It was almost a year ago that the majority of us collectively experienced a sudden pivot to working from home. With it, there were fumbles – like Zoom meetings and the classic line of “Uh, you’re on mute.” But there were also benefits to WFH, including the fact we only had to bother dressing professionally from the waist up. Working from bed or the couch didn’t suck either.
But now, 10 months and various additional lockdowns later… we’re over it. We’re stressed, anxious, a bit depressed. We’re working out from home, working from home, studying from home, and getting groceries delivered straight to our door. Some days, I find I haven’t left the house through pure coincidence – there’s no need to.
Unsurprisingly, this way of living isn’t helping our brains. A recent survey conducted by The Office Group in the UK found employee burnout is now most likely to occur at the early age of 32. In fact, 42% of workers surveyed found they’re unable to separate work and personal life.
UK insurer Vitality found that 58% of people are missing certain aspects of their commute to and from work. Why? Because it gave them the opportunity to separate home and work.
You might be thinking, “But what about all that extra time I now have in the morning and at night?” Well, turns out not many of us are doing anything with it – 69% admitted to as much. In fact, almost four out of 10 people admitted they just spend more time in bed (we hear that).
So how can we combat this? Well… it’s time to embrace what Bustle calls a ‘fake commute’.
Hear us out. You don’t have to hop on a bus, ferry, train, or tram and go to your work and then back again (and if you did, we’d suggest a mask). It’s as simple as taking that time and going for a walk. Merely 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at night is all that’s needed.
Just 30 minutes of walking a day gives you a host of health benefits, including increasing cardiovascular fitness, strengthened bones, and a boost in muscle power and endurance. Oh, and it can reduce your risk of developing conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
Getting out into the sun also helps you out health-wise; just make sure you slap on some sunscreen. Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of serotonin – you know, that old mood-boosting hormone. If you get five to 15 minutes of sunlight on your arms, hands, and face two or three times a week, you’ll enjoy the benefits of vitamin-D, which includes increased bone health.
As for how to fake it right? Pop your headphones in, a podcast, audiobook, or playlist full of bangers on, and go for a brisk walk. Aim to pass some greenery if possible, cause it’s now proven that a walk in the park decreases stress. If you feel like treating yourself, head down to your local coffee shop for a boost of caffeine or a delicious breakfast treat. Take that time to centre yourself, and separate your personal life from your work life.