Tips for managing mental health while working from home
COVID-19 has changed everything and for many of us, that means adjusting to new ways of living and working. You might wave goodbye to the boring commute and embrace the flexibility of working from home but feeling stressed, bored or anxious during this time of uncertainty is completely normal. With Mental Health Awareness Week starting on the 18th May, we wanted to share our tips for managing mental health while working from home.
Keep a routine
Working from home has its benefits but it can also be very challenging and you can start to feel isolated, particularly if you are struggling to focus your attention on work or you miss being around your colleagues. While it might be tempting to get out of bed at the last possible moment and work in your pyjamas all day, this lack of routine is likely to make the biggest impact. Try to get up and get ready for the working day as you normally would and use a designated space to work from if possible.
Just like you wouldn’t be chained to your desk all day in the office, you still need to take regular breaks when you’re working from home. Don’t forget to stop and take a lunch break away from your workspace and try to go outside if it’s safe for you to do so while still following social distancing guidelines. Use Microsoft Teams or whatever calendar software you are using to let others know when you’re available to talk or when you’re away from your desk so that you don’t get pulled into work conversations during your lunch break.
This is likely to be a stressful and anxious time for a lot of people so it’s important to accept that the way you feel is valid, even if you don’t have a disclosed ongoing mental health condition. Whether you are at work or not, your employer should still be able to offer you support and make reasonable adjustments. If you have coping strategies that work for you such as spending time with friends and family or attending fitness classes, try to keep up to these things via virtual means like video calls with friends and online gym sessions.
One of the hardest things about having your office at home is separating your work and personal life. If you have children at home or other family members who live with you, make sure you talk to them about what you need and set up schedules if you need to. Similarly, setting boundaries with work is key to mental wellbeing. It’s easy to just keep working while you’re at home but try to switch off at the end of the working day and avoid out of hours tasks like checking your email.
Be kind to yourself
If you’re under a lot of pressure to carry on with your work as normal, remember that this isn’t a normal situation. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re not as productive as you would be usually. Instead, think about what you need to achieve and be realistic about how you get there.
Juice Personnel is here to support clients and candidates through this tough time with our dedicated team on hand with the best recruitment advice. For more information, get in touch on 01924 377 500 or email us at [email protected].
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