How to stay mentally healthy when working from home

relax during lockdown

Most of us are in the same position right now – working from home while we wait for the coronavirus pandemic to die down so we can all go back to normal.

Working at home sounds really nice at the outset, but it presents a unique set of challenges you’re probably in the middle of as we speak. Perhaps you’re feeling isolated or you are having anxiety about getting your job done away from the workplace. Maybe you’re having a hard time getting motivated or in fear of the unknown. No matter what’s going on, it’s important to take care of your mental health during these times, in addition to caring for yourself physically. Try these tips and tricks for staying sane working from home.

Stay Positive

This can be difficult at a time when things are up in the air and you aren’t sure what’s going to happen next. Add to that the absence of time spent with your friends and extended family and you could be feeling pretty down. Staying positive can help keep you on track and prevent your emotions from dipping too low. Try a gratitude journal or use positive affirmations throughout the day to keep you in a positive mindset.

Stay Connected

You might not be able to spend time physically with those that live outside your house, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay connected. Take time to talk on the phone or send texts every day to keep each other updated. Organise a virtual happy hour or dinner with friends and family so that you can still talk, even if you are doing so on your laptop. Video conference your co-workers instead of sending emails so you can stay connected to them as well. This social interaction with people you work with is good for your motivation and frame of mind as you work from home.

Create a Routine

Just like you have a routine when you go into the office, you need one when you’re working from home. This makes it easier to stay on track and gives you some control over how you spend your days. Create your day to build in time for a lunch break, time to email co-workers and time to get through your daily to do list. Make sure to build in a start and end time as well so you have a clear cut workday, even if you’re at home.

Find Time to Relax

Relaxation is the best time to refresh and recharge and gives you the opportunity to enjoy hobbies and downtime. For some people, vaping is a good option as it often is built around a routine and ritual itself can calm you down when your mind is racing. The physical act of inhaling and exhaling also works to relax your body. Try these UK vapers to get started. Other ideas include taking a warm bath, going for a walk, preparing a healthy meal or reading a book.

Stay Away from the News

It can be tempting to have the news running in the background if you’re working from home, but experts advise against this. This only works to increase your anxiety and fear of what’s going to happen next, which can get in the way of your motivation and performance on the job. Try to watch the news only once a day so you can stay updated without it taking over your entire day or prays on your mind while you’re trying to concentrate on work. Limiting your exposure to the news on all media also reduces the risk of misinformation polluting your knowledge.

Take a Break

Even when you’re in the office, you take occasional breaks during the day and you should grant yourself the same permission when you’re working from home. Get up and stretch, have a healthy snack, or call a friend and talk for a few minutes. These little breaks throughout the day allow you to recharge your body and brain and helps you stay on track when you get back to your desk.

Eat Healthily and Exercise Regularly

It’s been said that food and exercise are powerful tools for caring for your mental wellbeing. That’s because the right foods fuel your brain and working out releases endorphins, which are feel good chemicals that boost mood. Plus, looking good translates to feeling good. Choose a well-balanced diet that contains fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low fat dairy and whole grains. And make time to get active during the day, which could be taking a walk, jogging, or lifting weights in your living room.

Now, more than ever, you’ve got to stay dedicated to pampering your mental health. Make sure your work from home schedule works for you.