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Working from Home and Mental Health – Get moving and feel good?
Many of us are now working from home, which means we are probably spending the majority of our time sat at our desks staring at a computer screen. Then, once the working day comes to an end, do you find yourself spending your evening staring at the TV screen? Not only is this increase in sedentary behaviour bad for our physical health, it is also likely to be having a negative impact on our mental health.
During this winter period, the days are short and the weather is horrible, all of which contribute to a decrease in motivation to stay active on a regular basis. However, keeping active during these challenging times is more important than ever, for both our physical and mental wellbeing.
So now is the perfect time to get out of any bad habits you may have picked up during previous lockdowns, and adapt how you go about your working day. The changes you make don’t have to be big; even small changes can hugely benefit how we feel!
Many people try to fit in as much as possible during the day, and often end up sitting through back to back meetings. Reviewing your schedule and arranging meetings with breaks in between allows you to get up and stretch your legs, which helps to boost your mood. I try to take a 5-10-minute break every hour if possible so that I can walk around the house and make a cup of tea.
Another way to keep active during your working day is to make the most out of your lunch break; it may be your only chance to get some fresh air during daylight hours in the winter months. I like to use this time to walk my dogs, though of course you don’t need to have a dog to go for a walk!
Finally, set a specific time in your diary to do some activity; you are more likely to stick to it if it is diarised. For example, signing up to a live exercise class one early morning a week and adding this in your diary will increase the chance of you taking part. You will start to see increased productivity at work that day, and your confidence will grow over time. I have added an early-morning run to my schedule twice a week, which has helped me feel more awake and allowed me to be much more productive before lunch.
I have mentioned just a few examples of changes that I have made while I have been working from home but there are countless other things that you can do increase your activity levels this winter. Get creative and come up with your own ideas, so you can see the benefits of physical activity on your mental wellbeing for yourself!
If you think your organisation would benefit from a short webinar highlighting the benefits on mental wellbeing through physical activity, then please click here for more details of how we can support you.
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