Opinion: Say goodbye to WFH stress

Breaking up the day into parts can help balance productivity, while ensuring physical and mental wellbeing, says the author

Feb 15, 2021 04:24:00 AM | Article | Dhara Tanna Share - Share to Facebook

Dhara Tanna

Somewhere around your umpteenth trip between the bed and the couch, the novelty of work-from-home (WFH) wore off. In less than a year of staying indoors in the midst of a pandemic, people have become more sedentary than ever. According to sources, it has been discovered that while an overwhelming majority of remote workers around the world preferred and encouraged others to try WFH, a significant number faced recurring challenges. Many have been reported to have struggled with staying motivated and tackling loneliness amidst working from home. With a year-long pandemic added to the mix, it would be safe to assume many more are now dealing with these anxieties.
Learning to deal with the interchangeability of your work and home spaces can be stressful. Breaking up the day into parts can help you balance productivity, while ensuring you take care of your physical and mental wellbeing. Here’s how:
Quick breaks
Many workers find it hard to unplug from work during WFH, feeling like they need to be available to their colleagues all the time. But when this pressure to be present starts taking a toll on your mental health, it might slowly eat into your productivity too. Stretch your legs and go for a short walk to take a break from the screen. Even if you’re not up for going outside, ensure you take a walk around the house, or squeeze in stretches like a few shoulder raises and back twists to fight the slouch. Make some coffee, listen to some music, do a short breathing exercise, and your 10 to 15-minute break will put you back on track for a productive day.
Cardio workouts
If the inactivity is making you feel sluggish, a cardio workout is bound to give you a burst of energy to refresh you. You can implement effective cardio exercises like burpees, squat jumps, jogging in place etc. These exercises will pump your body with mood-enhancing endorphins, improve your blood circulation, and strengthen your heart and lungs. You can also use your time off during the weekends to hike, cycle or engage in an activity of your choice to stay motivated through the week.
Zoom party
Staying at home for long stretches can take a toll on our mental health. It is important for our wellbeing to feel connected with loved ones while we wait for normalcy to return. Dancing can be a way of lowering anxiety while offering the benefits of a quick workout. But to fend off the loneliness, you can bring the disco home and organise a virtual dance party with friends and family. Parties like this can be a great way to socialise safely and interrupt the monotony of workdays while WFH. 
Eating healthy
Working from home has affected our eating habits. While we know that eating right is an integral aspect of our physical and mental well-being, we end up losing track. 
The first step would be to schedule your snack and meal times. Established timings will ensure you get your necessary nutrition and breaks during the workday, while keeping your bingeing habits at bay. Pick from food categories like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, eggs, dairy, fish, meat and poultry – depending on your dietary restrictions – to improve your energy and mood, fill your stomach, and stay focused and productive through the day.
During these difficult times, making small changes and sticking to routines are bound to help alleviate the stress and anxieties that come with staying cooped up at home. We can also carry these habits with us in the post-pandemic world too – to be healthier, happier and more focused individuals.
The author is senior vice president, Fitternity


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