The hybrid working models in the post Covid-19 world are a classic case of ‘kabhi idhar, kabhi udhar’! The work-from-home (WFH) phenomenon which followed the coronavirus pandemic was a massive disruptor of how we knew life before. It disrupted the work-life balance and created a stressful environment at most homes. Now as the world opens up and many offices have begun a hybrid model of working, the struggles are different. Either way, there is a sense of fatigue. Can alternative therapies such as yoga and meditation help you improve your mental health?
That’s what Dr Deepak Mittal, Founder, Divine Soul Yoga, discussed with HealthShots.
“Our personal spaces were not then designed for putting in hours and hours of office work. When the pandemic struck, most people didn’t even have proper seating arrangements to work at for prolonged hours and it affected the physical and mental well-being of home workers,” says Dr Mittal.
People also developed body aches and pains. Now with the hybrid mode of work, he stressed on the importance of balancing health.
Offices are planned and built to support work for hours on end with designated workstations; and WFH is not.
The first thing to be affected when you’re working at home is your posture. While at office, there are ergonomic chairs to support your back, at home several of us are parked at our dining, beds or study table-chair sets, neither of which supports your back. The tables are too high or low to work comfortably, causing pain in the back, neck and shoulders.
People also have dry eye syndrome and other issues, text neck syndrome, stress headaches, and the resultant weight gain.
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This is all adding up to a WFH breakdown, leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness, which cause deterioration of mental well-being. In addition, workloads have increased leading to frequent bouts of anxiety, stress and burnouts.
Alternative therapies like yoga and meditation, along with eating superfoods, soothe our minds and turn it inwards, away from all distractions. Getting in touch with your personal peace and combining that with a healthy diet along with adequate amounts of rest and sleep is what will turn around a breakdown into a mental breakthrough.
Easy tips to improve mental health
Stay in the moment. When you stay attentive to your current circumstances, it’s unlikely that thoughts of the past or future can stress you.
Eye doctors have gone hoarse saying take a break for 20 seconds after every 20 minutes of work. Just like that, take a mental vacation from your present circumstances every now and then — you will find that when you return, you’re feeling so refreshed. Soothe your eye health.
When the lockdowns were announced, so many people would wake up and log in to work from their beds. It was noted that these people were also the ones who complained of major insomnia episodes. This happened because their minds were confused about what to associate the bed with — work or sleep. Hence, try to have a small dedicated place of work, which is far away from your sleeping chambers and is comfortable at the same time.
You’ll find nothing better than these three factors to help you calm and soothe your mind, and align it with inner peace. A simple practice like Surya Namaskar can strengthen bones, fight insomnia, bring down blood sugar levels and improve metabolism and blood circulation.
Balanced and nutritious foods not only keep you healthy but also improve your productivity. Do not skip your food, eat on time and eat healthy snacks. Sabja Seeds, flax seeds, ginger, turmeric and berries are some of the superfoods which can be consumed for healthy bones and a balanced mind.
WFH fatigue and breakdowns are the new normal, so we should ensure that we make the alternative therapies that work best on them, a part of our regime. These therapies will enhance the mind’s interaction with the body, and help you relax and enhance the body’s power to heal it.