With offices around the world closed while we hunt for a coronavirus vaccine, millions are working from home for the first time. Adjusting to conference calls from your bedroom can be disorienting, but making small changes to your environment can energise and improve your concentration.
Taking a break outside the house, as per regulations and with proper precautions can help counteract stress induced by long hours of racing against deadlines. It also provides a much needed respite from digital devices.
Spending time outside has a positive effect on our overall mental and physical health. Research conducted across 20 countries of the world proved that higher greenspace exposure resulted in a better overall health by reducing the risk of cardiovascular ailments and stress. Another study concluded that participants who walked through a green landscape showed 20% increased cognitive performance (better memory and attention span) than those who took a walk in an urban setting.
‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ is the non-medical term coined by journalist Richard Louv to describe the effects that the deficiency of spending time in nature has on children and adults. He explores this claim with scientific evidence in his books ‘Last Child in the Woods’ and ‘The Nature Principle’.
The current global situation has made us confine ourselves to limited surroundings where we end up spending the better part of the day with our eyes glued to different screens competing against deadlines. A change in scenery provides a much needed respite, especially in times when there is a limitation on the things we can do.
Environmental psychologists suggest that going outside as per restrictions and regulations while taking necessary precautions can help elevate mood, relieve anxiety and maintain resilience in these uncertain and tense times. It also helps in maintaining some sort of physical agility and fitness which people often tend to ignore when indoors for a longer time.
While going outside has its benefits, given the high degree of the COVID 19 virus’s contagiousness one can never be too careful. It is especially risky if one lives with people who fall in the age groups more susceptible to the infection, even more so if proper precautions are not taken.