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How to combine working from home with well-being

Here are some tips on how to feel good: it’s a question of exercise

Home life How to combine working from home with well-being
How to combine working from home with well-being

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced a large number of people to work from home: office blocks and company premises have emptied out, especially during 2020, and are yet to refill to full capacity.

Nevertheless, as several studies and investigations have shown, long, uninterrupted periods of working from home can cause both psychological and physical damage. Staying at home all the time, sitting down for hours on end, the feeling of loneliness and stress caused by having to stay connected at all times, without ever taking a break and separating your private life from your professional one.

In any case, finding the right balance between remote work and the need to feel good is possible. The National health service in the UK has released a list of seven simple tips to tackle working from home while safeguarding your mental and physical health, without losing enthusiasm and productivity.

The experts at the NHS recommend you build yourself a routine, maintaining a healthy lifestyle (waking up at the same time every day, eating the same breakfast) and creating your own comfortable and reserved work space, if possible, without giving in to the temptation of working in your pyjamas from your sofa or even your bed.

It is essential that you take regular breaks throughout the day, even if they are short, just 5-10 minutes, during which you can unplug both body and mind from your commitments. Going for a walk, a ride on your bicycle or a brief yoga session are ideal ways to take a break, if you manage to set aside some time for yourself.

“Taking a break to devote your energy to your mindset and to listen to your body after spending hours in front of your computer helps raise your self-awareness, enhancing stability, focus and physical vigour”, declared Rossella Forastiero, a yoga and mindfulness teacher during an interview with the Italian newspaper, La Repubblica.

Starting with a little yoga, during or after work, helps improve your concentration, allowing you to control your emotions and alleviate any pain accrued at your desk. Other important tips to follow at all times, but especially when working from home, are to drink a lot and air the room often.

Spending lots of hours cooped up at home, disconnected from nature and fresh air also has negative effects on your morale. A study from the European centre for environment and human health at Exeter University has demonstrated that spending at least two hours a week in nature improves health and well-being.

With this in mind, especially now that the warmer weather is on its way, you can experiment with the benefits of a cycle ride at the end of a working day. Many experts consider the bicycle as the ideal way to overcome the laziness associated with staying at home all those hours, to regain some muscle tone and improve cardiovascular performance.

Going for a cycle (or for a run) twice a week will increase our well-being in both the short and the long run. The benefits at mental level are unrivalled.

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