For some, the transition to remote work is easy and they can remain productive and contribute to their team effortlessly. The flexibility and independence can be very exciting and freeing for some people. You have more autonomy over your schedule and ultimately fewer rules to follow.
For others, the transition is a bit more complicated. Especially with our current situation of social and physical distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, many employers may not have been able to give their employees much advance notice to prepare for the transition. The abrupt switch may have left some with sudden feelings of increased anxiety, a sudden loss of connection and social interaction. If you find yourself in this category, take a deep breath and know you are not alone.
For many people sudden transitions and uncertainty about their future can cause their mental health to decline. However, by establishing some self-care practices and some work from home boundaries you can re-balance your mental health and even begin to enjoy working from home.
Set a Routine
There is power in a routine. A solid routine can help you manage your time and better face challenges that might arise. Routine also adds rhythm to your daily life. Our minds and bodies function better when on a regular cycle. Which means, don’t sleep in! Set your alarm and get up like you would if you were heading into the office. When trying to balance work and home life all while at home, a routine will provide structure to your day and you can plan your workweek with confidence. Try using Google calendar to schedule calls, meetings, breaks and time to be active. Having it written or displayed somewhere will help you enforce your routine, as well as giving you a sense of control.
Take Time for Yourself
Make sure to schedule in your self-care! Find time each day, even just 20-30 min, to be physically active. It doesn’t have to be a work out per se, but get up and move your body. Take breaks away from electronics. Don’t have your social media always open; schedule time to be on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter or Tic Tok.
It is a good idea to find time to meditate or find a good breathing practice. Meditation and breathing can do wonders for lowering anxiety, as well as increasing focus and productivity. Find ways to stay in the present moment—don’t navigate your day on autopilot. Our brains are hardwired for negativity and it takes a conscious effort to stay positive, evaluate your thought patterns, and be kind to your self and co-workers.
Reach Out to Others
Speaking of your co-workers, take time to check-in with them. Daily team meetings are great, but often they are business-related and you miss opportunities to ask how your co-workers are doing or what’s going on in their lives. Some ideas to stay connected are to host a virtual dance party or work-out session. Get a group together to play online games. Staying social, yet distant can be hard. But it is SO much better than isolation.
Lastly, in this time of social and physical distancing and working from home, if you find these tips are not enough to boost your mental health, talk to someone. Talk to a friend, family member, loved one, or mental health professional. Talking and reaching out for help is key.