Many companies have adapted to the new “normal” but find their mental health is being compromised! When working from home there can be distractions and challenges to your new routine that you have never experienced while working such as; being confined to your home or apartment, relatives distracting you while working or home demands. Even though there are setbacks to working from home there are many more advantages overall.
However, the demands of home and work life can take their toll on mental health. Here are some steps to help protect your mental health during this challenging time!
Recognize The Transition
Overall many do not recognize the changes that occur when working from home. Make sure you have a realistic expectation transitioning from a traditional workspace to a remote one. Allow mistakes along the way in order to learn and grow from this experience.
Expect yourself to encounter distractions you might have not experienced while working. Come up with solutions you might use to overcome those obstacles. During this time don’t be hard on yourself, give yourself the proper amount of time to transition. Ask for help amongst your coworkers on how they are successful with remote working.
Set Up A Routine
When working from home we tend to begin work as we once did in our regular work environment, however, this tactic might not work well for everyone depending on the factors that they are surrounded by. Setting a work routine is crucial to your mental health and success for remote work.
Having a set routine allows others in your household to differentiate when they are able to interrupt you. It gives everyone around you a clear distinction between work time and personal time. This allows the space you need to complete the tasks successfully throughout your day.
It also gives you a work-life balance when work is over and you can enjoy personal time with your family. Informing your clients that you work for example; Monday through Friday between 9:00 am – 5:00 pm allows you to have the break you need mentally from work.
Manage Information Overload
Throughout this time the amount of information on the pandemic can be overwhelming. You constantly are wanting to update yourself on social media channels and news highlights but this can create a great deal of anxiety and stress.
To make sure your mental health is at it’s best we recommend limiting the amount of information to a few reports throughout the day. A great routine you can apply to your remote work in regards to news information would be to watch the news during breakfast before you start your workday and then reading a news article during your lunch break.
This allows you to stay informed while also giving you the proper breaks and amounts of information throughout the day, which in turn will leave you less stressed!
Find Out What You Need
When switching to remote work many miss the interactions they once had in person with their colleagues. Having a social aspect in someone’s workday is a huge factor in their mental health and when this is not in place anymore it can hold major setbacks to their performance at home.
A solution in which people can implement in order to reduce this would be to plan daily video conference meetings in which you check up on your colleagues and discuss/brainstorm possible advancements you can collaborate together throughout this time.
While some workers need social interaction, other workers experience the need for a quiet space they once had at their work office. This can become difficult in their household due to limited privacy. To eliminate this issue you can set a room in your house that is designated strictly for your workday in which no one can come in – this will give the privacy and quiet environment you need to remain mentally healthy throughout remote working.
Discuss with your team what tasks need to be completed and what can hold off until regular operations resume. During this time all businesses need to acknowledge that business is not “normal” and things need to be adjusted. Even though there are deadlines that need to be met – some cannot be completed due to the circumstances.
By talking to clients and colleagues about alternatives it will give you a sense of direction and relief when it comes to remote working. This, in turn, will decrease the chance of developing anxiety and stress while working from home
Maintain Good Practices
Before the current work from home reality, many had healthy practices in place to maintain their mental health. Now as we are placed in a different work environment some of these practices might have been lost. It is important to maintain what you were doing before the pandemic occurred. Some examples of ways in which you can keep up with good practices are;
- Drinking the proper amount of water intake per day.
- Eat nutritious meals throughout the day.
- Exercise and get some fresh air at least once a day.
- Try to avoid an increase in alcohol and sugar when staying home.
- Start a gratitude journal, reflect on the day you want to have and end it with what you achieved.
- Partake in yoga, meditation or breathing exercises when feeling stressed.
It is extremely important to monitor your mental health when at home. If you feel as though your emotions are shifting and the practices above are not helping there are resources you can use during this time. Many therapists are offering their services via video calls. Reach out to family or friends for help as well!
Working from home has its advantages, but significant disruption and change can take their toll on mental health. Be mindful of changes in your mood or behaviour and ask others in your life to do the same if you’re concerned.