Stress While Working From Home?
While many people regard working from home as an ideal goal to achieve work-life balance, little did they know they are experiencing higher levels of stress. An article released on August 19, 2020 in The Singapore Straits Time reported that those who work from home feel more stress than the COVID-19 front liners.
A mother managing her children’s home-based learning program and keeping the younger ones occupied while attempting to keep up with the same level of work productivity proves to be a challenge. Women, in general, are the primary caregiver in the family. Thus, they are more likely to report feeling stressed at work and at home, as compared to men. A survey conducted by the National University Health Systems (NUHS) Mind Science Centre, found that 61% of those working from home were reported to be more stressful compared to 53% on the front lines (Joyce Teo 2020).
Stress Leads To Health Problems
Stressful times and events can cause temporary insomnia and a long-lasting stress can lead to chronic insomnia. Lack of good quality sleep can affect the immune system. Studies have shown that people who do not get quality sleep or sufficient sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus. Lack of sleep also can affect how fast a person can recover if he/she does get sick.
Stress can produce a wide range of distressing symptoms. Tension or stress can cause muscle aches and joint pain. Stress can cause the muscle to tense up, which can lead to pain and stiffness. Constant stress and worries can prevent the immune system from working properly. This leads to a decreased resistance to infection and diseases. Headaches and migraines are also often caused by tension, particularly in the neck and shoulders. Tension can also upset the balance of hormones in the body. Therefore, some women notice an increase in migraine and menstrual pain when they are constantly stressed (Wong et al 2004).
Research found that magnesium may help with the brain functions that reduce stress and anxiety. Chronic physical or mental stress depletes the body of magnesium. On a different note, low magnesium levels have been associated with intensified stress level, thus, creating a vicious cycle. Magnesium plays an important role in regulating the body’s response to stress. It modulates the activity of the body’s stress-response (Pickering et al 2020). Studies have demonstrated that increasing magnesium intake may ease stress. Magnesium also interacts with GABA, a neurotransmitter that reduces the activity of neurons in the brain, quieting and calming the nervous system and encouraging sleep. Magnesium has an impact on melatonin, the hormone that influences the
body’s sleep-wake cycle and relaxes the muscle to induce deeper sleep. Studies also suggested that magnesium can improve the total sleep time and quality while shortening the time it takes to fall asleep (Moykkynen et al 2021).
If the body is deficient of magnesium, it can cause spasms, tightness and tension in the skeletal muscles and joints. Inside the body, calcium and magnesium are competing in binding with the same proteins within the muscles. A build-up of calcium causes the muscle to over-contract, leading to cramps (Augustine et al, 1987). Magnesium regulates these contractions and allows the muscle to relax. Muscle cramps are often associated with magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is needed to regulate the contraction (RE et al 2016). A lack of magnesium in the body means the muscles are more prone to contractions and inflammation.. This is the cause of severe cramps that women may experience during menstruation.
Staying Chill With The Natural Chill Pill
Building A Stress-Free Zone While Working At Home
While working from home we may have sufficient flexibility to do our job. However, if the job is not planned accordingly, it can turn into a missed opportunity. We may lose productivity due to the many distractions at home. These are some tips that we can adopt to help us get through when we work from home:
1. Dress up for work
2. Find a dedicated home-office space
3. Work within the time limit
4. Take care of your diet
5. Exercise regularly
6. Interact with your co-workers or colleagues
MAGNESIUM – NATURE’S CHILL PILL
Magnesium, a natural ‘chill-pill’ is the natural solution to resolve tension problems because it helps the muscles to relax and calms the nerves. The human body is not able to produce magnesium. The magnesium requirement can be met through food sources and dietary supplement. Tension and magnesium are closely related because when the body is tensed, it leads to depletion of magnesium and when the body is low in magnesium, it is more prone to tension and stress.
1. Joyce Teo, The Straits Times, Singapore. More working from home feel stressed than those on COVID-19 front line. August 19, 2020.
2. Wong et al. Occup Environ Med 2004;61:1021-6
3. Pickering et al. Magnesium status and stress: The vicious cycle concept revisited. Nutrients; 11 Nov 2020, 12, 3672; doi:10.3390/nu 1212367
4. Mokkynen et al. Magnesium potentiation of the function of native and recombinant GABA (A) receptors. Neuroreport 2021 Jul 20; 12(10): 2175-9. doi:10.1097/00001756-200107200-00026
5. Augustine et al. . Annu Rev Neurosci- 1987. 10:633-93. doi:10.1146/annurev.ne10.030187.003221
6. RE et al. Nocturnal leg cramps. AM FAM Physician. 2012;86:3501\u201319