One thing that we all wanted, since forever, was to work without leaving our comfort zones. Well, coronavirus brought our dream into reality but at what cost? Restricted to stay inside, working from home didn’t seem much of a choice but a forced decision by nature. And this is probably what made it difficult as well. Although there was a population that was already familiar with the work from home culture, for the majority it started on a great note but took no time in creating a mess.
Even people who liked the idea of working from one’s own comfort without wasting time in commuting are tired of this lifestyle change, imagine what people who never saw it coming must be going through.
Working from home sounds good. You can stay in bed all day without getting dressed, there is absolutely no traveling and no one’s there to keep a check on you. You are your own boss, right?
But this feeling doesn’t last long. Soon it is replaced by stress, less motivation, no creativity, pains and aches, and feeling lonely. If you have been working from home for quite some while, this would sound familiar.
Work from home can negatively affect both physical as well as mental health of an individual. Let’s have a look at how.
There is no doubt that working from home promotes a sedentary lifestyle. Spending most of the day in front of the screen, getting everything on the table and having absolutely no time to stay active because apparently working from your own comfort means working for longer hours. Be it because of the decrease in the productivity levels or no boundaries left to differentiate personal and professional lives, people experience a significant decrease in physical activity.
We don’t have to tell you that spending most of your time sitting can affect your physical health. From chronic pains to eating disorders, a sedentary lifestyle can cause several health conditions that are most definitely going to affect the quality of your life. Here are a few physical issues and conditions that you shall experience if you don’t balance between work and health:
Sitting all day long in front of your laptops means you are eventually going to affect your posture. And that is going to cause pain, especially in your back and neck. Not just that, if you choose to work from the comfort of your bed, expect the pain to be even more worse. Not just that, not moving at all can even lead to severe leg pain. Overall, working from home without realizing how it affects your physical health is going to lead to body pain.
How to fix that? Well, for starters, avoid sitting for long hours. Now we realize your work requires you to be available from 9 to 5 but that doesn’t mean you can’t take short breaks, does it? Take a few short breaks in between your work and just stretch your muscles.
You can even choose to change your position. Instead of sitting crossed legs on a bed or on a chair you can choose to sit on the floor in a vajrasana or thunderbolt position. It has several benefits. However, make sure your back is straight and you are not bending over your screen.
Spending most of your time on your laptop is definitely going to give you a headache. And the distractions and stress of both household chores and work can contribute to it. While a lot of people really like the idea of popping a pill whenever they feel discomfort, it is not the right approach.
Taking some time off the screen and allowing yourself to relax a bit is important. In addition to that, a healthy diet and keeping yourself hydrated are going to help a lot as well.
Different people may experience different eating habits and disorders but either way, they are going to face the consequences. Working from home can lead to stress munching and increase your appetite because you are in your own comfort zone, wearing comfortable clothes. It can increase your chances of eating more than your body requires. This can lead to obesity and conditions related to that.
On the other hand, people who find it difficult to prepare their own food and are left with no choice but to cook for themselves may end up eating less. This, again, is an eating disorder and can lead to weakness, fatigue and health problems due to deficiency.
To avoid burnout and maintain a healthy lifestyle while working from home, it is important to eat on time. Also, keeping your diet in check can help a lot as well. Following a sedentary lifestyle and eating all kinds of junk is going to affect your physical health and it can, in turn, take a toll on your mental health as well. Not to forget, thirst can be easily mistaken with hunger so track your water intake as well.
Also Read: How to Maintain a Healthy Weight?
When you continuously work on a screen and check out social media whenever you take a break, expect it to affect your eyesight. Not only is it going to hurt your eyesight but can even lead to dark circles, irritating, and puffy, dull eyes. Your eyes want you to leave the screen for some time. As aforementioned, working from home usually means longer working hours, you don’t have to increase your screen time even further by introducing social media during the breaks or at night.
Avoiding the screen as much as you can help but obviously, you will still spend around 7 to 8 hours on the screen which can affect your eyesight. Taking care of your eyes, splashing water, allowing them to relax, treating them with good quality eye drops is something you can do to make sure you don’t end up severely damaging your eyes.
It should not come as a shock that working from home can affect your skin and hair health negatively as well. While a lot of people can witness a positive impact of working from home as they are safe from pollution, dirt, and impurities, people who fail to take care of themselves and experience extreme stress may witness opposite effects. Stress leads to skin problems and hair fall.
To avoid that, one should follow a skincare routine and drink lots of water. Do not forget to apply sunscreen even if you are staying inside. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
What gets affected the most by working from home is your mental health. While physical health is, well, physically visible and thus can be taken care of easily, mental health often, unfortunately, gets neglected. Mental health conditions, if left unattended, can affect physical health as well and this is one of the reasons why you need to address mental health as soon as possible. Stress from work and the house combined with loneliness can lead to anxiety and depression.
Also Read: How to Cope With Anxiety and Stress?
Although meditating, working out, and talking to friends and family can help to some extent, we highly recommend consulting a healthcare professional if you experience mental health issues. Taking care of your health and, most importantly, acknowledging that there is a problem is extremely important. So while you are enjoying some time alone, working from your comfort, don’t forget to stay in touch with a professional who can help you keep that positive attitude in the long run.