How to beat W.F.H lethargy after over a year of working from home…

The extended period of working remotely has been a unique journey, filled with the trials of lockdowns and the adjustment to an altered way of life. It has stretched our mental and physical capabilities, often to the point of exhaustion. Interestingly, even without the daily commute, rushing between meetings, or engaging in social activities on weekends, many of us find ourselves more drained than ever.

This ongoing work-from-home situation has resulted in a widespread feeling of chronic tiredness, leading to decreased productivity, issues with self-esteem, and disturbed sleep patterns. On this week's edition of the Sleep Lab, we tackle this fatigue head-on, providing tips for those who find themselves reliant on caffeine just to make it through the afternoon.

Make time to move:

The exhaustive nature of psychological stress, especially prevalent during the pandemic, often surpasses physical fatigue by keeping the body in an elevated 'fight or flight' mode. This condition might temporarily enhance alertness due to adrenaline, but over time, it can lead to profound tiredness. Despite low energy levels, incorporating time for physical activity can effectively counteract this state. Engaging in just 30 minutes of light exercise daily, such as walking or participating in restorative yoga, can boost energy levels and encourage endorphin production.

Taking advantage of the work-from-home scenario, 'micro workouts' have gained popularity as a method to break the monotony of prolonged sitting. Setting hourly reminders for 5-10 minutes of physical movement or stretching, even if it's just a walk to the kitchen, has proven beneficial in regulating energy levels throughout the day, leveraging the flexibility that remote work affords.

Eat well:

Falling energy levels often tempt us to grab the nearest snack, typically something quick and satisfying like crisps or chocolate. Yet, the key to longer-lasting energy lies in consuming nutrient-dense foods. Dark leafy vegetables, berries, fish caught using sustainable methods, and sources of healthy fats should be staples in your diet, emulating the nutrient-rich Mediterranean diet known for its health and longevity benefits. During periods of continuous stress, your body needs extra support from your diet to sustain its stress response without becoming exhausted. Also, choosing slow-releasing carbohydrates can help maintain steady energy levels throughout the day. Foods like pulses, quinoa, and brown whole wheat products are ideal choices. Evaluating and adjusting what you eat could be a crucial step if you find yourself perpetually tired.

Sleep better:

The key to maintaining stable energy levels, especially during these times, is not only securing enough sleep but also ensuring that sleep is of high quality. This means practicing excellent sleep hygiene and maintaining a steady routine for sleeping and waking up. A simple yet effective habit is to limit caffeine intake after noon, which supports your body's natural sleep-wake cycle. Minimizing exposure to blue light before bedtime and developing a comprehensive bedtime routine are also critical for deep, restorative sleep. If pre-sleep anxiety or overactive thoughts are an issue, setting aside time to relax and mentally decompress is vital.

Our mission at DROWSY revolves around promoting a lifestyle centered around sleep and extensive self-care. We are keen to learn about your preferred methods for achieving the perfect sleep routine. Feel free to share your advice in the comments or engage with us on our Instagram for further discussion on optimizing sleep.

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