Covid pandemic is something which was unimaginable for almost everyone. The pandemic has changed a lot of things and set a new normal for all of us. Initially what seemed to be temporary lockdown and work from home, has definitely increased its time period increasing the stress as people are bound to work from home. Work-life balance generally means to balance family life, home responsibilities, mental health, exercise with career. People are struggling with many things which were quite simple to manage earlier and one of those things is work-life balance. Workplaces are going fully and partially remote, kids are home, businesses are closed and social gatherings are restricted. Pandemic has increased responsibilities for everyone, especially adults. Adults not only have to manage their kids, parents and job but also have to take extra precautions for COVID in order to keep their families safe and sound. Everyone is facing the difficulty of managing a family and working together. Kitchen tables have turned into office tables. People rush to take deliveries, manage kids and to eat while being in a zoom call. Work-life balance has never been more challenging as people do not know when things will return to normal. People are tasked with redefining balance between work and life. Most of the people are dealing not only with the above mentioned challenges but also illness and loss of friends or family to the lethal virus. Mental issues have risen dramatically in this period of pandemic. People are going through rapid and drastic changes which are anxiety inducing and stressful. Mental health plays a major role in maintaining the work life balance. So, in order to balance work with life, it is important to manage mental health.
Ways to manage and improve work-life balance:
- While it’s fine to go out for a run or bike ride following the social distancing in public places, it is better to find ways to workout at home. Investing in yoga mats for home workouts can be a good option. People can also search for cardio workout videos on you tube which can be easily done at home. Doing exercise will not only keep a person healthy but will also refresh the mind.
- It is very important to set boundaries at home. Making a proper working space is important. Telling family members about your office timings/class timings and requesting them to maintain silence while you work. It is also important to have a proper routine. Try communicating about your workloads to your colleagues or manager and try finding a solution together.
- We all are already going through physical isolation. We are not able to meet family or friends or both, so it is important to avoid emotional isolation. Regularly connecting with family and friends can help people balance themselves emotionally. Planning regular Zoom happy hours with friends and colleagues can help people cope up with the daily stress.
- Taking proper rest. Keeping phones and laptops away while having rest. Taking frequent breaks while working or studying.
- Laughing is a therapy in itself. Watching comedy movies or web series can help in coping up with daily workload and stress. Playing with children can also help in maintaining sanity.
- Maintaining mental health is important. Remember that it is normal to feel stressed, anxious, overwhelmed or depressed. Acknowledging mental health is essential. Consider taking mental health support from professionals whenever needed. It is essential to talk about difficulties and stress in family instead of venting out anger or frustration on them.
OVERCOMING GAMING ADDICTION
Gaming addiction can be described as impaired control over gaming, priority is given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other activities and interests. Pandemic has brought about the perfect storm for addiction. The lockdown, online classes or work from home etc. paved the way for addiction, isolation, secrecy and the desire for escapism. The physical isolation from friends and family has just increased the feeling of loneliness and addiction thrives better in loneliness and secrecy. The daily stress of work, home, and health has increased so much that people have to look for escapisms and playing online games is one of them. This excessive screen timings can have many health hazards on children and especially adolescents. In 2019 WHO categorized video game addiction as a mental health disorder. The social isolation which is a result of social distancing, financial and economic worries, difficulties with employment and other stressors can cause people to initiate online gaming/gambling. The social isolation created by pandemic is somehow narrowed by technology. These days people are not required to be in a single room to play games, they can play with each other even being in different states and this improvement in technology is increasing the addiction. It is definitely very hard to keep people away from these addictions. These addictions are like compulsive overeating. It is important to keep youngsters away from such addictions so it is important for parents or primary caregivers to understand the health risks, understand warning signs and to seek professional help whenever needed.
Health risks of excessive gaming:
- It replaces healthy behaviors. People indulge in excessive gaming, do not give time to physical activity which keeps them healthy, they do not take proper sleep, they skip meals which can have an adverse effect on their health.
- Excessive gaming also leads to day-night reversal, disturbing the routine.
- Increase in screen time can cause frequent headaches, malnutrition and sometimes neck pain.
- It encourages unhealthy behaviors like gambling.
Ways to overcome gaming addiction:
- Acknowledge your addiction and take it seriously.
- Set a limit for yourself, start decreasing screen time gradually.
- Try reconnecting with people and old friends.
- Give ample time to your hobbies or learn something new.
- Make self-care your priority. Make a routine and strictly follow that.
- Meditation can help in calming the mind and in overcoming the addiction.
- Keeping yourself away from games can be difficult, so ask your elders or friends to keep a check on you.
- Keeping a check on personal life and fulfilling the demands of the personal life.
- Connecting with professionals, either psychiatrist or psychologist, who is trained to identify DSM-5 criteria for diagnosis.
Intern at Wings Within