Work-at-Home Stress: 5 Ways to Help Reduce Stress & Anxiety While Working From Home by 30Seconds Mom
Finding moments to be mindful and serene during stressful periods of time can be hard to come by. Your mind continually racing on what is going on and what the future will be like can directly affect your work. Dr. Brad Lichtenstein, core faculty member and naturopathic doctor at Bastyr University, gives insight with five steps to take in being more mindful and reducing anxiety when working from home:
- Set our intention. This requires us to pause and step out of our habitual, automatic response pattern, to consciously and honestly ask ourselves, “How do I want to experience/feel in this moment?”
- Pause. This becomes challenging in our go, go, go culture. The nervous system was not designed for constant mobilization, no matter what any employer, teacher or coach says. We grow, develop and heal through periods of rest and renewal. Throughout the day, each of us needs to schedule pause periods. It can be as simple as setting your alarm to remind you to take these necessary pauses.
- Change posture/move. Based on current studies, many practitioners have become fond of saying that sitting is the new smoking. We have to move. We were not designed to sit and be stationary for very long. Furthermore, research on embodied emotions suggests that our moods might have more to do with the posture we inhabit throughout the day than we would like to think. Somatic practitioners suggest that if you want to feel differently, then you must move differently.
- Breathe. The first three suggestions are the foundation before you can breathe. Pause and move your body, THEN take five slow, diaphragmatic breaths, in and out through the nose, for a count of five to six seconds in, and five to six seconds out. Whether seated or standing, place your hands over your belly button or slightly lower. Learning to slow down the breath, strengthens our parasympathetic system, making us able to focus and be more present.
- Gratitude. It is an evolutionarily adaptive response to always be looking for the problem. Even when a lot of things are going well, our mind is scanning the environment to make sure we are safe. If there is a problem, we want to make sure we address it. However, practicing gratitude can also strengthen our parasympathetic system.
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