Working From Home: Stress & Work-Life Balance
Have you been working from home recently?
Did you use to think those who work from home lead less stressful lives?
According to a study conducted in 2017 by the United Nations, those who work from home reported higher levels of stress in comparison to those in offices or organization-owned structures.
With the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, many employers have advised and encouraged their employees to work from home.
Although many might perceive working from home as a relaxing stress-free opportunity, contrary to popular belief, oftentimes it is quite the opposite.
Many studies have been carried out regarding stress as a result of working from home.
Stress Factors Working From Home
One of the most common factors and frequent conclusions as to the primary source of stress is the higher usage of mobile devices.
Researchers have discovered that people tend to display higher levels of stress or anxiety when they are pressurised or feel a constant need to check their phones.
This is exactly the case with the working-from-home crowd who are reliant on their devices as the only medium of communication between themselves and their co-workers.
Singapore may put it into legislation for employers not to contact employees beyond certain hours, but it remains to be worked out.
It is tricky because the Singapore workforce in many sectors like banking, security, hospitality, and armed forces are operational round the clock.
Various factors can lead up to an unhealthy amount of stress – namely high expectations or a highly intensive and strenuous workload.
It can also be suffocating due to the inability to exit your place of work after working hours as one usually would.
Working from home can also leave one with a dreaded feeling of isolation due to the lack or absence of social interaction throughout the day.
Subsequently, there has also been a rise in workers physically and mentally affected by the home cum workplace stress; leading to reduced productivity, work performance, and even health issues.
You can read the article on how stress affects our immunity and what we can do to strengthen our immune system.
Red flags in the Red Dot
According to a study by Channel News Asia, Singapore is the second most overworked city and is also ranked 32 out of 40 for work-life balance. As this may be news to some, the lingering questions on most people’s minds would be:
What exactly is work-life balance and how do you achieve it?
Work-life balance can be defined as the dividing of time spent on professional work and personal activities and the development of relationships with family or spouse.
It does not have to be mathematically accurate nor does it have to abide by an objective standard by which to follow.
Each person has their own personal definition of work-life balance because the ideal work-life balance differs from person to person.
It is also constantly shifting due to changing priorities and life stages.
Sources of Work Stress
Out of all the different types of stress, the most common type in this day and age is work-related stress.
This is usually caused by long, intensive working hours, pressing deadlines, or expectations from employers that workers are unable to meet.
Work-related stress has been by far the most invasive in the lives of many and young school-going children are not spared.
Emotional stress is not a foreign feeling to many and is most commonly caused by conflicts in relationships. It can lead to depression, anxiety and other negative feelings that can gravely deteriorate one’s mental wellbeing.
One of the worst types of stress is chronic stress, caused by traumatic events or mentally scarring experiences. Examples of chronic stress are physical/sexual abuse, long term poverty or trauma from an individual’s childhood that has a long-lasting impact.
Chronic stress if left untreated can cause severe irreversible damage to not only one’s mental wellbeing but physical health as well.
Symptoms of Stress
Here are some indicators of stress:
- Low sex drive
- Memory problems
- Change in eating habits (No appetite or over-eating)
- Mood swings
- Muscular tension
- Rapid heartbeat rate
- Excessive sweating
Strategies to Tackle Stress
Developing an exercise routine is one of the most efficient and easily available means to relieve stress. Research shows that exercise is an excellent way to burn off anxious energy. By keeping physically active, it not only keeps us fit and healthy but lightens up our mood on a bad day.
- Take a break when needed
Whether its work or doing the laundry, if you feel the strain or know you’ve reached your limit mentally or physically, don’t be afraid to stop and rest. You should always prioritise your health over everything else. Taking a break can help to reduce tension and blood pressure. Taking time to sip green tea is naturally soothing and it contains antioxidants.
- Adopt a healthy diet
If you haven’t already, switch up your lifestyle by eating healthily! A proper healthy diet can naturally counter the negative effects of stress by boosting our immune system and reducing blood pressure. It is also crucial to ensure that our daily intake of food contains sufficient nutrients that are essential to keeping the body, mind and overall wellbeing in shape.
Supplementing Emu Oil Capsules can provide our bodies with a rich balance of Omega 3,6 & 9, essential fatty acids that our bodies need but cannot produce on its own. They help us boost our immunity and combat sickness during periods of high stress. Emu Oil Capsules is derived naturally from Australia’s emu birds and provides our bodies with added Vitamins A, D, E, F & K2 which are excellent for skin, hair, bones and heart. Emu Oil from Emu Tracks contains no synthetic preservatives or additives.
- Prioritise sleep
Something so simple yet not commonly practiced in the lives of the many busy men and women in the working world. Make sure to always get sufficient sleep so as to focus and function well for a productive day at work. To maintain a healthy sleeping habit of minimum of 8 hours requires discipline but becomes easier to do once you start.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking
Nicotine from smoking and consumption of alcohol can worsen anxiety. In the long run, drinking and smoking not only add to your stress but increase your chances of contracting multiple diseases such as lung cancer, respiratory and heart disease.
Symptoms of stress include muscle tightness around the head, neck, and shoulder areas or other bodily pains.
2-Step Pain Relief
To alleviate these muscular aches and pains, topical application of Emu Track’s deeply penetrating Liniment can provide fast and effective relief for muscular aches and pains.
It combines emu oil, macadamia, arnica, and wheat germ oil with five active essential oils to ensure fast relief and effective results.
Emu Oil Balm fuses emu oil with natural extracts of macadamia oil, wintergreen oil, eucalyptus, and capsicum annum to penetrate and powerfully fight inflammation while providing gentle warming relief to painful areas caused by stress.
Potato Cream from Down To Earth Care is an herbal remedy from South Africa’s medicinal tradition. Used to relieve muscle tension, body aches, and joint pains.