5 Ways to Maintain Your Mental Health While Working From Home
With the world on lockdown due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), work from home set-ups have increased worldwide. Meetings have been replaced by video calls and office spaces have been brought to bedrooms and couches. With all this rush for productivity, companies have been striving for more output and are demanding more from their employees. Working from home might seem like the new normal but what does that mean for mental health?
Working from home is something practiced in a number of industries. To put things into perspective, let’s take a look at survey conducted in 2019 by the cloud infrastructure company, Digital Ocean. They found that majority of their remote tech employees felt burnt out. With a whopping 82% of employees feeling stressed and overworked, it comes to no surprise that deteriorating mental health is a risk for many. At the root of this, 52% stated that they are working longer hours and 40% felt the need contribute more than their office counterparts. Stress, long hours and eventual burnout can lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
If you’re feeling this way, remember that you aren’t alone. Here are a few tricks you can use to help you combat the challenges of maintaining your mental health while working from home.
Indulge in self-care
Weather it’s reaching out to a mental healthcare professional or something as simple as eating healthy, remembering to take time to take care of yourself can ultimately make you more productive. Self-care might seem like an escape from productivity but it’s actually the key to it. A healthy body leads to a healthy mind and that goes both ways. When we say ‘indulge’, we really mean take as much as you can get and grow from it. It isn’t about excess; it’s about allowing yourself to love you a little better.
How to manage anxiety and protect your mental health during self-isolation
These are very anxious times.
Ever since the beginning of the onslaught of the novel coronavirus pandemic, a lot of things about our normal lives have been called into question. Many of us are no longer free to go out, and we've had to self-isolate inside for a few weeks. Many of us will remain indoors for a long time to come.
But the freedom to leave home isn't the only thing that the pandemic has negatively affected. Travel plans, parties, work, and so many other things have been touched by the sickly hand of coronavirus. The fact that most of our lives seem to have changed under a relatively short while can be a good enough reason to panic, and to have unchecked anxiety.
In order to avoid that, a few pointers have been put together to stop the giant spiral into the abyss of anxiety.
Try To Follow Your Normal Routine
One of the most telling effects of coronavirus (asides the death and illnesses) is the change to routine. If you don't have somewhere to be by 9, you no longer have to wake up by 6. If you don't have to face traffic, you may see no reason to make coffee. If you don't have to go to the gym, a light pre-workout session may seem meaningless to you.
But if you want to keep a semblance of sanity, you cannot let things fall apart. You have to try, as much as you can, to stay true to your pre-quarantine routine. Wake up at the time you used to, eat at the time you used to, and rest at the time you used to. Sticking to your regular routine will keep you active and focused. It will prevent you from spiralling and will make it easier for you to continue with life after the quarantine.
You're Not Stuck Inside
Thinking that you're stuck inside can have adverse effects on your mind. Instead, you should take the time "off" as a period to learn and discover yourself. How do you do this? Easy, learn to do something productive each day. That will give you a sense of hope
11 Ways to Release Anger
Do you have lingering anger problems? This is a definitive guide that offers you tips on how to release your anger and avoid getting overwhelmed by constant feelings of frustration. Releasing your anger can be a long and deterring road, but with the tips, you'll learn here, it'll be easier to navigate through life with happier memories.
4 Ways to be Less Frustrated at Work
The future of work is very dynamic and requires you to be very flexible within the purview of your roles. These days, as much as working can be very challenging it can also prove frustrating for those who do not know how to navigate the turf effectively. You can learn how to avoid workplace frustrations efficiently in this article.
How to Calculate When You Should Go to Sleep
If you are targeting for a 7 to 8 or maybe 9-hour sleep cycle, calculating your sleep can help you accurately measure just when it is you should go to bed and wake up positive and fresh. Ideally, you must always be able to wake up at towards the end of your sleep cycle, which is when you are fully rested.
'Systems Thinking' Fires Up Your Brain's Ability to Problem-Solve
No matter whether your goal is to become a successful team or take your business towards higher profitability, it is imperative to define your vision and share it with everyone in the organization. The system is more likely to break down if people let go of the bigger picture. However, if everyone involved understands the shared vision, it becomes easier to not only identify the problems but also to make necessary changes and improve for better
Autumn Anxiety: Why You May Feel More Stressed This Season
Do you know what autumn anxiety is? Most people don't. Autumn anxiety is the feelings of depression and/or anxiousness that come along with the approach of the autumn season. Things such as the end of summer, staying inside, and the start of school can trigger this autumn anxiety. This article will also touch on a few helpful hints about how you can help cope with it.
Time Management at Work
Time management has been an important aspect of work since the Industrial Revolution. Tips for managing time at work include doing a time audit, making to-do lists, setting a timer, group similar tasks, and don’t multitask. Attention and energy management are also alternatives, effective ways to manage time at work.
Improving Staff Retention & Turnover
Do you look at your turnover rates and wonder what the problem is? Are your teams in constant react mode because employees keep quitting? Is your culture suffering because top performers are leaving your start up? You’re not alone if you’ve ever wondered what can be done to decrease your turnover and increase staff engagement & retention. We will look at a few reasons as to why employees are leaving, and what your organization can do about it.
How To Breathe Better For Pain and Stress Relief
What if there were a simple, free way to reduce your levels of stress, anxiety, and physical pain while improving your health, your productivity, and even your relationships? Well, if you’re breathing right now (and if not, please start), you have just such an amazing tool at your disposal. But to get the benefits, you need to know how to use it...
Working at a Standing Desk Might Make You a Better Thinker
The dangers of sitting have become a hot topic in the health sphere in the past few years, with some critics going as far as to call sitting “the new smoking.” While dramatic, the statement isn’t wrong. With smoking out of the way as one of the most dangerous threats to public health, the sitting epidemic takes the lead.
A study published in September found that no matter how much you exercise, sitting for excessively long periods of time is a risk factor for early death. The longer the duration of periods of sitting, the greater damage to your cardiovascular health over time.
Not only will standing during the workday help you avoid the dangers of excessive sitting, but a new study finds evidence that standing might actually make you a better thinker.
The study, conducted by researchers at Tel Aviv University, found that standing enabled a quicker response to new information than sitting. To come to this conclusion, the researchers asked two groups of volunteers to complete a cognitive exercise called the Stroop test while either sitting or standing, respectively.
The Stroop test is based on the Stroop effect, which is the name used to describe the lag time our brains experience when attempting to process contradictory stimuli or information at once. You may have taken a Stroop test yourself at one point or another. In a Stroop test, you are presented with a list of colors spelled out, some printed in the corresponding color it names (the word ‘blue’ in blue ink), and some in a different color (the word ‘blue’ in red ink).
The test measures how quickly you are able to identify the colors. When the colors of the ink are mismatched to the printed names, it takes us a little longer to identify each color than it
Increase Your Productivity By Standing Up
By now, you’ve probably heard of standing desks: they are the leading edge of a new trend that claims to burn calories, reduce neck and back pain, and boost productivity while at work. And finally, scientists have proved it to be true: a new study claims that standing desks improve employee productivity by almost 50%.
The main object of the study was to analyze employee productivity at a call center over a 6-month period after the company bought standing desks. The employees talked with clients on the phone about health problems and their productivity was analyzed based on whether their callers decided to become clients and if they delivered pertinent information.
After just a month of using the standing desks, employees were 23% more productive than their colleagues who were sitting behind traditional desks. After 6 months, the boost of productivity increased even more. The average productivity increase was 46%.
Of course, it is only one study and some say that it is about a very specific group of people and the employees who used the standing desks received calls from new clients, while their colleagues who were seated took calls from existing clients. Therefore, some people claim that the nature of the calls was different and there are more studies needed to support the findings of this study.
Whether you think the findings are correct or not, there are proven benefits of standing desks that are hard to deny. Let’s have a look at some of them.
There is no consensus on whether or not standing desks provide a productivity boost. There are only eight studies and half of them found that standing desks increase productivity, while others showed mixed results. Therefore, it is a bit too early to say whether standing desks have a considerable effect on performance or whether they affect the number of sick days employees take; one of the most common signs of low productivity.
This Standing Desk Riser Goes Up And Down, But Your Productivity And Health Will Only Go Up
Many years ago, I spent a summer interning at a place at which all the workers had standing desks. Well, it would be accurate to call it a rising desk. When you needed to stand, you could raise it to a level so you could stand and work. When you needed to sit, you could lower it to typical office drone desk level. As someone who has always suffered from back problems, this was a game changer. Typically, at the end of a long work day sitting (and sometimes slumping) in my office chair, I’d have an ever-so-slight back pain I’d self-medicate with either an Advil or a stiff drink. The summer I could spend part of the day standing? No back pain. It was a minor miracle.
Unfortunately, no job I’ve had since then has provided standing desks for their employees. Ergo, more slouching, more back pain, etc. And not only does sitting down for too long lead to bad posture, it also leads to back work habits. It is so easy to lose focus when you are sitting in one place staring at a backlit screen for hours and hours on end each day.
Then, just this month, I got this rising desk from FlexiSpot. It is a tabletop device you set upon your regular desk to turn it into a standing desk. When it first arrived, I figured it would be a pain to set up. I could not have been more wrong. While it comes with a detailed set of instructions making sure nothing could go awry in the process, “setting it up” was as easy as taking it out of the box and putting it on top of my desk. There is a subsequent step in which you can attach the keyboard tray it comes with. The keyboard tray is quite useful if you use a keyboard at your desk (and especially useful for achieving the optimum height differential between your typing and your screens). But my favorite part about it it how easily removable it is. I don’t use a separate keyboard besides my laptop.
Manage Chronic Stress Symptoms With Mindful Exercise
When we think about the kind of situations that have a significant impact on health and well-being, we typically think about the major stressors: moving, illness, divorce, unemployment, and loss of a loved one. However, for most people, it is not these big, life-changing stressors that are wreaking havoc on our health – it’s the day-to-day hassles.
Modern life is hectic. If it’s not a never-ending inbox, it’s a traffic jam. If it’s not financial strain, it’s an overly jam-packed schedule. Many of us live in a constant of bouncing from one responsibility to another – work, kids, family, spouse, finances – without any breathing room. While major life events may cause a greater degree of stress, it’s the lower levels of sustained, chronic stress we experience from our everyday lives that takes a greater toll on our overall well-being.
In addition to the emotional and psychological feelings associated with stress, chronic stress can cause a wide variety of physical symptoms, including headaches, pain, weight fluctuations, sleep disruption, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal problems, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Left untreated, these ailments can have long-term repercussions and may result in early mortality.
It can be tempting to try to treat your chronic stress symptoms with palliative solutions like food, alcohol, or caffeine. But these solutions simply mask the stress – they don’t treat its underlying cause, and will in all likelihood simply exacerbate the problem.
The most effective solution for minimizing stress would be to eliminate the stressors from our lives. And to some extent you can. But unfortunately, due to the demands of modern life, there’s a limit to how many stressors you can realistically remove from your life. The more practical strategy for minimizing the symptoms of chronic stress is to learn how to effective
4 Ways Standing Desks Improve Employee Productivity
If somebody told you that making one simple change to your work habits could increase your productivity by almost 50%, you’d probably be more than a little skeptical. But one study by the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health found that call center employees were 46% more productive when they used sit-stand desks.
Like ride-sharing apps, smartphones, and streaming services, standing desks are a trend that started in Silicon Valley and has spread throughout the country. Companies like Facebook and Google have provided standing desks for their employees for years now. Facebook employees were singing the praises of standing desks all the way back in 2011.
In recent years, more and more companies have started providing standing desks as a way to improve employee well-being, encourage collaboration, and increase productivity. The number of employers offering sit-stand desks and height-adjustable desks for employees has increased by over 30% in the last five years.
The numbers supporting the positive impact standing desks have on productivity are impressive. That’s because there are multiple different physical and psychological benefits of using a standing desk that each contribute to the overall increase in productivity.
Boosts Brain Power
Standing stimulates circulation, which sends more oxygen and nutrients t
How Do HR Help Employees Release Work-Related Stress?
Do you know that you spend about 35 percent of your life at work? Considering all the stress you are under during your time in the office, it seems as if a third of your life is wasted on worries and bad feelings. Our bodies are not designed to be under stress for such a long time. Eventually, we give up, and we face a variety of unpleasant effects.
Stressed-out employees suffer from chronic conditions and experience the decrease in brain activity. As a result, the productivity drops, and the company suffers from an unexpected profit loss. That’s why it’s vital for HR departments to come up with efficient methods to help employees release work-related stress.
5 Signs Your Employees Are Under Work-Related Stress
1. Loss of appetite – Stress-out people experience a loss of appetite, which leads to weight loss and lack of energy.
2. Irritation and aggression – When employees are under a lot of stress, they become irritated and aggressive. Their behavioral patterns change drastically without a visible reason.
3. Lack of socializing – Stressed-out people stop being social. They tend to avoid others during lunchtime and prefer working on their own.
4. Becoming difficult – When employees are under stress at work, they become difficult to cope with even when it comes to matters outside the workspace.
5. Feeling ill - stressed-out people are more prone to various diseases. If your employees start calling in sick often, it could be a sign of work-related stress.
Research has shown that about 80 percent of workers are under stress at their workplaces. Half of them admit they need help with stress management. More than 40 percent of workers believe their co-workers require stress management assistance.
5 Ways to Create a Stress-Free Workspace
The condition of your workspace has a direct connection to how productive you are and how satisfied you feel at work. When we’re struggling with productivity, the first cause we usually point to is our own motivation. But often, it’s our work environment that’s at fault. Learn how to create a stress-free work environment and you’ll see your productivity start to improve.
A carefully planned and well-maintained work environment can energize and excite you, which has a direct impact on your productivity throughout the workday. Workers who like where they work are not only more productive, but are more engaged, happy, and healthy.
Some aspects of your work environment you may have no control over, such as the building you’re in, how many windows are nearby, and where your desk is located. But you can control your own desk, so here are a few things you can do to create a stress-free work environment for yourself.
- Keep your workspace clean and organized.
It doesn’t matter whether you think you’re a naturally messy person and thrive in chaos. If your workstation is cluttered and disorganized, it’s going to inhibit your ability to get your work done well and done on time. File away papers from projects when they’re finished. Only keep the necessary items out on the surface of your desk. Especially if you are a naturally messy person, you’ll be surprised how much organizing your desk will help clear your mind.
- Get your wires under control.
With so many electronic devices taking up space on our desks these days, it’s easy for wires to get out of control. You have your monitor, your keyboard, a phone charger, your headphones… Finding a way to get those wires untangled and under control – for example, tying them together behind your desk – will do wonders for making your workstation feel more manageable.
How to Improve Concentration and Increase Productivity
Concentration is essential for getting through the school or workday. You need to be able to sustain focus and concentrate on your work for hours at a time in order to be productive and successful. But a growing number of us are struggling to maintain concentration for longer than a few minutes at a time.
If you’re someone who struggles with concentration, you may find it difficult to think clearly, focus on a task, maintain your attention, or make decisions. Does that struggle sound familiar? If so, read on to learn about some of the most common reasons people are unable to concentrate – along with some tips for improving concentration and productivity.
Symptoms of Concentration Problems
Struggling to concentrate can have significant repercussions for your school or work performance. Not only does it make it hard for you to get anything done, but it can have symptoms that bleed into your everyday life as well. An inability to concentrate affects everyone differently, but if you’re struggling with concentration, you may be experiencing one or more of the following symptoms:
- Lack of focus
- Frequent careless mistakes
- Difficulty sitting still
- Struggling to think clearly
- Frequently misplacing things
- Forgetting where things are
- Inability to make decisions
- Difficulty performing complex tasks
- Lacking physical or mental energy
- Easily distracted
- Missing appointments or meetings
You may also notice that it’s harder for you to concentrate at certain times of the day than others. That is likely due to the nature of whatever is causing your lack of concentration. Depending on wha
Fewer Hours = Higher Productivity
What is the most well-known economy in the EU that isn’t doing well? “Greece”, says the majority. It has the 4th highest average total working hours/person/year in the world, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Only Korea (#3), Costa Rica (#2), and Mexico (#1) are worse. Mexico at 2255 annual working hours has the poorest GDP return per person.
Stress and Back Pain: 8 Ways to Get Relief for Both
Most people think of back pain as a physical issue, but stress and negative emotions often contribute. If you’re stuck with ongoing discomfort, or even disability, knowing how to address the emotional side of pain can help you change the situation.
Pain sufferers often overlook or avoid emotional contributors to pain because of pressure to perform, shame about emotional challenges, and a lack of support for developing emotional health.
Thankfully, the situation is changing. Groundbreaking work by physicians like Dr. John Sarno has shed light on the connection between emotion and pain and provided relief to thousands.
The growing popularity of emotional intelligence and mindfulness practices has also been shifting attitudes toward emotions, and new scientific findings are providing physical proof of the mind-body connection.
Solutions for Reducing Stress and Relieving Pain
So let’s look at a few simple ways to get started taking some of the emotional weight off your back.
1. The TMS Approach
In his bestselling book Healing Back Pain, Dr. Sarno described a new diagnosis for chronic pain, which he termed Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS) and a simple approach to resolve it.
He believed that ongoing emotional stress, especially unconscious anger, causes the body to tighten, which prevents your muscles from getting enough oxygen. When that happens, you get pain.
He found over many decades working with thousands of patients that simply by understanding their condition as emotional, they often got better.
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