It's fair to say that life has become a mess for everyone because of COVID-19. It has changed everything, and not everyone can adjust to the new ways of living and working easily.
To combat the spread of the virus, most organizations have asked their employees to work from home. While it's a pleasure to not waste time on the commute and work in your pajamas, working from home is hard to handle for most people and can take a toll on your mental health.
Working from home comes with its unique set of challenges, especially for those who are not used to it and those who are unsure how long it may last. Increased isolation and confinement at home can worsen mental health and cause depression.
In this article, we are giving you some tips and strategies to keep your mental health in check while working from home. Let's begin!
1. Create a Home Office
It may be tempting to work from your bed, but setting boundaries is essential when you are working remotely. It means creating a home office with everything you require and no distractions.
It also means fighting off distractions such as getting a snack from the pantry or watching TV. You don't need a suit or a tie to start working from your home office, but you need to treat it like any other day at work, minus the office part.
· Prioritize, Declutter, Refresh your Workspace
If you are facing a hard time getting work done at home, creating a schedule can do wonders. Prioritize your tasks and give yourself small rewards once the task is complete. For instance, you can give yourself a five-minute snack break or a YouTube break to make thinsg exciting. It may seem silly to you, but trust me, it works!
Decluttering your work station and the area you are working in is also essential. A clean space increases productivity, whereas a cluttered environment increases frustration. A research conducted by Carpet Cleaning Epsom, a professional cleaning service in the UK, found that cleanliness is directly related to higher productivity. So make sure that your workspace is clean and well organized.
Another useful tip is to refresh your workspace by adding plants, working near a window, and experimenting with lighting. A bright and airy environment will make you feel fresh, and so you will be able to work with more focus.
2. Practice Self-Care
· Get Enough Sleep
If you had long commutes to work previously, take advantage of this extra time to get more sleep. Not going to the office gives you extra time to stay in bed before you kick off your day at the usual time. How does it help? It decreases your level of stress!
· Take Breaks
People tend to not move and work continuously, especially when they are comfortable where they are. But establishing regular breaks throughout the day is a must to avoid burnout. Even more, you can set up a timer every hour to remind you to move and stretch out for your upper and lower back.
3. Eat Clean
Lack of routine and stress makes it easy to fall into unhealthy eating habits, but don't beat yourself for needing some comfort food. However, make sure you don't indulge too much as unhealthy eating habits lead to poor health, which can decrease productivity.
4. Stay Connected with Your Colleagues
Work meetings should not be the only interaction of you with your work friends. You can connect with your office buddies beyond business as well. Schedule a video call and have virtual lunch together or have a quick chat over coffee.
Just because you are confined at home does not mean you have to forgo your human connections. Socializing is a critical part of staying healthy throughout the week, especially when you are working remotely.
· Reach Out to People for Help & Sanity Check
In times like this, it is essential to reach out to people who can make you feel better. Whether it is someone in your life, or a therapist, psychologist, or anyone else who can help you professionally.
5. Set Boundaries
· Create a Routine
It may be tempting to work whenever you want, but you need to establish a routine if you want to work efficiently. Routine helps humans cope with a lot of things mentally and physically because we are a creature of habit. Whether it's practicing yoga in the morning or taking your dog out for a dog, a healthy morning routine will pump you up and get ready for a workday.
· Maintain Regular Hours
Set a schedule and then stick to it, no matter what. If you designate specific working hours and stop after those, your brain gets time to relax. You should stick to a schedule, get your work done, and call it a day when your working hours are up.
· Limit Your Screen Time
Staring at your laptop screen is draining enough as it is. So, this is one of the most parts to keep your mental health good - know when to log off and rest. Once you have established your working hours, you must know when to log from it and stop working. This will ensure a good work-life balance and will boost your mental health.
6. Plan Ahead
What are your goals? When are you the most productive? What are some of the challenges I need to overcome? Plan and ask yourself these questions.
· Set goals
Writing out your daily and weekly to-do list that involves everything that needs to get done is important to think straight. You will feel better, and you will be prepared for what's coming ahead.
· Start Thinking Longer Term
You may have to continue working from home for a while, so start thinking about how you can improve your productivity while boosting your mental health. Try to explore new ways, new times, and new technology to your work routine. Because in the end, you don't need to work hard, you just need to work smart.
Building resilience in the time of COVID-19 is new for a lot of us. It's essential to be mindful of the changes in your mood and do the same for others around you.
However, if you are one of those people who are struggling to work remotely without tanking your mood, then the tips we mentioned above will make things easier for you and your brain. What are you doing to boost your mental health during this pandemic? Let us know!