Working from home: tips from Ayurveda
Ayurveda is the Indian ‘science of well-being’ and offers us the concept of doshas or your mind body type. We are each made up of all three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) in different proportions, so your dosha is unique to you, rather like your fingerprint.
Vata types are like an electric current, quick, full of energy, and bursting with inspiration, enthusiasm and ideas.
Your flexibility and general enthusiasm are a big positive at the moment. It’s likely you are putting these qualities to good use in adapting to working from home. However, you’re also likely to be very sociable so you may be missing face to face contact, such as the chat around the tea station.
The flip side of your creative energy is that your thoughts may become a little scattered and focusing on one task may be tricky. Although you are full of energy most of the time, you may overdo things and ‘crash’ for a few days to recharge your batteries.
Top tips for Vata types working from home:
• If possible, try to find a quiet spot to work. You can easily get distracted and sucked into something else - headphones or ear plugs might help.
• Get regular feedback from your team mates to check you are working to a realistic pace.
• Make sure you schedule regular mini-breaks, as it’s vital to ensure you look after your energy levels at a time when work life boundaries have become blurred and you are more prone to feeling ‘wired and tired’.
• Make the most of digital opportunities to connect wherever possible. You are naturally good at connecting people, so you might like to take on this role in your team, which will help others too.
• You tend to be quite a fast talker, with a lot to say. Remember, others may have difficulty keeping up with you in screen meetings. Be as brief as you can, to help conserve your energy and so others can get a word in too.
• Coffee, black tea and fizzy drinks can all be aggravating for you. Drink plenty of warm water and spicy, relaxing herbal teas, such as ginger, chamomile or caffeine free chai. Pukka’s Relax blend was formulated with Vata dosha in mind, as it contains herbs to help calm nervous anxiety.
Pitta types are confident, focused and determined. They are life's great organisers who thrive on managing projects and people and know how to get things done (on time!)
You’re likely to be passionate, competitive, strategic, organized and a quick problem solver. You can usually cope with a heavy workload as you’re very organised. You tend to thrive on seeking out new challenges and ways to improve at work.
However, there may be a tendency for you to be direct, sharp and perhaps even ‘hot under the collar’. Once you’ve formulated a plan, you just want to get things done and don’t like things to get in your way. You may also find it hard to delegate, wanting to shoulder the burden. As a result, you can ‘burn out’ and lose your sense of balance.
Top tips for Pitta types working from home:
• These are challenging times, especially if you are juggling working from home with family. Embrace the fact that you can’t be perfect all the time, especially at the moment. Your working environment might also not be up to your usual standards but take a deep breath if an on-line meeting gets interrupted and go with the flow…
• When working in isolation at home, it’s key to keep asking others for input. More than ever, now is the time to remain open to other people’s strategies and ideas.
• You tend to appreciate direct feedback and don’t like it when people beat around the bush. However, screen meetings can be harder than face to face meetings. When asked for your feedback, take a moment to pause and see the good, then try to balance words of encouragement with your spot-on critique.
• Make sure you schedule a lunch break as you’re likely to have a strong appetite and will get ‘hangry’ if you’re in a Zoom call when your tummy starts rumbling…
• Minimise coffee, which is too heating for you. Instead, drink cool drinks and minty, refreshing herbal teas. Pukka’s Mint Refresh blend was formulated with Pitta dosha in mind to calm and soothe digestion.
Kapha types are strong in the face of adversity, resilient, loyal, calm and consistent.
If this is your main dosha you are likely to offer a steady source of strength, support and resilience in any team. You tend to be observant and thoughtful as well as reliable.
However, you tend not to like change and may struggle with the amount of change in working practices over the last few weeks. Without the right stimulating environment, you may also be prone to lethargy and feeling ‘stuck’.
Top tips for Kapha types working from home:
• Sitting at home all day without a commute to work might leave you feeling sluggish. Start each day with a brisk walk or bout of vigorous exercise to get things moving. Some movement after lunch will also be helpful to avoid an energy slump after lunch. Keeping your workspace tidy will also help keep energy flowing.
• Realise where your strengths are but be careful not to over-commit at a time when other people may be struggling and keen to off-load some work onto your plate.
• You tend to need some time and space to come up with ideas and be heard. When in group digital calls, make sure there are ways to ensure you have the time you need to come up with your valid contributions, such as asking for an agenda and pre-read to be shared beforehand.
• Don’t be afraid to ask for input if you are stuck with a project and missing the motivation of having your teammates around you.
• Enjoy hot, spicy warming drinks with herbs such as ginger, cinnamon and fennel, as well as green and black tea to gently stimulate. Pukka’s Revitalise tea is great as it was created with Kapha in mind and contains many of these herbs to keep things moving.
If you’d like to understand yourself a little better, work more effectively from home and adjust better to isolation, why not take our dosha quiz?