Avoiding And Handling Physical And Mental Stress While Working At Home

Avoiding And Handling Physical And Mental Stress While Working At Home

recent survey conducted by Aetna International reveals that 33% of all remote workers are concerned about mental health, with 84% stating that mental health became a bigger priority during the pandemic. 74% of workers even agreed that poor mental health impacted their productivity. These numbers can be attributed to the unique issues remote workers face. With less of a reason to go outside, they become susceptible to sedentary lifestyles and may experience feelings of isolation. Because the physical spaces of work and home are not separated, their work-life balance may suffer.

For workers to improve their mental health, they need to take proactive measures to protect themselves from both mental and physical stress. By improving physical health, employees can better protect themselves from negative moods and anxiety, which can help them better manage stress. The reverse is also true: improving mental health protects individuals from poor sleep quality, fatigue, and increased sensitivity to pain. To help, we’ve provided a few tips remote workers can use to handle both physical and mental health.

Set Clear Work-Life Boundaries

Employees struggle with work-life balance when they fail to set clear ideas of when work starts and ends. Set specific times for when to start and stop working. Once your hours are over, place your work device somewhere out of sight. Turn off work notifications and avoid looking at work emails or messages.

Make the boundary even clearer by using physical cues to set your workspace apart from the rest of your home. You can turn a spare room into a dedicated office space. If this isn’t possible, a simple room divider can effectively define where your workspace starts. By creating a physical space that you can only enter for work, you’re less likely to bring your work mindset with you after clocking out.


Create An Ergonomic Workspace

Your assigned workspace should also follow the rules of ergonomics. Rather than forcing your body to adapt to your work furniture, look for furniture that adapts to your body. As explained in this article on ergonomics, ergonomic chairs can encourage you to adopt the right posture while working. Ergonomic chairs, which can be adjusted according to your height, can keep your back comfortable while making sure you sit upright, thus reducing risks for back, neck, and shoulder pain.

Look for other ergonomic tools to support better posture and movement, too. A standing desk, for example, can encourage you to alternate between sitting and standing, thus promoting bodily movement. Wrist rests underneath you can keep your hands cushioned and take the strain off your muscles.


Take Breaks

Don’t let stress build. Insert some short breaks between sessions of productivity to keep your mind and body refreshed. You can even use your breaks to engage in rejuvenating activities, like stretching, walking, or meditation. Free apps like Headspace and Insight Timer can guide you through short meditation sessions. You can also blend exercise with meditation by taking mindful walks.


Get Proper Sleep

Our article on sleep and stress, which you can read here, explains that sleep can reduce stress levels by giving the body space to relax and recharge. Practice good sleep habits to help your body repair itself and improve your mood. If you’re having trouble sleeping, you can use a weighted blanket to calm yourself. Using deep pressure stimulation, weighted blankets can help slow your breathing, which in turn slows your heart rate. This process releases the hormone serotonin, which soothes the nervous system and limits the production of the stress hormone cortisol.

When the lines between career and life blur, it can be difficult to let go of work-related stress. Promote your overall health while working from home by setting clear physical and mental work boundaries, following ergonomic principles, taking breaks, and practicing proper sleep habits.


Article contributed by Rainey James

Exclusively for Hush.

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