Productivity: Take a Break and Soak up the Sun

September 16, 2020

Covid-19 has forced many Victorians to close their doors. This means a retreat into their homes and the emergence of a ‘halfway’ setup for a home office. If you are like me, distinguishing the difference between being at work and being at home is a very blurred line. Admittedly, it gets worse the longer we are expected to remain in lock-down. As many distractions pop up throughout the working day, it can be hard to stay on track with what it is you need to complete. I have found this to be wholeheartedly true as I battle my German Shephard for bits of vital parchment that may have fallen from the table, or better still, while on a Zoom call with a client.


As we learn to love and adapt to these distractions, we also start to learn how we can re-focus our concentration throughout the day. We might have our own ways of re-focusing, it could be a cup of coffee, a stretch or a quick walk around the block. But there is one massive element in working from home that cannot be understated for our overall well-being while being in lock-down. The Sun! I will be the first to admit that when the sun is shining and I am stuck inside, I am overcome with an enormous sense of guilt. However, the Sun is vital to the happiness of us as humans and in turn, a happier self makes for a more productive and inspired individual! 


There are tasks to complete, your workload is massive and you think to yourself ‘if only I could be out in the sun for a little while’. The time spent pondering whether or not you need a break is already time wasted. It is imperative that the right balance of sunlight can have lots of mood-lifting benefits.  Sunlight and darkness trigger the release of hormones in your brain. Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused. At night, darker lighting triggers the brain to make another hormone called melatonin. This hormone is responsible for helping you sleep. Hence why, if you are stuck inside where there isn’t much natural light, you tend to feel sleepier and less productive. Without enough sun exposure, your serotonin levels can dip. Low levels of serotonin are associated with a higher risk of major depression with seasonal pattern (formerly known as seasonal affective disorder or SAD). Its literally called SAD! This is a form of depression triggered by the changing seasons.


So, I implore you.. Get outside! Spend some of your time to step away from your desk and soak up the sun. It will lead to a happier and more productive you!




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