This pandemic has brought unprecedented times with millions of people having to work from home for the first time. Starting from make-shift offices on kitchen counter-tops to dining tables to couches, people have adjusted and are still as per their requirements. With Covid-19 vaccine in sight that will soon be available for public use, many professionals may not return to offices for unknown time frame as companies and employers take precautionary measures and keep majority of their workforce at home.
Impact on mental health of pandemic has been always feared by health professionals and one can already see the impact. Cases of depression have been a rise across the countries as people become more stressed with long work from home hours and lost work and life balance.
Today's Twitter Poll: Are u happy Working From Home? How'd u feel staying at home if others returned to ur place of work?— Martin Lewis (@MartinSLewis) November 17, 2020
If happy now, but want to return when others do answer "WFH happy but only 4 now". If u don't want to return put "& want to stay"
What's closest 2 ur view?
While working from home cannot be avoided under present scenario, some tips to stay happy can be followed to keep mental wellbeing a priority.
Natural light: let it in
Though sounds trivial, sunlight is the most important pick me up for anyone. It triggers brain to release Serotonin hormone – the happy hormone. It keeps one calm, focused, reduces anxiety and boosts mood.
Putting work desk in front of a window, drawing the curtains back, keeping mirrors in room to bounce off the sunlight are some tricks to let that light in.
Sunlight is the starting block because it has such a big impact on the way we feel about a space – and on regulating sleep.”Architect Ben Channon, head of wellbeing at Assael Architecture
Block out the noise
Human brain is trained to capture and interpret all the noises and sound modulations. This can be highly distracting while working, adding to stress. Sharp noises are more distracting than low level chatter. Sometimes even step sounds can add to distraction.
Stressful sound can trigger the Amygdala of brain which sends out distress signal, which are then picked up by other brain part Hypothalamus which causes adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline hormone. This causes blood pressure to shoot up. This has to largely do with how your brain interprets a sound.
Earplugs are a great option to cancel the unwanted sounds. More extensive measures include thick carpets, heavy curtains that absorb sound.
Clean up – declutter your space
Clutter and dirty surroundings raise cortisol levels which is a stress hormone. Clutter sends conflicting signals to brain, which makes it work harder to focus on filtering out the unwanted stimuli.
Keep the space organized, clear of unwanted things. This will reduce anxiety and stress.
Get up and moving
Stretching and moving around is very important, especially when going out for usual walks is stopped during pandemic. Exercise is a natural anti-anxiety measure that relieves stress and boosts with happy physical and mental energy. Simple stretches and exercises at the desk can do the needful.
Staying stress-free and happy is in our control. By following simple steps one can achieve the happy life leading to a better work life balance.