orking from home. Those three words that many of us once fantasized about, only wishing it could be a reality. Waking up, sipping on a coffee, no rush hour traffic to deal with. Well, thanks to COVID-19, these three words have become a reality for the vast majority of the world today. Although working from home can make employees feel more motivated, there are several things to be aware of when it comes to working from home and taking care of your mental health. Many of us believe it can improve mental health, which definitely has its benefits, but it isn’t per say always “greener on the other side.”
Working from Home and Depression
The COVID-19 pandemic is presenting new and unique challenges every day, working from home being one of them for many employees. Many people have begun remote work for the first time in their life. In addition, they’ve also isolated themselves from co-workers they were used to seeing every day. This disruption in one’s daily routine can cause added stress, anxiety and strain.
A 2017 report by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions found that 41 percent of remote employees report higher levels of stress compared to just 25 percent of their counterparts who work in the office. Not to say these numbers are relevant to every employee, but for many of us, a routine is what keeps us going. Working from home really disrupts the whole routine thing for a lot of us. How do we fix this?
How to Keep Your Mental Health in Check While Working From Home
Everyone responds differently to working from home. Some love it, some hate it, and some grow to love/hate it over time. It’s more important now than ever to prioritize your mental health. Though your schedule might feel all over the place when you’re at home, here are some ways you can set up your day to make it feel like you never left the office.
Stay consistent with a schedule
If you were still at the office, you’re routine would stay the normal Monday-Friday, 9-5, with a 7:30 a.m. wake up and an after-work gym session. Keep this. It’s tempting to have a desire to sleep in when you work from home, but sticking to what your body is used to will set you up for success.
When you’re at home, you’re at home. There isn’t an easier way to put it. You aren’t at the office watching the clock, waiting to start the car. When you’re at home, it can be tempting to overwork and get more than you need to do for the day. Yay for the determination, but it can be extremely taxing on your mental health if you don’t give your brain some space from work.
Get fresh air
Yes, this one sounds a little silly, but really! Not all of us have access to a window from our home desks. Staring at the wall all day can really get to you, so make sure to go outside, even if it’s for a 5-minute coffee break. Your brain will thank you.