Social distancing and sporadic lock-downs have led many people to a work-from-home routine, including the team at The Lucy Rose Clinic. We have seen benefits, such as the reduction of work commuting hours.
However, there may be some psychological costs to working at home, and these affect our hormones.
Today I want to explore some challenges we face when we work or study from home, and some tips to create balance. Plus a true client story that many people will resonate with.
Workplace Health and Safety
Your workplace will have guidelines to follow, so be sure to read these again. These guidelines are also available on the safeworkaustralia website.
Desk, chair and office space. Ensure that you are set up with an ergonomically correct work space. Sitting for hours on end out of alignment will drain your energy faster and lead to long term structural issues.
Sedentary. Don’t be sedentary. Sitting is the new smoking, so get up and move as regularly as you can – at the longest, every 2 hours. Even better, get a standing desk. Even better, get a treadmill desk!
Working from home can have psychological risks that are different to the risks in an office or your regular workplace.
Some psychosocial hazards that may impact your health while working from home include:
- being isolated from managers, colleagues and support networks
- less support, for example workers may feel they don’t have the normal support they receive from their supervisor or manager
- changes to work demand, for example a move to working at home may create higher workloads for some workers and reduced workloads for others
- low job control
- not having clear boundaries between home-life and work-life
- poor environmental conditions, for example an ergonomically unsound work station or high noise levels, and
- poor organisational change management, for example workers may feel they haven’t been consulted about the changes to their work.
Patient Story – Working from home
One of our clients was mentally suffering when her job moved to working from home fulltime. She was working on her dining table, and didn’t have clear work, off-work boundaries. She would be checking emails before bed because the computer was right there, and work was on her mind all the time. She was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted – and trapped. She lived alone, and was in lock-down in Victoria, so the isolation was a huge strain to her mental wellbeing, safety and security.
Her Fight, Flight, Freeze response was locked firmly ON. For 9 months straight!
Her hormones were responding to this with increased adrenaline production, and a reduction in dopamine (reward), serotonin (positivity/purpose), and GABA (anxiety/pain).
Working with her naturopath, she gave her body the nutrients she needed to help balance her body again, and adopted better workplace practices. One thing that helped was putting a blanket over her work desk at the end of the day to create a better end of day ritual.
She needed to work on her boundaries, communicate clearer to her manager, and take her designated breaks. In her breaks she would do some breathing exercises, go to the garden to ground herself, or do 10 star jumps.
After just a week she felt her balance returning, and was starting to manage better.
After 1 month, her routine was really good, she was self caring, and no longer feeling anxious or depressed.
More support for your health
Your workplace health and safety should be managed by your work – but it takes ownership of your space and body to truly create a positive work from home experience. It doesn’t just happen automatically!
If you struggle with mood swings, headaches, fatigue, or any signs of hormonal imbalance, work with a practitioner to guide you back to a healthier mind and body. The results will naturally improve mood, motivation, drive and ambition – thanks to the boost of serotonin and dopamine!
Using corrective nutritional therapies, herbal medicine, diet strategy, and mentoring, we can help you live a naturally happier and healthier life!
Book a call to find out how we can support you – click HERE