Are we a nation of relaxaphobes in our own homes?

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  • In the age of information overload Ikea, like Frankie, says RELAX and your living room is the place to do it...

    According to new research by Ikea, the work-life balance in the UK is significantly shifting and it’s affecting our mental well-being.

    As our working habits adapt to modern times and we are able to connect with the office more through technology at home, apparently we are always switched on mentally and available. The study by Ikea shows that 75 per cent of Brits feel under pressure to respond to work emails which is having a negative effect and leads to feeling under pressure to respond outside of work hours, increasing anxiety levels*

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    Lady on laptop

    We are also putting work before family, as the survey by Ikea has found that almost three-quarters of Brits are checking their emails first thing in the morning and last thing at night, when normally we would be communicating and catching up with our loved ones at home.

    And all this work, work, work is having a negative impact on our health and well-being, with Brits being unable to relax fully. In fact, research shows that Brits spend on average 20 minutes a day totally relaxing at home, that’s only 1.5% of our day.

    So, furnishing retailer Ikea, as partnered with Graham Allcott, author of ‘How to be a productivity ninja’, to provide the nation with tips on how to relax in the home and aide productivity.

    Graham Allcott’s relaxation tips in the home:


    Ikea shelves

    Image credit: Ikea

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    Screen free times

    Smart phone

    The light we absorb through the screens on our computers and phones can inhibit our ability to wind down and relax. Try to schedule some time away from screens as part of your relaxation routine during the day to give your eyes something different to focus on. We’d recommend putting your phone away on charge in a separate room whilst you take the time to chill out.

    Zone your room

    Ikea zoned living room

    Image credit: Ikea

    Utilise you living room by creating different zones for relaxation activities. Be it pottering, reading in a high back chair, playing games or exercising, creating different relaxation zones helps to keep things in order and ensures that when you are using the space, you are using it to relax properly.

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    Meditating, even for just a few minutes a day, is a great way to reduce stress and improve your focus. It’s hard to start with, but there are apps out there that make it easy. It’s something that can be done in a peaceful environment created in your home at the end of your day by moving furniture to create an open space, or when you’re on the move.

    Get serious about your rest

    Ikea Hampton sofa

    Image Credit: Ikea

    Sleep and rest shouldn’t be things to feel guilty about – they’re vital aspects of productivity. Many of us neglect the time we need to take to relax, spending only 1.5% of our day relaxing (about 20 minutes), but we need to realise its importance for brain function, decision-making and our ability to be present and productive. Develop a winding-down ritual for the end of your day. This can include, listening to music whilst spread out on the sofa, journaling, crafting, yoga or drinking herbal tea in low lighting whilst listening to music to help the body prepare for good rest.

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    *Statistic taken from UK National Work-Stress Network 2016



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