-Neeraj Kumar, Founder & CEO, Peakmind
Although working from the comfort of your own home does sound like a picnic, most of us now know it is anything but! And one major disadvantage of working from home is that while at the office, post the 8-9 hours a day, we can leave the workplace and its associated stress behind, working from home doesn’t give us the same luxury. In fact, it can quickly become a hassle you can’t sign off from due to unplanned commitments and expectations.
Tackling such stressful workdays is becoming ever so important as it plays a major role in deteriorating our mental wellbeing. Two basic things are important to be followed religiously: Routine and Structure. While working-from-home makes it more difficult for professionals to retain routines and structure, it is imperative to introduce it slowly and then maintain it, to find the right work-life balance.
How To Control Your Dopamine Levels
Here are some tips which you can follow to control the stress and challenges at work and lead a healthy life:
If you experience high anxiety:
❏ Limit your screen time: You need a conscious break from Covid-19 news feed or you’ll have a nervous breakdown.
❏ Set strict deadlines for yourself to meet specific small goals in a limited period – Your dopamine levels will rise any time you accomplish a small target (the reward centre of your brain). So, make sure you have plenty of them during the day.
❏ Reduce your cortisol (stress hormone) levels by combining this with some meditation.
- A LACK OF ROUTINE: You might feel lost if you don’t have the routine of commuting, lunch breaks, meetings, and an evening relax time
❏ Have you ever heard the saying that 90% of what we do is a habit? A habit is created in 21 days. Get started today and it will soon become your way of life.
❏ A planned routine will help you achieve this better
❏ Make plans for your downtime as well; it makes you more productive. For example, at 5 p.m., turn off my computer and sit on the balcony/decking/lawn with a cool drink while talking on the phone with friends.
- FEELING ISOLATED: Sitting at home in solitude can leave you feeling flat if you are used to a busy workplace and a busy social life that cannot be indulged in anymore.
❏ At home, recreate the workplace atmosphere. You and your coworkers can use apps like MS Teams to see each other during office hours – and get feedback from the group (just remember to mute whenever needed).
❏ Alternatively, you can use Skype or WhatsApp to “see” people and catch up with them, post-work hours.
4. TOO MANY DISTRACTIONS: While some people find a quiet home environment difficult to work in, others find the opposite to be true. Noisy children, outside noise, unending TV, or kitchen noise can be quite a distraction.
❏ Agree on a “quiet” time and place to work if possible. Do things that require attention, such as writing reports in the early morning or late at night.
❏ To block out background noise, you can invest in noise-canceling headphones or earplugs.
While WFH might be the new normal, it has blurred the lines between office hours and personal time. To deal with work stress, it is advisable to define boundaries and set small and achievable goals like eating healthy, drinking water regularly, etc. Don’t let the pandemic overpower your amazing personality. Stay at home, Healthy and Protected!