Since the coronavirus pandemic swept the entire world many of us have found ourselves working from home. And as things take a positive turn in Australia, while many have returned to the office, working from home and workplace arrangements have become more flexible – so a lot of us are still working each day from our homes. But how has this affected us?
WFH: An ideal setup?
WFH or working from home sounds like an ideal setup for most. There’s no need to dress up for work, no need to be stuck in traffic during rush hour, and there’s no need to talk to that overbearing colleague you’ve been avoiding. While it may seem like a welcoming change at first, many soon realise that working from home can sometimes be more stressful than actually going to an office.
Oh, the stress!
Your commute may be substantially shorter, but your organisation and time management skills have been put to the test.
Aside from household chores to attend to, many office workers are also parents. The responsibility of taking care of children is more pronounced now that working from home is the new normal. This leads many to be even more stressed out than usual.
When you are going to the office, you are physically away from doing other obligations and responsibilities as a parent and housekeeper. In many ways, this makes it easier to organise your day – you’ve only got a certain amount of time in each place, so you must use it wisely!
Since everything is now in one place, trying to manage your time is difficult. You really can’t work from 8-5 since you have to prepare food for the kids, clean the house and run errands.
People who work at home sometimes develop a habit of procrastination. “I’m at home anyway, I can do this later.”
Sometimes bosses expect more from you. You’re actually more overworked than when you were going to the office because you’ve replaced that commute time with more work. And it’s very hard to be able to separate your home life and your work life. After all, it is very easy to hear the call of your laptop from your home office when you’re just in the next room.
Less social interaction may be good for a while but in the long run it isn’t healthy for your mental health and overall well-being.
And due to the abnormal circumstances the pandemic brought, many outdoor activities and exercise facilities were not available. This meant that we were moving a lot less and doing less physical activity may impact your health.
While there are a lot of positives about being able to work from home, there are certainly some contributing stress factors that are overlooked. Give the current situation, however, learning how to make your life less stressful and more productive is certainly doable and we’re going to help!
What happens to the body when it's under stress
Without going into too much detail, we release a hormone called cortisol whenever we’re under stress. Even if we feel like we have it all under control, cortisol levels are definitely higher nowadays. This is as a direct result of the ways we have needed to adjust our lives because of the pandemic.
Feeling stress is a normal part of life; it is how we cope that could make or break our situation. Continuous feelings of stress can negatively impact all aspects of our lives. Weight loss or weight gain, fatigue, sleep deprivation, and negative feelings are all attributed to stress.
Ways to reduce stress
Here at Superfoods Australia, we’re all for healthy living. We know that life can be tough, and we need to do all we can to keep stress at bay. We’ve got some tried and tested tips that we live by to make sure we feel and stay motivated each day.
Develop a routine
Our bodies work best when we develop a routine. Embrace your (sort of) new lifestyle and create a new schedule that you know you can follow. Map out tasks you need to do for the week, and then break them down into daily to-do’s.
Don’t forget that now that you’re working from home, you need to be able to include household chores and other stuff you need to do into your schedule. For example, you can work from 8 to 10 in the morning, and then prepare lunch for the kids. In the afternoon, you may set your schedule from 2 to 6 PM, when it’s time to set dinner.
Don’t forget to manually list down the things you need to do so you can cross them out later. This gives you a sense of accomplishment to get you motivated.
Create a work space
For a while there, this working from home thing was only temporary. But as time has passed, many workplaces have become flexible with how you can work. So, it’s best that you create a space that is your workspace.
Regardless of where you intend to work, stick to that spot from now on. Think of it as your literal office. When you physically create a space solely for work, you can mentally separate yourself from work tasks. You also want to make sure the height of your desk and computer screens, as well as the chair you are using are all comfortable and safe to make your working conditions as conducive to your work as possible.
Prioritise and organise
Set goals for the coming work week. Working without any clear goals in mind can make you unproductive and you can end up procrastinating or working on things that don’t necessarily matter.
When you have a goal, set daily tasks that work towards achieving it. Stick to a maximum of 2-3 tasks a day. Any more than that can be too much to handle and can leave you feeling overwhelmed if you don’t get through everything.
Exercise (or exercise more!)
Don’t underestimate the power of regular exercise. Even if it’s just 15 minutes a day, keeping yourself physically fit is another surefire way to reduce stress.
Go for exercises that don’t require gym equipment or weights. Thankfully there are instructional videos on the internet as well as apps that can help keep your health in check.
If you’ve been dormant on the exercise front for a while, try stretching exercises. You can easily find lots of great apps and videos on YouTube, where you can be guided in your form. Stretching might not feel like you’re doing a lot at the time, but you’ll feel amazing afterwards.
We’re not just talking about spending an hour resting on the couch or taking a short nap. Breaks that could impact your mental health are also much needed during times like this.
When you feel like you’re becoming unmotivated or you find yourself making up excuses to put off certain tasks, talk to a trusted friend. Have a quick video chat and catch up with them. Sometimes talking to someone about things that are unrelated to work can be refreshing!
Another type of break you can give yourself is meditation. Set aside time at the end of the day to meditate. Think about what you’ve accomplished (yes, including the “small” things like making your bed!) and you’ll feel better about yourself.
Here at Superfoods Australia, we obviously love superfoods and the benefits that you can experience from them. Superfoods can help with nourishing and energizing your body, providing you with mental clarity and the ability to focus better and for longer periods.
For many the last year has led to us relying on unhealthy junk foods and developing bad eating habits. If you’re working from home, try sticking to a schedule and setting some mealtimes each day.
You want to make sure you’re eating enough of the right nourishing and healthy foods and being at home can actually make this a lot easier. But did you know that there are actually foods that are superfoods that can help relieve stress? Some of these stress busting superfoods include:
1. Turmeric – this is great for helping to reduce inflammation in our bodies. We experience inflammation when a virus or bacteria enters our body – the inflammation helps to reduce the effects of the bacteria, but too much inflammation can occur when we’re under a lot of stress which can lead to inflammation affecting more cells in our body than it should.
2. Reishi Mushroom – known as the mushroom of immortality, the reishi mushroom has lots of health benefits, including the ability to improve moods and boost energy levels. In addition to that, is also helps to promote better sleeping habits and patterns, and better sleep leads to less stress.
3. Chaga Mushroom – with an incredibly high antioxidant count, the chaga mushroom is often referred to as the “King of Medicinal Mushrooms”. You may not realise, but antioxidants help to fight off free radical cells in our bodies. Free radical cells can damage our normal healthy cells and can speed up the aging process. And stress can actually exacerbate the production of free radicals. But this is where the chaga mushroom can help, it’s high antioxidant count makes it a great addition to your diet.
4. Cordyceps Mushroom – containing a compound called cordycepin, cordyceps mushroom can actually help with improving the movement of oxygen throughout your body. With strong oxygen movement comes better blood flow which can help give you energy and fight lethargy. So, get chomping on some cordyceps today!
It can a lot simpler than you think to add superfoods to your diet. And now that you’re working home more and more, you can take advantage of having that full size kitchen (something we barely had in the office) and get creative with how you add superfoods to your routine. Available as tinctures, powdered extracts and capsule, you can mix up a smoothie, sprinkle in some superfoods into your favourite meal, or even bake some delicious and healthier snacks.
If you’re on the hunt for some superfoods to boost your mealtime, head on over to our site, where you can find premium organic superfoods that have been ethically sourced. We offer free express shipping Australia-wide for orders over $100, and you can pay using AfterPay – doesn’t get easier than that!