Take a deep look and understand why it’s important to take care of our mental health while working from home, amidst the pandemic.
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought major changes in the lives of people across the world, including a paradigm shift in the work culture as well.
Organizations have opted for the new norm – Work From Home (WFH), which was initially thought to be a win-win situation for employees.
Although it might have started as a bit of a novelty, experts believe that WFH blurs the boundaries between work and personal space, thus leading to mental health issues among people.
Let’s take a look at the past when things were normal. We used to travel to our office daily, spending some time outdoors (either driving or taking public transport).
There was enough scope of interaction with colleagues, where we could share our thoughts and ideas, often emotions. Lunch and tea break used to be the time when we’d catch up on life.
And all of a sudden, these things came to a pause! It felt good in the beginning, there was no traffic to be faced; mornings were peaceful, without rushing around with chores; we had more time to spend with our families and indulge in doing things that we otherwise missed out.
Slowly, we got tired of the confinement – and even before we could realize, it started affecting our mental health, and eventually, lowered our productivity.
Here are some common feelings that you might be experiencing while working from home for a stretch of more than 9 months now:
- Feeling isolated, lonely, or disconnected from other people – socially and professionally
- Being unable to ‘switch off from work’ when needed
- Having difficulty to stay motivated and concentrate properly
- Having difficulty in prioritizing your workload
- Feeling uncertain about your progress, and whether you’re performing fine or not
- Insomnia and sleep problems, fatigue, etc
- Tips to take care of your mental health while working from home:
Tips to take care of your mental health while working from home:
1. Create boundaries between ‘work time’, ‘me time’ and ‘home time’
Now that we are living in times of uncertainty, the best way to heal your mind, body, and soul is to keep a routine for yourself.
Fix a timing for your work, with meal breaks in between. Keep your evenings free, to catch up with family or indulge in cooking, reading, exercising, etc.
This will help you maintain a strong boundary between work and home life, minimize the possibility of work intruding into your family time, and help you switch off from work at the end of the day.
To make this even better, you can keep an hour or so, for yourself – preferably before going to bed, when you can spend some time journaling or meditating.
2. Create a proper workplace at home.
The bed or the couch are the ideal places to work from! They induce procrastination. Ideally, in order to ensure your productivity and concentrate better, create a proper space where you can work – a desk or a corner.
It would be really great if your desk gets direct sunlight, as research proves that we work better in well-lit areas than in dark gloomy spots.
3. Keep in touch with your colleagues, on a regular basis.
When we are working from home, it is essential to stay in touch with co-workers and managers. One needs to be proactive in organizing meetings and social connections to maintain positive relationships.
Staying connected with others will help to reduce stress levels, help you feel less isolated, and stay productive. You can ask your HR Manager to organize virtual game nights on Fridays so that there’s a weekend feel as everyone wraps up work.
4. Step out for an evening walk, daily.
We all need some fresh air, especially on today’s date when we are forced to stay within the four walls of our respective homes. Try wrapping up your work by evening and step out for a walk. Not only will it make you feel refreshed, but it’s also a very good exercise for the body.
Brisk walking will keep you healthier, help you to get some fresh air, and sunshine. If you are in isolation, go out to your garden or walk up and down your driveway or go out onto your balcony and enjoy the fresh air.
5. Create a weekly digital detox plan.
Since we are mostly working on our laptops or binge-watching something on our phones, it is necessary to put the zen mode on, at times.
I know it might be difficult to start with, but once you feel the bliss, you’ll want more of it. Start with creating a weekly digital detox plan, and stay away from all the gadgets for a day.
Spend that time doing something else – like gardening, reading, cooking or baking, etc. Learn something new if possible. Utilize that time efficiently.
Trust me when I say this, it’ll help you to feel calm and enhance your mental health.
6. Opt for a workation!
Now, this is my favorite part! work from home, in another way, means work from anywhere! (None will come to check if you are really at home or not!)
You can pack your laptop and get going – maybe somewhere by the beaches or in a quaint hill station.
The concept of ‘workation’ will be in vogue in the days to come – and it’ll also help in boosting the mental well-being.
Are you also trying to balance your work from home and mental health? Let us know how you are dealing with work and life, and maybe, you have some tricks that can help someone in finding peace amidst the corona chaos.