Looking After Your Mental Health Whilst Working from Home
The pandemic has forced a lot more people into remote working, and for better or worse this has changed our working lives.
Because we spend over a third of our lives in work, it’s important to make sure you’re checking in on yourself mentally. This is why looking after your mental health whilst working from home is important for more aspects than just your productivity. Even if you enjoy the switch to remote working for the most part, we’ve got some tips and adaptions that may help you during and after the coronavirus outbreak.
A New Routine
It’s common knowledge that our brains don’t particularly like change initially, and most people’s mental health will thrive under a routine. Once you switch to working from home it’s important to establish a new routine or adapt your existing routine to fit your new working day. For example, if you normally make an effort to get out for some fresh air during your lunch or afternoon break, then incorporating this into your home working schedule would prove beneficial.
Making sure you set aside some dedicated space to use only for working from home is essential. Whether you have a separate room to turn into an office or just a separate desk or foldaway table that you can use, having an area that you associate with work will help you get into the right mindset. One common issue that this combats is overlapping work with recreational time, as you can physically take yourself away from work when the day is done.
Working from home doesn’t mean you should start eating, reading and socialising at your workspace. Make sure you have a clear start time with chosen breaks such as a lunch break. We highly suggest on your lunch break you come away from your computer/laptop. This will train your brain just like regular work, plus it gives your eyes a much-needed break from screen time.
To Do Lists
Just as it is in the workplace, you still need to take regular breaks when working from home. You’re likely to be tempted to eat and take your breaks at your desk, but this isn’t such a great idea. Make sure you actually take yourself away from your desk on your breaks, whether that’s just taking a walk around your outdoor space or just spending time in another room. This will also give your eyes a much-needed rest from the screen too.
Socialise with Your Co-workers
Don’t forget that although you might not be physically surrounded by your co-workers, that doesn’t mean you can’t socialise with each other. It goes without saying that at least a few (if not all) of you will be feeling a bit isolated, so reaching out and checking in on each other is always a great idea. Not only will it show your co-workers that support is there if they need it, but it will also benefit you personally by maintaining your work relationships. Even something as simple as dropping a message to someone or organising an after-work conference call for an informal chat/hangout can have massive benefits.
Let your Employer Know
If you have pre-existing mental health conditions, your employer has a duty of care to make sure there are adjustments to your new way of working. This can include additional support, shorter working hours, specialist equipment etc. After all, it is reasonable for your employer to expect some disruption when it comes to their employees usual productivity. Remember to have self-compassion and not be too hard on yourself if your work output isn’t the same as usual.
Need More Help?
We can provide virtual team events if you need to boost morale or make your remote workers feel a little less isolated. Alternatively, see our socially distanced activities for a safe, face-to-face interaction.