By Aman Puri
The outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, working from home is the latest manner of operating. The pandemic has forced businesses everywhere to operate from home in an effort to keep employees safely at home and keep operations running.
Now it has become an additional commonplace, and we may even see more businesses adopt it as a regular policy after the COVID-19 situation has passed.
As per the surveys, the impact of work-from-home on employees has found that work is more “stressful and lethargic”. At the start employees were enjoying work from home however because the lockdown is extending people are facing stress, anxiety, insomnia, back pain and headache. Prolonged work from home has reduced physical activity.
Physical activity is very important for a fit mind and fit body. Due to work from home the lifestyle has become sedentary. There is very little activity or no activity. Sedentary lifestyle can lead to many temporary as well as chronic diseases. Obesity is the main reason for many chronic problems. Unhealthy eating or overeating with no physical activity is the main reason for increasing weight. Sedentary lifestyle also appears to have a negative impact on mental well-being.
Disruption of the regular working experience caused increased ongoing stress for many that are now working from home. “There’s no doubt that the biggest stress for professionals working from home is this change in routine and working structure. Other challenges include spending the entire working day at home with spouses, children or parents. Working in a house full of people means more distractions and disruptions in work. Also, many workers feel they are less productive, which leads to stress. Stress disrupts the work life and personal life balance.
Outlined below are the ways to “Reduce and Manage Stress at Work from Home”
EAT HEALTHY AND NUTRITIOUS FOOD
Healthy eating is an important aspect in stress management. When our bodies are not properly fed, stress takes an even greater toll on our health. Nutrition and stress are interlinked. Here are some tips to eat well for stress management:
Eat regularly: Our brain needs a constant supply of glucose to work at its best. Eating regularly throughout the day helps keep our blood glucose stable. Stable blood sugar levels are associated with better performance at work.
Add high-fiber foods: High fiber intake has been associated with greater alertness and decreased stress. So add fiber-rich foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables to your diet.
Eat healthy fats: Omega-3 fatty acids found in walnuts, flaxseed and fish oil are associated with improving brain function. Deficiencies of this fatty acid can result in depression and/or anxiety. So include good fat such as olive, canola, sunflower, soy, and corn oil, nuts, seeds, and fish etc.
Eat veggies: Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals like copper, zinc, manganese, and vitamins A, E and C. Leafy greens are especially good as it is a pack of antioxidants. These vitamins and minerals work in our body to neutralise harmful molecules produced when our body is under stress.
Stock up on healthy snacks: In stressful situations prepare by stocking up on quick, healthy snacks. Healthy snacks should be high in protein and/or fiber. Some examples are granola, almonds, peanuts, carrots with hummus or yogurt with fresh fruits.
Cut caffeine for more sleep: Caffeine leads to increased blood pressure and may make you anxious, especially if you are already prone to anxiety. While consuming caffeine may also seem to help to concentrate better. But to improve the sleep cycle avoid consuming caffeine.
Exercise in any form like yoga, dance, aerobics can act as a stress reliever. Being active can boost our feel-good endorphins and distract us from daily worries. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, improve mood, help relax, and lower symptoms of mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also improve sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All of these exercise benefits can ease our stress levels and give us a sense of command over our body and our life.
Yoga: Yoga postures are a form of strength training and helps to improve flexibility, which in turn relieves physical tension of the body. Deep breathing in yoga triggers the body’s relaxation response.
Walking: Walking releases tension from the major muscle group, deepens the respiration and relaxes the nervous system. Walking regularly can reduce the incidence of many stress-related conditions, including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes.
Dancing: Dancing has many emotional, mental and physical benefits. It’s a great workout that improves mood and agility as it raises our heart rate.
Circuit training: Circuit training is a type of weight training with cardio and very short breaks in between. It is a high-intensity workout that offers the same benefits of longer exercise sessions in less time (30 minutes or less).It pumps up our body’s endorphin level, which improves our mood.
The author is the founder of Steadfast Nutrition.