Should you go back to work or not? This is a question that many people are asking because COVID-19 is still a public health concern, and more employers are rethinking how their offices are set up. Large companies like Google, Apple, and Starbucks have pushed back their plans to go back to work, and a poll done by Gartner in August found that two-thirds of organizations are delaying the reopening of their sites because of new COVID-19 worries.
With all this uncertainty and hesitance, many employees are always making changes to their workspaces that make it hard to tell where home, work, life, and family end and work begins. Working from home can be helpful for a lot of people, but it can also be hard on your mental and physical health, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting, watching TV, and snacking.
Even if you work from home, you can still take care of your mental and physical health. It just takes a little more planning, communication, and discipline.
Creating a healthy way to work from home isn’t just about making a productive and positive space for your work. It’s also about finding ways to deal with the stress that this new way of working will bring.
Whether you’ve been working from home since March 2020 and plan to keep doing so for the foreseeable future, or you’re in a hybrid home/office situation, these tips can help relieve some of the stress that comes with always being close to your workspace.
Make a timetable. Working in an office has benefits, like being able to physically separate work and home life and making friends with the people you work with. Setting up a schedule with clear start and end times and breaks for food, exercise, and socializing can help you avoid getting burned out and feeling alone.
Set limits and let people know about them. When you have a schedule, you have to set limits with coworkers, family, and other people who want your time and attention. But keep in mind that setting limits without talking about them can lead to misunderstandings, confusion, and frustration. Make sure the important people in your life know what your work and life limits are and how and when you will be available to them and meet your commitments.
Take breaks for your health. Physical and mental health is often forgotten when someone works from home. Many people get up, drink coffee, go to work, eat dinner, go to bed, and do it all over again. Taking wellness breaks during the day, on the other hand, is just as important as going to meetings or doing other things you have to do. Plan time to get some fresh air, move around, and drink water. Step away from your devices once every hour and do something for yourself. You could walk the dog, stretch, fill up your water bottle, meditate, and so on. These breaks from work can help you get more energy, stay focused, and come up with new ideas.
No matter what you do at work, you will always feel stressed. Here are three ways you can deal with stress, beat it, and protect your mind and body in the long run.
Box breathing is a type of breathing exercise that can help you feel calmer, reduce stress, and focus better. When done regularly, deep breathing may also help ease anxiety and depression.
Get up and move when you’re in a stressful situation. There’s no need to do an hour of cardio. Walking, yoga flow and dancing are all simple, low-impact activities that don’t require equipment or even a change of clothes. Check out the five-minute workout that will make you feel better.
Stress eating is a real thing, and it gets worse when there is a pandemic. When you want to “stress eat,” choose a relaxing meditation and then a soothing food or drink to feed your mind and body. A quick 5-to 10-minute meditation that makes you feel good and gives you power, followed by a cup of chamomile tea, could help you feel less stressed and happier. Stay away from alcohol and foods that have been overly processed. They may satisfy a craving, but they will leave you feeling tired and stressed out in the end.
Most experts think that working from home will be common for a long time and that the stress that comes with it will also be around for a long time. Learning how to manage your time, keep up with your health and wellness routines, and deal with stress will not only protect your mental and physical health, but will also make you a better partner, parent, coworker, and leader.
5-Minute Workout to Boost Your Mood
No tools are needed. Wear clothes that you can move around in.
For 1 minute raise your heart rate.
30 seconds for each move.
30-seconds of each exercise:
- Body-weight squats
- Alternating reverse lunges
- Triceps dips on step or chair
- Sumo squats
Plank: Cool down for 1 minute by stretching or doing yoga poses.