It has been almost a year since some of us started working from home.
Working from home has many benefits, however, it can also create certain obstacles, be detrimental to your mental and physical health, and cause loneliness.
Some health tips include but are not limited to self-care, a nutritious diet, an exercising schedule, and maybe petting your cat.
It is important to mention here that many employees face fatigue from overworking, because they are not able to find a good balance between work life and home life, and thus feel rather lonely.
Moreover, the lack of interaction affects us all, because as humans we need connection. The interaction that would otherwise happen between employees has now been replaced with raising hands-on Zoom calls and laughing at each other’s tropical backgrounds.
Publer has been an avid advocate of remote work for more than a year now, with the intention of creating a more safe environment for all. At Publer, we have found a balance between working from home and working from the office, following a hybrid work model.
We maintain this balance through the help of daily stand-up meetings with Google Meets, Jira task deadlines, Google Suite collaborations, and Slack conversations that vary from important reminders to funny uplifting memes.
In this article, we will be taking a look at some tips that can help us manage consistent work productivity, while not sacrificing our mental health.
Yes, there are benefits to working from home, however, the drawbacks actively affect the individual and collective performance of employees.
Some notable drawbacks may be:
- Lack of connection and interaction
- Feelings of loneliness and sadness leading to isolation
- Inability to separate work life from home and personal life
- Challenges with burnout and fatigue from overworking
- Difficulty maintaining a nutrient diet
- Difficulty following an exercising schedule
- Decrease in work productivity and efficiency
These and many other negative aspects have affected most if not all employees working from home. However, considering the negative effects the pandemic, it is important to stay home and follow local health regulations.
Simple steps to help you take care of your mental health when working from home:
1. Find a balance between work-life and home-life
The first step is to accept that there is no perfect balance between work life and home life when working from home. However, that does not mean that you cannot set healthy boundaries between the two.
Start by separating your workspace from your living space, preferably with a door. It does not have to be an office in your home, it can be as big as a corner that you know will be used only for work.
You can add items that will help make it feel more like an office, from plants to books, to anything that helps you. Make sure to detach yourself from your workspace when working from home, especially when you are taking your breakfast, lunch, or afternoon breaks.
Moreover, just because you have flexible working hours, it does not mean you should work all day. Work in specific time intervals, whether it’s 9 to 5 or 10 to 6, it is up to you but, follow a specific work schedule. At the end of the workday, make sure to not check your work channels (Slack, Jira, etc) until the start of the next working day.
2. Create your daily working from home routine
Just like having a daily routine when working from the office is important, so is having one when working from home.
Most importantly, follow a sleeping schedule too. Waking up at the same time every day helps your body and mind be prepared for what is to come beforehand. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
You can then start the day with your favorite activity, from running to yoga to listening to “Sleep on The Floor” by The Lumineers, or all three, your call. Eating a healthy breakfast is key to rocking the day!
3. Follow a nutritious diet
Eating a healthy breakfast gets you going for the day, but that’s only the start. Following a nutritious diet is not easy, but it is a game-changer!
WHO recommends following a diet that combines fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. Moreover, keeping an eye on sugar and salt intake is crucial. Lastly, energy intake should always be on par with energy consumption.
We recommend taking your daily water intake, enjoying some fruits, and not forgetting to listen to your body.
4. Following an exercising schedule
Maintaining an exercising schedule can be quite difficult, but if there is one thing that working from home has made possible is more time!
Instead of commuting to work, you can use that time to do an exercising routine of your liking. Or you can be like Publer’s CEO who likes to use his lunch break to go to the gym and grab a quick meal.
Maybe you enjoy listening to your favorite instructor online, or maybe you like going for a run, either way, exercising will have many physical and psychological benefits and it is proven to improve your mental health.
If exercising is not for you, then try incorporating walks into your daily routine, maybe during the lunch break. On the other hand, some people find working from home in a standing position to be an alternative to exercising.
At the end of the day, you have to find what works for you, but remember to also take time to rest during the week.
5. Take mental health days
Dr. Ashley Hampton, a licensed psychologist told Healthline back in 2019 “If you feel overwhelmed, stressed, have trouble focusing or concentrating on work or at home, or are more irritable, then you may want to consider taking a mental health day.”
Do not be afraid to ask for mental health days, it is the same as any other sick days. Be respectful of your company’s rules, ask in advance, but do not hesitate to ask for a day-off that would contribute to the betterment of your well-being.
A mental-health day will only help you get the rest you need so that when you return back to work you feel motivated, more productive, and ready to seize the day — Newsies hard-working style.
Consider this article a friendly reminder to what you probably already knew, and maybe also an incentive to Google the pop references above.
Following these and other practices that help you maintain your mental health is definitely not easy, but it is important. It is important to be in a good place, both mentally and physically.
Lastly, if these and other practices have become a standard in your life but you still find yourself struggling, that’s okay. We all take our own time to heal. However, it is important to reach out for help and whether it is to your closest friend or to a licensed therapist, do not hesitate to do it.
Written by: Jorgo Qirjaj