A new study conducted by the research firm, Future Work Centre, UK, suggests that trying to stay on top of work-related activities — constantly checking and responding to e-mail — keeps the stress levels of an individual high.
Experts say that those who work from home are most susceptible to this kind of stress.
“Working from home seems like a better alternative to many. However, it depends on how one balances one’s professional and personal lives. If one doesn’t manage to strike a balance, working from home can turn out to be very disturbing mentally, physically and socially,” says Dr Manisha Jadhav, holistic wellness specialist.
Experts say that while those who work in an office environment focus only on completing their day’s assignments, individuals working from home, in most cases, mothers of little kids or freelancers, are required to juggle many roles at once. Typically, work-from-home mums make meal plans, oversee the kids and the housekeeping, apart from doing their office work. This is where the kind of stress they are exposed to, as opposed to office-goers, differs.
According to the study, “It is important to underline that the whole concept of work-life balance is complex.” Taking this into consideration, we asked experts to share with us simple guidelines to help those who have chosen to work from home maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Follow a healthy diet: No matter what, do not ignore your health. Follow a balanced diet and eat wholesome meals every day. Also, include daily servings of fruits and green leafy vegetables in your diet.
Get ample sleep: Eight hours of sleep is essential for the proper functioning of your adrenal glands.
Stay hydrated: No matter what, always stay hydrated, even if you are busy. It will help you prevent headaches or exhaustion that might be the result of stress. You can have infused water or sip green tea throughout the day, as they also act as great stress busters.
Stay active consciously: Always utilise any opportunity you get to move around. Even a five-minute walk counts. It would be great if you can take out 30 minutes from your routine to go for a walk every day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. These small changes go a long way, and make a big difference.
Learn to relax: Find a quiet place away from all distractions. Clear your mind and focus only on your breathing for about 10 to 20 minutes. Try to do this daily, to give your body some physical and mental rest. Listening to soothing sounds — that of waterfalls and rainforests — can also help eliminate stress. You can try yoga or practise deep breathing exercises too. Take time out in the morning, approximately 20-30 minutes, to practise these exercises.
Consume junk food: If you are working from home that means you have fewer opportunities to travel or to physically exert yourself. So, it’s best to pack your meals with natural foods. Also, one tends to eat more junk food during stressful times. This sets a bad cycle in motion.
Procrastinate: Having all the time at hand tends to turn you into a procrastinator. Make a clear table of tasks that need to be completed. For every ‘home task’, make sure you tick off one from your ‘work task’ list. This will literally balance both your personal and professional lives.
Clam up: Do not isolate yourself from people around you. Many stop themselves from going out, as they feel there is too much work pressure. If you start feeling stressed out and phobic about social events, confide in a friend or family member.
Shy away from seeking help: If you feel that your stress levels are getting out of hand, and that is affecting your work and family, then consult a stress management expert or seek the advice of a counsellor.
— With inputs from Dr Anubha Singh, gynaecologist
Follow @htlifeandstyle for more.