If you’re stuck working from home from day to day, you may find yourself struggling with your mental health.
This is understandable, as often just seeing others can brighten your mood! Very few want to be stuck at home all the time, let alone having to be working from home everyday.
Consider these ways to look after your mental health whilst working remotely.
1. Try to Get into a Routine
It can be a challenging and you may find your attention wandering, feel isolated or even miss the commute to work (if that’s even possible).
- Start the day as you would a normal work day. Get up have breakfast, shower and then get yourself dressed. I know it may feel tempting to just stay in your pyjama’s all day. For some of us a trip to the paper shop may be the kick start we need to start the day.
- Have a space that is dedicated just for work so you can separate yourself from any distractions.
- Take regular breaks and when you have your lunch step away from your work space, get out and get some fresh air.
- Finish work at a reasonable time, just as you would when you are at the office.
- If you are 9-5 in the office then be 9-5 at home. Don’t allow work in lockdown to take over your life.
- If you are unlucky enough to have your kids at home (memories of homeschooling in lockdown 1.0 bring a shiver down my spine), it may be a good idea to let your superiors know. You will want to set up a routine of when you can work and when you can give your children the attention they need.
2. Look After Your Physical Health
Working from home means that you will be moving a lot less. This can be an easy time for you gain weight, it’s essential that you get some form exercise into your day.
- Join an online fitness class – if you are not sure that they are for you. I will be holding free Zoom classes every Tuesday and Thursday during lockdown. You can send me a message for details.
- Keep variety in your workouts and try something new!
- Take a walk during your lunch break.
- Include stretching into your day.
- Plan your meals the night before just as you would have done when in the office. This will prevent you from reaching for snacks that won’t keep you on track with your health goals.
- Keep well hydrated! We can confuse thirst for hunger. The signal for thirst and hunger comes from the same part of the brain. A minimum of 8 glasses per day should be your target.
3. Keep In Touch With Family, Friends and Work Colleagues
To avoid feeling isolated while working from home:
- Use video calling not just text messaging when you are checking in with friends or family.
- Limit time on social media and invest that time into connecting with those around you.
- Discuss with your colleagues when it’s best to contact you and try to remain available during these times. Check in with the rest of the team at the end of the workday to get updates. These updates might be work-related, or you might use this time for personal updates.
- Arrange social evenings via video calling. During lockdown 1.0 quiz nights were very popular. Why not try a group bored game night if your friends have the same games available in their household.
4. Use Any Support Available
Working from home can be challenging, so if there is support available, make the most of it:
- Many employers will have support available for their employees, with dedicated apps and websites.
- If you are currently struggling with a physical or mental health condition, your employer may be able to make reasonable adjustments to your work schedule. Don’t be afraid to speak out, these are challenging times.
Working from home is not for everyone. Some people will thrive in that environment while others will struggle. Keep these tips in mind.