You may find it difficult to take breaks if you’re working from home after months or years in an office. However, don’t be fooled into believing that working constantly is the greatest way to maintain your physical and mental wellness. Breaks may seem inconvenient while you’re in the middle of a work project, but here are a few reasons why they’re so beneficial:
You’ll be more concentrated when you return from your work break. Working too long without taking a break might cause you to lose focus, according to Stephen Clark, a physical therapist and clinic director at Walmart Health in Newnan, Georgia.
You’ll be more productive after a break because you’ll be more concentrated, Clark says. Anita Williams Woolley, associate professor of organisational behaviour and theory at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business in Pittsburgh, thinks that taking a break and doing something else helps you handle issues better. Mental burnout is less likely if you take regular breaks. Why Don’t People Take WFH Breaks?
Working from home and taking a break is not as simple as it may appear?
“It can be difficult to decide exactly what a break looks like while working from home,” says Dr. Christine M. Crawford, assistant medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and a practising psychiatrist in Boston. “At work, breaks may be as simple as going to the water cooler or stepping out of your cubicle to talk with a co-worker.”
These allow you to take a break from what you’re doing and return to it more focused. When you work from home, such opportunities aren’t always available. Many people who work from home find it difficult to take breaks for fear of becoming unproductive. They may also be concerned that if they are unavailable, they may be in trouble with their bosses.
Other factors contribute to the difficulty of WFH breaks:
You’re concerned about falling behind?
Because more meetings are held online, Williams Woolley claims that they are more closely scheduled. This implies that, unlike in an office, there is little to no downtime for walking to and from meeting rooms.
It’s difficult to create a regular routine that incorporates breaks?
If you have children, you may try to work while spending time with them. As a result, you find yourself pulled in two directions, unable to devote adequate attention to either your career or your children.
Another issue with working from home is that your day may appear to go on forever, according to Crawford. You begin your day with domestic chores or other activities before reporting to work late. You wind up working late into the evening, which might disrupt your sleep and make it difficult to unplug from work.
What’s the ultimate result?
Crawford has noticed an increase in anxiety and melancholy in her patients who are overly attached to their jobs. “They don’t have enough time to do what they need to do, but they believe they have,” she says. “At the same time, they believe they do,” she continues, “and they feel terrible that they aren’t managing their time efficiently.”
When Working from Home, Take the Best Breaks?
There are several effective strategies to refresh your mind and body when working from home – or even if you’re working in an office or other location. The following are the most beneficial forms of breaks:
Get some exercise?
If your job requires you to sit a lot, it’s critical that you get up and walk around during your breaks. Heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, to mention a few severe health concerns, are all linked to too much sitting time. Exercise nibbles, as Clark refers to them, are a simple way to begin moving. These are one-minute bursts of intense exercise spread throughout the day. He argues that these workouts are a simple approach to reduce the negative consequences of sedentary behaviour on your health.
Here are a few ideas to start you moving:
• Jumping jacks are a type of exercise that involves jumping from one position to another.
• Walking at a fast pace.
Of course, if you have the opportunity to move for more than a minute, you should take advantage of it. A short stroll outside, for example, gets your circulation beating while also providing fresh air, natural sunlight, and the opportunity to focus your gaze on something other than a screen, according to Williams Woolley.
Many occupations need you to stay in the same position for an extended length of time. If you work in an office, this usually entails hunching over and tapping away on a computer. According to Clark, prolonged poor and repeated postures can cause aches, pains, and discomfort. Stretching is a terrific method to relax in addition to engaging in heart-pumping physical activities.
Stretching can aid in the correction of postures that your body has been compelled to retain for an extended period of time. Here are several stretches recommended by Clark and Erin Palinski-Wade, a licenced dietitian in Sparta, New Jersey, and author of “2 Day Diabetes Diet.” For 30 to 60 seconds, hold your stretches.
Stretch your lunges while standing
Place one leg in front of your torso and stand upright. To open your hip flexors, bend your front leg while maintaining the heel of your rear foot on the ground.
Extend your back
Place your hands behind your head while you’re seated. At the same time, slowly arch your head, neck, and upper back by pressing your elbows back.
Hip opener when seated?
In a chair, sit tall. Raise your left foot and place it on top of your right knee. Lean forward slowly and hold the stretch. Rep on the other side. W-external rotation of the shoulder from a standing position. You’ll need a resistance band for this one. Begin by standing with your arms by your sides and holding the resistance band in your arms. Make a “W” with your arms by bending your elbows up and slightly out. Hold for a moment before returning to your previous posture.
This isn’t an excuse to eat as much as you want of cookies and chips. Instead, go for a nutritious, natural pick-me-up as a work-from-home snack. Palinski-Wade like dried prunes with no additional sugar since they are high in fibre.
This will help you control your appetite and maintain a stable blood sugar level. They also satisfies a sweet tooth. She recommends air-popped popcorn with sliced prunes and almonds as a crispy snack.
Drink plenty of water
You’re probably not paying attention to internal indicators that suggest you’re thirsty if you’re focused on your task. If you don’t drink enough water, you may get dehydrated, which can cause weariness and difficulty concentrating, according to Crawford. Be the most of your break time by drinking plenty of water, and make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day. If you don’t like plain water, add lemon slices, cucumbers, or other fruits or vegetables to make it more interesting.
Have some fun on the internet, but there’s a catch
Although specialists strongly recommend that you take pauses to walk, you may still take some time to buy online, watch humorous videos on social media, or read interesting articles. In fact, Crawford claims that they might offer you delight and remind you of the lighter side of life. What’s the catch? Limit how much time you spend on these activities since it’s easy to be caught in for too long. Listen to a podcast or music while taking a break if you want some device connection without the screen time.
When working from home, how long should breaks be?
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the question of how long and how often you should take a break. Here are a few approaches of dealing with the issue of break timing:
Every 25 minutes, take a five-minute rest. This is done in accordance with the Pomodoro Technique. Take a 30-minute rest after around three hours (this may end up being your lunchtime).
Take 10-minute breaks at least once a day.
This allows you to take a break from your work for a reasonable period of time. Sitting’s harmful effects can be mitigated by taking a mobility break of at least three minutes every 30 minutes or six minutes every hour. Include those breaks in your calendar once you’ve decided how much break time is appropriate for you.
Make a note on your calendar to remind you to take your breaks. “They don’t happen until you schedule them in,” Palinski-Wade explains. Discuss your scheduled breaks with your management if necessary. Try to take your break away from your work area; plan ahead of time where you’ll go and what you’ll do during your break.
These WFH Breaks Aren’t As Good As They Used to be some methods of taking breaks are less beneficial to your mental and physical well-being:
Getting your email in order. “That isn’t a pause. Crawford responds, “That’s work.”
Wade advises against watching TV if you fear you’ll be enticed into binge-viewing or consuming meals high in simple carbohydrates or excess fats. Cleaning the house, however this one might be different for everyone, according to Crawford.
Doing laundry or unloading the dishwasher might make some individuals feel like they’re merely working harder. If that’s the case, they aren’t the best break activities for you. If you find housework soothing, by all means, continue doing it throughout your vacation.