Working From Home Wellbeing Tips
Mental health and well-being have been given a renewed focus in light of the global increase of people working from home. In a time where multitasking is akin to being an Olympic sport, it is easy to put mental health on the backburner. It has never been more valuable to share working from home wellbeing tips.
Regardless of which industry you may be in, working from home has essentially become the new normal for many people, with more companies looking at it as a long-term arrangement for the foreseeable future. There has also been a surge in work from home opportunities allowing people the chance to earn extra money from the comfort of their own home.
There is no doubt that the ability to work from home comes with many perks. While there may be the element of flexibility, there is also the real danger of being unable to “switch off” from work as such. This is especially so for those who are required to spend most of the day in front of their screens, juggling between completing their tasks, taking care of their families, and attending back-to-back virtual meetings. Read on to find out more about:
- What mental health is and why it is important
- Some of the best ways to take care of your mental health
What Is Mental Health and Why Is It Important?
Forbes has previously referred to a study carried out by Telus International which identified that out of 1000 people who participated in a survey on mental health and remote work, 450 felt that they felt less mentally healthy while working from home.
Mental health broadly refers to one’s physical, emotional, and psychological well-being. When it is not in an ideal state (though admittedly, mental health is capable of fluctuating), it can affect the way that we think and feel, and in turn, affect how we treat those around us.
With mental health generally in global decline, it is important to take proactive and preventative measures to take care of your mental health while you work from home before things get out of hand and reach the point of no return.
How To Take Care Of Your Mental Health
Mental well-being can be said to be somewhat subjective. What may be stressful for you, may not feel the same for others. That being said, there are certain things you can do to make your work from home day easier on you and your mental well-being.
Write It All Down
The feeling of overwhelm is an all too familiar one. It can leave you feeling lost, drained, and reluctant to start work. That is when the procrastination monkey comes out to play.
A great way to avoid this overwhelming feeling is this. As soon as you sit down at your desk, take a pen and a piece of paper and write down all the things that you need to get done. It doesn’t have to be organized or categorized. Just list it all down. This includes work, home, and family tasks. Once you are done with this “brain dump”, you can prioritize them in terms of urgency and importance and proceed to plan your day accordingly.
It is a simple exercise but it is surprisingly effective in giving your head a little more space. This gives you the chance to focus on actually doing your tasks instead of feeling consumed and overwhelmed just from thinking about everything you need to get done.
Batch Your Time
This is an amazing technique that can be used to stay productive when working from home and increase focus. The basic idea is to commit a certain duration to a specific task and do nothing else for that period. This includes designating a time for cooking and for sitting down to lunch, as well as connecting with your family and/or your children and pets. Try to include some time for exercising from home which is hugely beneficial to mental health. It is easy for work time to merge in with non-work time when you work form home. Try to be strict with yourself and cut off personal time. Have some relaxing weekend space away from the desk, winding down and relaxing in whichever way you enjoy.
For example, if you work as a writer or content creator, you can set a time from 8.00am to 10.00am to focus on only doing research for your article and then allocate 2.00pm to 4.00pm to write your content. You can allocate the time in between for other tasks that you need to get done.
It may take some getting used to, especially if you are easily distracted. However, once it becomes a part of your daily routine, you will be amazed at how much you can get done without feeling overwhelmed.
Of course, there are other similar time management techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique. However, batching your time does give you the ability to customize your hours, depending on the task or project you need to get done.
Hygge Your Workspace
No, that’s not a spelling error! Hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”) is a Danish concept that was first identified in the mid 20th century. While it is almost impossible to accurately translate its meaning, it can broadly be explained as something which makes you feel calm, content, and cozy.
Creating such a space in your work from home environment can do wonders for your mental health. When your environment is neat and calm, you tend to be able to breathe easier and focus on the task at hand. Some ways in which you can bring hygge to your workspace to enhance your mental health as you work from home include:
- Ensuring that your desk is free from clutter
- Listening to classical music or instrumentals as you work
- Using pink noise such as rain or wind or brown noise such as sounds of roaring waterfalls or thunder – whatever works for you to keep you calm and focused
- Setting up your workspace in as much natural light as possible. Alternatively, you can use lighting that brings a warm candlelight glow for that cosy feeling
- Add calming features such as indoor plants or an aquarium. Aquariums can bring a soothing atmosphere, you can even add led lights to your tank if you work into the evenings.
- Using essential oils in aromatherapy jars to create a calm and relaxing ambiance
- Alternatively, you can save money and make your own candles!
Hygge is all about minimalism and keeping it simple. So don’t overthink it. Do what works for you to give you the ideal work from home environment that will best foster your mental well-being.
Make Time For Self-Care
Don’t forget to take a breather for yourself. As you spend your day doing things for everyone else, make sure that you allocate some time during the workday just for you.
You can use this time to:
- Meditate or try a breathing exercise to relax;
- Read (something non-work related);
- Give yourself an at-home facial;
- Watch an episode of your favourite show;
- Take a nap;
- Get a quick workout in; or
- Tend to your plants
Whatever you choose, even if it is just for 10 minutes, give it all your thought and focus. This may not seem like much but these short breaks of self-care can leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated to carry on with the rest of your tasks for the day.
Put Yourself First
This does not mean that you have to be selfish or ignore your work and everyone else’s needs. What it does mean, however, is that you cannot care for others from an empty cup. Running on empty means that you will not be able to give your best to your work or your family. Be kind to yourself and take time for self-care.
If all else fails, reach out and talk to someone.
Feeling too overwhelmed with work? speak to your superior to see if tasks can be reorganized or if deadlines can be extended. If you are consumed with matters at home with your spouse or kids, see if chores can be redistributed or pushed to a later time.
Working from home wellbeing tips
It is important to acknowledge that there is no ideal state of mind that lasts forever. As much as possible, be present and mindful in everything you set out to do. If your day does not work out the way you planned, it is okay. Don’t beat yourself up. You can reset your mind and body with a decent night’s sleep and set out to conquer it all again the next day.
What are your top tips for working from home positively? Please share them in the comments below.
‘Aisha Preece ditched her corporate job in search of a career that allowed her to work remotely. She now LOVES Mondays and is passionate about helping others make and save more money, so they can live life on their terms.
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