Working from home, for the majority of us, is an entirely new undertaking. Although working from home may have its pluses, such as not having to commute and a more relaxed attire, there are certainly some negatives associated with working remote. For the purpose of the article, we will focus on the one area of working from home that is extremely important: your mental health.
This is already an anxious time as it is. Working from home, despite some advantages, can also add extra stress to an already stressful situation. Therefore, it’s important we are smart about working remote, and figure out ways to keep ourselves in a positive and productive headspace while adjusting and adapting to this new normal.
Maintain Your Schedule
The first recommendation for keeping yourself in a good mental state is maintaining your normal work schedule.
Try to wake up at the same time you did when commuting to your office. Get dressed. Have a coffee and breakfast. Stick to your morning routine. This will get you in a good mental state to start work.
At the other end of the day, enjoy the time home to have dinner with family, then try to go to bed at the same time as you did prior to the Covid-19 crisis.
Maintaining your time schedule will give you some semblance of normalcy, and allow you to stay focused, well-rested and refreshed while working from home.
By maintaining your office routine, you’ll be able to avoid distractions and keep yourself productive.
The same advice applies to your lunch break. If you took your lunch break at 1 o’clock when you were working out of your office, then make sure you break for lunch at 1 o’clock while working from home. Step away from your computer. Maintaining this consistent schedule will prevent you from getting burned out. Here’s a great tip: set an alarm to remind yourself to take lunch, as well as a few breaks during the day (I like to do a bit of exercise to stay alert).
Step Away From Your Computer
When you take a lunch break, turn off your computer and go to a different place in your home, even if it’s just the living room. Try to take a mental break from work during you lunch hour, try to avoid thinking about work or checking your email. If you live in an apartment and you are working out of your living room, go eat your lunch in the bedroom, or go on your balcony if you have one. Treat one room as your office, and the other room as your personal space. By keeping these two spaces separated, it allows you to create some degree of separation between your work time and personal time so that you will not feel as if you should be perpetually working, which is the tendency most of us have when working from home.
Take Precautions If You Venture Outside
If you have the option of stepping outside and getting some fresh air (while maintaining social distances, of course), it could help improve your mental state. If you have a balcony, take a five or ten-minute break, soak in some sun, breath deep and enjoy some fresh air. If you don’t have a balcony, don your mask and gloves, and take a walk around the block, steering clear of other pedestrians. By going outside and moving around, you’ll be able to avoid cabin fever, and the feeling of being trapped in your own apartment or home. Being cooped up inside, obviously, is not good for one’s mental health. However, we must reinforce the need for maintaining social distance when going outside even if it is just for a walk across the street. Make sure you wear a mask and gloves and take all proper precautions, if you do venture out. Getting outdoors even if it is only for a few minutes will help reset you mentally, give you a change of scenery, and lower your stress level.
Studies show that exercising regularly helps maintain a balanced mood and increases your energy. This makes exercising and staying active while in quarantine even more crucial. Fortunately, you don’t need a gym or any special equipment to exercise at home. There are thousands of great workout videos you can stream for free on YouTube which guide you through great and simple at home workouts. Setting aside time, prioritizing exercising, and remaining active throughout the week is key to keeping a positive mindset.
Stay Productive, Productive and Safe
During this time where we are all quarantined, we need to all be extremely mindful to maintain a positive mental space and a positive outlook. By following these tips, and other advice from mental health providers, we can remain healthy, happy, and keep our productivity consistent and efficient.