Ever since the start of COVID, working from home has gained a lot of traction. While it offers us flexibility and convenience, working from home can also present unique challenges to our mental health.When I was working my corporate job, I was finding my mental health was hurting due to working from home, even with all of it's perks.
Boundaries have become so blurred. The lack of physical separation between the workspace and living space can make it challenging to disconnect from work, leading to longer working hours and feelings of being constantly "on." I was so guilty of this, responding to late night Slacks and emails and feeling pressure to never turn off notifications.
The hardest part though was the lack of human interaction. Remote work can make you feel lonely, unseen, and isolated. I know it greatly impacted my mental health at the start of COVID and now I make sure to always be proactive so I feel less isolated. Even with multiple video meetings, I can feel very disconnected from people during the day and I know it is not always easy! I want to share some mental health tips for working from home with you, in hopes that you can find time to disconnect from work and reconnect with yourself and real relationships!
6 MENTAL HEALTH TIPS FOR WORKING FROM HOME
Establish a Dedicated Workspace: Creating a distinct and organized workspace within your home helps establish boundaries between work and personal life. Having a designated area for work enhances focus and productivity, while also allowing you to step away from work-related thoughts during your downtime. If you have a guest room or home office, this is a great space to utilize!
Maintain a Consistent Routine: One of the perks of working from home is the flexibility it offers. However, sticking to a consistent routine can help establish a sense of normalcy and provide structure to your day. Set specific work hours, take regular breaks, and establish boundaries to maintain a healthy work-life balance. I even would schedule workouts or outtings on my calendar to ensure I was consistent.
Prioritize Self-Care: Self-care is crucial for maintaining good mental health. Incorporate activities like exercise, meditation, or engaging in hobbies that bring you joy into your daily routine. A ten minute walk outside is a wonderful way to decompress and get you out of a funk. Set aside time for relaxation and ensure you get enough sleep to recharge and remain focused.
Stay Connected: Working remotely can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation. It definitely took a toll on me when I would go days without seeing another person in person! Counteract this by staying connected with colleagues through virtual platforms. Schedule regular video calls or virtual team meetings to foster a sense of community and combat loneliness. Or better yet, prioritize time with friends after work or during your lunch hour to get face-to-face interactions in! The gym, coffee shops, or grocery stores are great places to experience in person interactions.
Take Regular Breaks: Working long hours without breaks can lead to burnout. Be mindful of taking regular breaks throughout the day. Engage in activities that help you relax and recharge, like going for a walk, practicing mindfulness or gratitude, or indulging in a favorite hobby. Stepping away from your workspace can help clear your mind and enhance productivity. I find time to vacuum or do laundry when I need a break midday, and it ends up being a win-win since I am being productive!
Practice Gratitude: Cultivating a gratitude practice can have profound effects on mental well-being. This is a personal favorite of mine, of course! Take a few moments each day to reflect on the things you are grateful for. This simple practice helps shift your focus towards the positive aspects of life, fostering resilience and reducing stress levels. You could use a gratitude journal, try a gratitude meditation, or simply write down a list of what you're thankful for in your notebook.
Working from home gives us so many benefits, but it also comes with its own set of challenges, particularly when it comes to maintaining good mental health. By testing out the tips discussed in this blog post, you can create a healthy work-life balance, establish effective routines, and nurture your mental well-being which is crucial to our overall health. Remember, prioritizing self-care, staying connected, and incorporating a gratitude practice can go a long way in fostering a positive and fulfilling work-from-home experience.