Work from home burnout: headache is the new normal

Work from home

By Dr. Anil Ramakrishna, Consultant Neurology, Columbia Asia Hospital Hebbal Work from home burnout

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed almost every aspect of our daily life including the way we work.  Most of us have switched to working from home where we have to manage our professional lives as well as our personal. Although Work from home burnout can have its own perks but for many, the change in the work environment and schedule has turned into a bane rather than a boon. Workload has increased along with responsibilities at home and many are experiencing burnout. People are also facing multiple distractions and feel overwhelmed as they have to attend to children and elders at home. Flexible work hours have become too-long work hours as they struggle to get everything done.

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When there is a lack of a proper support system, balancing household and work can be stressful, which in turn can increase stress levels.

Try to identify the stressful situations that trigger a headache and take steps to avoid them. Here are some tips to prevent headaches:

Increased screen time may mean more frequent headaches – work from home can lead to more screen time. Give your eyes a chance to relax by periodically moving your gaze to something farther away every 20 minutes, which can help reduce eye strain.

Improper Posture – With the lack of ergonomically designed office furniture, this can lead to poor posture which can increase the likelihood of a headache. Even if you are managing your posture, taking breaks to stretch is a good idea, especially for your shoulder and neck muscles.

Sleep better – Inadequate sleep can increase the body stress and hence headaches. Try to get atleast 7 hours of sleep every day.

Exercise regularly – Exercise for 30 minutes every day. Being physically active can burn off stress and can act as an energy booster.

Eat healthy – Start your day with a healthy breakfast and don’t skip meals even with a busy work schedule. Remove processed foods from your diet and eat more anti-inflammatory foods like fatty fish, whole grains, and dark, leafy greens.

Use Relaxation Techniques – Any type of relaxation technique can be helpful to prevent headaches due to stress. Some techniques you can try are meditation and deep breathing. Listen to music to relax and calm your mind.

Take a Break – Having too much going on in your life can lead to tension headaches so take break in between work and relax for some time. Even a few minutes will help.

Turn to family and friends for support – speak to someone about what may be making you feel tensed. Spend time with people who are important to you like friends and family.

It is recommended to visit doctor if headache is getting significantly worse or more frequent. Always check with your doctor before taking any supplements.

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