.

Check on your friends

A quick text or email just to say hello can mean a lot to people. It takes under a minute and can change someone’s day for the better.

Screen time

As you can imagine, the “Friend” team spend rather a lot of their day looking at screens.

It’s vital to have a break, so what I do is keep any lists, notes, jobs, thoughts etc on a notepad beside me. This way you have to look away from your screen regularly.

Speaking of screens, I never take my phone to my bedside. I leave it in the kitchen and use a normal alarm clock to waken me up.

Instant mood lifters

It’s the little things in life that can make the biggest differences.

Watch clips from your favourite comedies on YouTube. A couple of minutes of mirth will cheer you up.

Smells can lift your moods too. I sometimes have a quick sniff of sun lotion and it reminds me of holidays and warmth.

Dance! A quick boogie round the kitchen to a favourite song is uplifting.

Don’t watch the news.

Take five minutes to get some fresh air. Even if you’re just at an open window. Take some deep breaths.

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”– Jo Walton

We’d love to hear your tips and thoughts on improving your day. Let us know over on Twitter at @TheFriendMag.

For more from the “Friend” team, click here to read our blog.

For more tips on looking after yourself, click here to visit out health pages.

Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!