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Mental Health: The Amount of Work You Need to Feel Content Is Extremely Low

The Right Amount Of Work

The World Health Organization(WHO) recently recognized the symptoms of workplace burnout, with too much work wreaking havoc on our mental health, all across the world.

Surprisingly, not working too has similar mental health effects, and there is a middle ground, an effective dose of work that promotes well being and increases life satisfaction.

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Mental Health: The Amount of Work You Need to Feel Content Is Extremely Low

Mental Health: The Amount of Work You Need to Feel Content Is Extremely Low

https://www.inverse.com/article/56810-work-life-balance-fulfillment

inverse.com

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Key Ideas

The Right Amount Of Work

The World Health Organization(WHO) recently recognized the symptoms of workplace burnout, with too much work wreaking havoc on our mental health, all across the world.

Surprisingly, not working too has similar mental health effects, and there is a middle ground, an effective dose of work that promotes well being and increases life satisfaction.

Eight Hours A Week

An extensive study shows that just eight hours a week is enough for the average worker to generate significant mental health and well-being benefits.


Working between one to eight hours per week resulted in decreased risk of mental health issues, especially among people recently unemployed.


Working has some intangible benefits, called psychological vitamins, like social contact, structured routine, shared goals, enforced activity, variety and a sense of identity. Spending more time at work does not lead to an increase in the benefits.

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  • Seeking practical, credible information at specific times of the day.

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Just 30 minutes of activity...
... on 5 days each week (going to the gym, cycling to work, or going for a lunchtime walk) could prevent 1 in 12 deaths globally.

Injecting physical activity into your working day could reduce some of the health risks that are elevated by being sedentary.

Cycle or walk to work
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  • Both cycling and walking to work have also been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
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Psychological Effects of Working from Home
  • Loneliness and isolation. And loneliness is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and somatic symptoms like random pain.
  • Anxiety and pressure. The bounda...
Symptoms of Depression
  • Angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration, even with unimportant matters.
  • Loss of interest or happiness in activities such as sex or hobbies.
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia and sleeping too much.
  • Tiredness and lack of energy for even the smallest activities.
  • Increased cravings for food.
  • Anxiety, agitation, and restlessness.
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
  • Avoiding people.
Take Care of Your Mental Health

...while working from home:

  • Create a schedule and stick to it. Scheduling your tasks (and breaks) will help you to mentally prepare for the day.
  • Have a dedicated comfortable workspace, with a door that closes, preferably.
  • Fight the urge to stay sedentary and schedule active time to get your heart pumping.
  • Foster social connections (on the phone or via the internet, if physical contact is not possible).
  • Learn to say no. Know your limitations, set boundaries based on your schedule and workload, and don’t extend yourself beyond them.
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Trends To Consider

When we consider the future of work, there are two trends we should keep a note of. They are:

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Happy employees are compulsory for a growing business.

A study on organizational success revealed that employees who feel happy in the workplace are 65% more energetic than employees who don’t. They are two times more productive and are more likely to sustain their jobs over a long period of time.

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The sugar crash

When you eat too much sugar, your blood sugar levels peak and drop. This causes you to experience irritability, mood swings, brain fog, and fatigue. You may find yourself feeling anxious or depressed. Carb-laden foods create the same response.

Chronically high blood sugar levels are linked to inflammation in the brain, which may be a cause of depression.

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Mental Health At The Workplace

Mental disorders that are unchecked and untreated in employees(and their family) often lead to reduced productivity, increase in workplace accidents, with a majority of the employees suffering from decreased concentration at work.

Treating mental health is not a big investment and employers can be the facilitators to reverse the grim scenario.

Employer Actions To Treat Mental Illness
  1. Becoming aware of the workplace environment and the policies that might adversely impact the employees.
  2. Learn from leaders and engage in employee wellbeing.
  3. Follow other companies who have taken necessary steps to curb mental health issues at the workplace.
  4. Understand the unique needs and opportunities of your workforce to develop tailored policies.
  5. Take practical steps like initiating training programs and facilitating the various workplace wellbeing strategies.
  6. Many workers have a stigma attached to seeking help for mental health problems and need to be educated about the process while making it frictionless.
  7. Remember that mental health is linked to everything, including physical and economic health.
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Remote Working

Remote working is not all glamorous as portrayed in social media, and many remote workers, while being free to roam around, are lonely.

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Nomads
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  • Many nomads have false assumptions about an office activity or event, and not being able to see your coworkers in person every day, leads to being ‘out of touch’.
  • Constant working in isolation leads to irregular sleep patterns, mood swings and eating disorders due to a lack of routine and structure in a day.
A Healthy Balance

Remote working may have tremendous advantages but research suggests that human beings aren’t meant to work in isolation. Working socially with co-workers who are good friends leads to higher engagement and satisfaction in one’s job.

For remote working to be successful, it needs to be tailored to suit one’s particular needs and personality, finding a good fit, while taking care of one’s mental well-being.

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