I know working from home sounds like a total fairytale, but the truth is that doing it for extended periods can affect our mental health. So, let’s talk about self-care while working from home.
First things first: it’s okay not to be okay!
Second, know it’s in your power to make a few happy adjustments!
Create a workplace
Working from home can interfere with sleep, especially for people who find it difficult to switch off from work. So try to avoid working in your bedroom. And there’s a hard ‘no’ for working from your bed. Maximize natural light and ventilation in your home working area. You get bonus points if you have an office with an actual door you can close to mentally and physically separate work and home life.
Organize your day
When you organize your tasks, you mentally prepare yourself for what to expect during the day. Then it’s easier to work towards achieving the goals you set out. This scheduling also prevents tasks not on your to-do list, like falling down a TikTok rabbit hole for hours during the day. Also, keep in mind that although tempting, working in pyjamas is not suitable for your mental health or productivity!
I know you miss the social aspect of venting about work and life when you’re remote. It definitely doesn’t translate the same way over Slack. And the truth is that meaningful social connections help protect our mental health. So be proactive in organizing virtual meetings to maintain your relationships. Staying connected with others will help to reduce stress levels, help you feel less isolated, and remain productive.
Finding a healthy balance is key to ensuring you don’t burnout. You may want to take on as much work as you can, but there’s only so much you can complete in a day. Set up dedicated times for work and leisure – and stick to these times. Try and keep to a consistent end of the day. Make sure you understand your limitations, set boundaries based on your schedule and workload, and don’t extend yourself beyond them.
Technology makes it easier to stay connected 24/7, but the downside is that it can make it difficult to switch off. Set aside time each day to escape all forms of digital screens. Give your eyes, neck, shoulders, and back a much-needed rest. Try a digital detox every evening to help you switch off from work. Reading, board-games or jazz music are always exceptional choices.
Breaks are your best friend! If you’re not stuck in self-isolation, try to get outside at least once a day. Set the alarm on your laptop or phone to remind you to take a break. If convenient, go for a walk, get some fresh air and sunshine during your lunch hour, or move your laptop to an outdoor space to work. A good dose of nature can recharge your inner batteries and clear your mind.
Ask for help
Ensure you take time to reflect on and try to be mindful of your mental health. Just because the struggles you’re experiencing right now can be explained by the unusual stress you’re under while working from home, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk to someone. And online therapy is a thing now. So if you’re finding the psychological effects of working from home too much, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
There are undoubtedly many positive aspects to working from home: no commute, more freedom during the workday, and healthy lunches. But the impact on mental health can be draining. Even before the pandemic, freelancers and remote working employees had to cope with the negative psychological effects of working from home. Still, these issues only recently come to light due to the enormous influx of remote working employees now. Your mental health doesn’t have to suffer because of working from home as long as you take the right approach! Self-care while working from home is important!
Remote work is still on the rise. And so are its bad habits! If you want to read about the insignificat things that become the most significant while working from home, check out our article here.
OANA CORINA JELEA
The Big Cheese know-it-all
Find her on LinkedIn, Instagram and oanacorina.com