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COVID-19 is unprecedented in more than one way as this is perhaps the first time in the history of industrialization, that millions of people have to work out of their homes as social distancing norms have taken over the professional spaces.
Work from home (WFH) has several advantages, ranging from spending quality time with your loved ones to next to nil time spent commuting. However, the community-driven nature of the conventional workspace provides a certain degree of push and ambience that enhances our motivation and productivity, which a WFH set-up might lack in certain aspects. Moreover, constant interaction with family members and taking care of household chores can take a heavy toll on mental health.
Pre-Coronavirus, most of us generally got the time to unwind post work in the form of commuting back home or by socialising with colleagues or friends. However, these options are no longer viable for us due to the risk of transmission of virus and lockdowns. Hence, the onus is on you to leave your work behind.
Now, the boundary between our personal space and professional life has blurred. A post-work routine or layout is critical in tackling tough days as you will approach at least some aspects of your day without a set of preconceived notions or in a reactionary manner due to externalities such as not meeting work-related deadlines or confrontations with your peers.
Having a routine helps in living in the moment, reducing stress levels and getting done with tasks in a systematic manner. Routines, as per Northwestern Medicine, in fact, help in managing stress, sleep and meal timings, contributing to better health.
Here are 5 activities you can incorporate into your daily wind-down routine:
Listening to your favourite music is helpful as it slows the pulse and heart rate, thereby lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.
Exercising can help reduce levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators.
Reading could also be a handy winding tool as it helps slow the heart rate, reduce muscle tension and lower stress levels.
Meditation is another technique that you may consider as it’s known to help individuals cope with anxiety and improve cognitive and behavioural functions.
As and when the situation around the lockdown improves, taking a mindful walk could also help as it is a great way to relax and exercise at the same time. Walking helps expand your awareness of the sights and smells around you and a slow, mindful walk will help you get centred and relax after a long stressful day at work.
So, ladies, take charge of your day and invest in developing a post-work winding up routine to nourish your mental health.