6 powerful Work From Home Wellness Hacks

by | Nov 23, 2023 | Swimming and Calisthenics, Nutrition, Swimming | 0 comments

People started to bow to the realm of remote work. Everyone loved work from home settings and the development of the digital age’s answer to the 9-to-5 grind. Freelancers boomed, and the concept of a truly global community became a reality for the first time.

But this was only the beginning of a new set of problems— Quite unexpected but so big to ignore. As laptops became your new desks and living rooms transformed into boardrooms, the unforeseen consequences on your well-being crept in stealthily. In this paradigm shift, health challenges sneaked in.

In this blog post take a deep dive into the challenges of work from home and later some useful hacks to minimise the impact of this new normal in your life.

The Unforeseen Health Challenges:

Working from home was the new normal, and it was certainly convenient. However, you and almost everyone working from home failed to realize the toll it could take on your body. The initial thrill of attending the most professional and sensitive meetings in pajamas gradually unravelled a series of health concerns nobody had bargained for.

Excessive sitting has always been there. Studies have linked excessive sitting with a laundry list of health woes: back pain, heart disease, obesity, and even a shorter lifespan. It’s the silent killer, whispering its dangers while we’re lost in the virtual world of work. 

With the increase in the number of people working from home, this problem spread like a pandemic. Old retired men, women with any skill, or kids with any talent now have a chance to spend a few hours on the internet and earn good bucks. However, this is the end of the good part because the backache, obesity and other health issues follow.

Woman working from home

And Then There’s The Bigger Issue – The Sedentary Lifestyle:

A sedentary lifestyle is when you spend more time sitting. You spend six or more hours per day sitting or lying down. In short, you lack significant physical movement in your daily life.

Now consider working from home. You want to enjoy and relax if you’re working on your laptop for a long time. However, you end up in front of the TV, right? Don’t watch TV? You simply browse the internet on your phone or laptop till it’s time to sleep. 

Where is the time for the nature or simply screen-less time that you mind and eyes need desperately.

The Impact on Metabolism:

Work from home is an easy and, on paper, an ideal routine, but now imagine the risks it brings in your life.

It’s like a stealthy thief, stealing away your vitality without you even noticing. One of its sneakiest moves? Slowing down your metabolism.

When you spend your days glued to chairs, your metabolism—the body’s engine for burning calories—hits the brakes. It’s like putting a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the calorie-burning process, and that’s undoubtedly not good news for anyone trying to stay fit and healthy.

Humans Thrive on Movement:

Your body is wired for motion—it’s in your DNA, your very essence as humans. From the early days of chasing prey to exploring new territories, movement has always been our thing. You still feel the need to work like early humans, maybe not as hard. You have an innate urge to stretch your legs, feel the breeze on your face, and simply move.

The Lack of Fresh Air:

And then comes the lack of fresh air. While you are tucked away in your work-from-home bubbles, your exposure to various environments and germs takes a nosedive. You breathe the same stale air day and night – A nightmare for your immune system.

Your immune system, used to battle the world’s microbes constantly, might get rusty without these regular encounters. You may feel unusually chilly air after staying home for a month or two. What will happen then? Welcome influenza and other bronchitis issues and medicine to cure it. This is just one example. You can think of more issues arising from the lack of the outside world, can’t you? 

Working from home woman

You Can’t Ignore the Mental Health:

Now, this situation doesn’t end with physical issues due to staying indoors for a long time. There are mental problems arising, too.

Working from home has brought a whole new set of challenges, and the toll on mental health has been significant. The boundaries between work and personal life blur. And this leads to a constant feeling of being “on”, available and getting approval mode all the time. This lack of separation can trigger heightened stress levels, burnout, and feelings of isolation.

Missing Office Space:

While working alone, you may enjoy the silence, but the absence of daily interactions with colleagues also has drawbacks. 

The water cooler chats, the office banter, and shared lunches—all these social interactions play a role in your mental well-being. Without them, your feelings of loneliness and disconnection often creep in, impacting your mood and overall mental health. You might face anxiety, frustration and a deep sense of restlessness.

You’re Heading Towards Burnout:

Moreover, it’s a common misconception that you deliver more in the work from home settings. This mindset creates pressure to perform constantly, leading to low self-esteem. The home environment, once a sanctuary, becomes a place of work-related stress, leading to difficulties in unwinding and relaxing. You can feel the whole family bearing the toll of work stress with you. 

The blurring of work-life boundaries also means that many find themselves working longer hours, unable to disconnect. This chronic overwork can lead to exhaustion, reduced productivity, and eventually, burnout—a state where the mental and physical exhaustion becomes overwhelming.

Woman burning out

Does the Traditional Coping Mechanism Still Work:

In all this, do you think the Coping mechanisms that once worked in traditional work settings might work? Actually, they might be less effective in this new scenario. 

When you’re in front of the screen all the time, finding time for self-care becomes crucial. You may plan regular breaks, set clear work hours, or engage in activities that provide a mental break from work.

Is There a Way to Minimize Work From Home Effects?

So now that you know the impacts of working from home, the question arises if there’s a way to minimize its effects on you. How do we fortify our defences in this hermit-like setup? 

The first thing is to Strengthen your immunity. It’s not just about popping vitamins; it’s a holistic approach. Learning to adopt simple habits like proper nutrition, adequate sleep, and managing stress can work wonders in bolstering our immune response.

1. Think About Swimming and Calisthenics.

And there’s more. Incorporate activities like swimming and calisthenics into your routine. These simple yet healthy boosts aren’t just about toning muscles—it’s about giving our immune system the boost it needs. 

These exercises rev up our body’s defences, priming it to tackle whatever comes its way. It’s time to transform our work-from-home haven into a launchpad for a resilient immune system.

Swimming

Let’s First Talk About Swimming.

It’s a full-body exercise that solidifies your muscles, toning your arms, legs, and core while boosting cardiovascular fitness. It’s gentle on joints, making it a go-to for you who spend most of your time indoors. Plus, the resistance of the water amps up your calorie burn, helping you to maintain a healthy weight. 

In the mix of all the chaos from working at home, swimming can really help your feelings and thoughts. When you jump into the pool, it’s like hitting a reset button in your head. 

Research from the Journal of Exercise Rehabilitation highlights swimming’s prowess in reducing anxiety and depression, attributing this therapeutic effect to the release of endorphins, the brain’s feel-good chemicals.

While moving through the water, the rhythmic and soothing pattern blocks out all your stress from work, sitting for long hours and the pressure of giving your best. It gives you a peaceful place in the middle of all the mess. 

Other research in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health shows that swimming can lower cortisol levels, the stress hormone in your body, making you feel more relaxed. 

The pool becomes your safe space where you can forget about computers, deadlines, and all the hard work you have to do at home. Being alone in the water lets you think quietly, making your mind clearer and helping you think of new ideas. Swimming isn’t just a swim; it’s a way to refresh your mind, like finding a peaceful spot in the middle of all the challenges of working from home.

Man doing calisthenics

You Can Try Calisthenics, Too.

But if water isn’t your thing, you can try calisthenics—the superhero of bodyweight exercises. 

No fancy equipment needed—just your body and gravity. Think push-ups, squats, lunges—the classics that bring strength, flexibility, and endurance to the forefront. You can do it next to your laptop whenever you feel like it or take a break. It’s a dynamic way to rediscover your body’s capabilities, all within the confines of your humble abode.

These aren’t just exercises. Think of them as your secret weapons against the perils of a sedentary lifestyle. They breathe life back into your body, revitalizing muscles and invigorating your spirit, all while banishing the monotony of sitting for hours on end.

2. Small Changes, Big Impacts:

And small changes in your routine can have powerful impacts without you realizing it. Here are a few ways you can adopt…

  • Opt for the stairs instead of the elevator, 
  • Prefer walking over driving. 
  • Enjoy vegetables as snacks while working. 
  • Take a stroll during lunch breaks. 

These seemingly minor adjustments inject bursts of movement into your day, keeping your body engaged and energized.

Being humans, we must understand this – movement isn’t just physical. It’s empowering. The more you keep your body adapted to movement, the more control you have over your health, vitality, and zest for life.

Healthy eating

3. Learn the Power of Balancing in Your Life:

Balancing work is hard, and switching to work from home settings becomes harder. The good news is wellness is within your reach. It’s about taking charge of your body, mind, and spirit amidst the challenges of working from home.

4. The Power of Eating Healthy:

Eating healthily and maintaining a balanced diet during work-from-home days is undoubtedly a crucial act of self-care. 

The temptation of your favourite food just a few steps away is a temptation few can compete with. That’s why you need to maintain a well-rounded diet because your metabolism is already slow due to prolonged sitting.

For a start, you can use a rainbow of veggies for your regular diet. They’re bursting with essential vitamins and antioxidants. Whole grains like brown rice or quinoa and lean proteins such as chicken, fish, or beans are the backbone of a balanced diet, keeping you fuller for longer. Snacking is inevitable, but opt for healthier options like nuts, yoghurt, or veggies with hummus to keep that energy steady throughout the day. And keep your body hydrated as much as possible. 

Research from the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine emphasizes the impact of a balanced diet on overall well-being, from boosting immunity to enhancing cognitive function. So, while the allure of the pantry might be strong during work from home, a mindful approach to what you eat can make a world of difference in staying healthy and productive.

Happy woman

5. A Good Night’s Sleep:

Keeping work a top priority blurs the lines between work and home. So you may sacrifice the real convenience of working from home – your good night’s sleep. 

Research published in the Journal of Occupational Health highlights how adequate sleep correlates with improved productivity, better decision-making, and sharper focus during work hours. When you snooze, your brain doesn’t take a break; it’s busy consolidating memories, enhancing learning, clearing out mental clutter, and readying you for the next day’s challenges. That’s why you need good sleep, not only to work better but also to avoid burnout.

Moreover, a study in Sleep Health emphasizes the link between quality sleep and a stronger immune system. With the chaos of deadlines and digital distractions, sleep might seem like the sacrificial lamb, but in reality, the unsung hero keeps you sharp, focused, and resilient in the face of work from home marathon.

family needs time too

Family needs you, too.

Research from the Journal of Marriage and Family indicates that family support significantly influences work satisfaction and reduces stress levels among remote workers. Whether it’s a quick chat during a coffee break or a shared lunch, these moments of connection weave a safety net of emotional support that bolsters resilience in the face of work challenges.

The remote work revolution has many advantages, but addressing the mental and physical health challenges is crucial. Building resilience, setting boundaries, and prioritizing mental well-being are pivotal in navigating the mental and physical hurdles of working from home.

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