Maintaining mental hygiene while working from home
[Welcome to the #LearnFromHome series where we talk about ways to tackle the various challenges that you face while working from home. Today we are talking about mental hygiene!]
Working from home can offer a ton of benefits but I’ve noticed that being a new remote worker comes with unexpected mental challenges. And it’s not just me.
Working and living in the same place day in and day out can affect your mental health. Studies say that prolonged isolation can affect your sleep cycle and bring on negative emotions like stress, demotivation, boredom, loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
I’ve put together some tips that you can use to keep these feelings at bay and practise mental hygiene.
Watch the video here:
Seven steps to WFH mental hygiene
The easiest thing that you can do to elevate your mood is move. Every hour or so, step back from your desk and spend a couple of minutes getting some movement. It could be just a walk around your house, doing stretches or yoga, or even learning how to do hip-hop on YouTube—whatever floats your boat.
Not only will this make you feel good but it also introduces breaks into your work and keeps you from burning out.
Meditation is a great way to pause and relax for a few minutes. It can also help you sleep better, cope with depression, anxiety, and even increase your productivity.
Allocate 10 minutes every day for meditation. The Headspace app has worked wonders for my overall mood.
If you’ve just started to work from home your brain would have a hard time distinguishing between work and non-work time. I have found that a relaxing, bedtime ritual—be it a hot shower, some light exercise, or reading a book—helps me ease into a restful sleep.
Personally, I’ve also noticed that I am less cranky and more productive after a good night’s sleep than when I haven’t.
Staying connected with your friends and colleagues can help combat feelings of loneliness and detachment. Call your family, friends and colleagues. Open up about how you’re feeling and ask them how they’re doing.
More often than not, we tend to feel lonely when we feel detached from others and not necessarily because of isolation. So make sure to put in that extra effort to stay connected.
Maintain your routine
Working from home can also affect the structure that holds your days together. Before you know it, it’s 5 pm, you’re still in your pajamas, and you haven’t eaten lunch.
Approach your work as the creature of habit that all humans are. Personally, my morning routine comprises a quick workout followed by a shower and then 8 hours of work (with breaks). In the evening, I spend some time with my cat. It can be tough as a remote worker to identify when to work and when not to, and these routines help me a lot.
Schedule fun activities
All work and no play stresses out all remote workers. When you have scheduled time for fun, you have permission to break from work. Focus on your hobbies, self-care, and anything that makes you happy for a few minutes every day.
Acknowledge your feelings
Set aside some time to let yourself feel. Talk to your friends and family about your feelings openly. It might even help others who might be going through the same experience.
If the negative feelings are too much to cope with, don’t hesitate to reach out to a medical professional.
So what are your tips for practising mental hygiene while working from home? Let me know in the comments below!
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