Staying well whilst working from home
We know that it’s an uncertain time for lots of people and many more of us are working from home to keep safe. We may also be worried about our health, families and finances, all of which can have a negative impact on our wellbeing. Our workplace wellbeing team have put together some information to help you look after your mental health whilst working at home.
Creating a consistent routine can provide structure to our working day and give us things to look forward to. One example of this could include arranging a team catch up at the same time each day or eating a healthy breakfast at the same time you would usually if it was a normal working day.
Having a clean, clutter free space to work from can reduce our stress levels and limit distractions. Why not put a photo that makes you happy, or words of encouragement on your workspace?
It’s good to be informed about what’s happening in the world, but too much exposure to news or social media can lead to us feeling overwhelmed. One way to limit our media consumption is to decide how often you’re going to check the news. Or you could try leaving your mobile phone in another room while working on an important task to resist the temptation of checking it. Similarly, you could try out an app to help you reduce screen time e.g. Freedom, Moment, and Space.
It’s easy to forget to take regular breaks whilst working from home. Try to take breaks as you would do at work, and use them to do something different, e.g. 5 minutes of breathing exercises or reading a book. You can let your team know when you’re going to take a break by blocking the time out in your calendar.
Working at home means we might not move as much as we would usually would throughout the day. Why not try out a virtual or online exercise class with your colleagues, or building in time for regular stretching.
Reflections and intentions
Keeping a record of our thoughts and experiences can help us learn more about what helps us stay well while working at home. At the end of each day, you could create a ‘reflections and intentions’ log. The ‘reflections’ could be the things you have achieved or noticed during the day, and ‘intentions’ are what you intend to do or practice the next day.
Staying in touch with colleagues can help us to feel connected to our team. Try using technology like online video conferencing tools or phones to arrange virtual coffee breaks and ask people how they are doing. If you do feel as though something is having a serious impact on your mental health, it may be worth reaching out to line-management or HR, as you may have access to an employee assistance programme.
Be kind to yourself
It’s normal to feel like we’re not doing enough or to put extra pressure on ourselves when working at home. We all have good and bad days and there are other factors that are causing extra worry right now. Take time each day to practice self-care, or you could try mindfulness or other relaxation exercises to help manage anxiety.
If you’re a manager, check out Mind’s blog about supporting yourself and your team during the coronavirus outbreak.
You can also find more resources for workplace mental health on the Mind website.
By Tabatha Mac. Cover image from Freepik.com
Posted on: 17th April 2020