Looking After Your Mental Health While Working from Home

Source: Unsplash

By Rayen Jaice

Specially written for HER Entrepreneur

Companies all over the world have required employees to work from home to prevent the spread of Covid-19. While the immediate health benefits of avoiding common workspaces are obvious, it’s also important to be aware of the mental health consequences that can come with working remotely. Daryl Lee previously highlighted misconceptions on mental health, and the importance of knowing them in order to get rid of the stigmas and traditional assumptions.

Here in Singapore, more people across different age groups have been seeking help for mental health issues amid the coronavirus pandemic. Although this is an unfortunate reality, it can be seen as a good sign of greater awareness about mental health issues and a reduced stigma in seeking professional help. The Straits Times has listed helplines for those who’ll be needing to talk to anyone for help anytime.

While this increase in help-seeking means more and more people are conscious of mental health, the prevention of any condition or illness is always better. Here are ways that can help you stay mentally healthy while working from home.

 

Stick to a Routine

Routine is essential and even more crucial when the daily structure provided by an office is missing. But it doesn’t mean you have to stick to the old 9-to-5 standard. Just have a system for waking up on time, getting ready, and being productive once you’re set. Doing this regularly will feel more natural over time, and won’t stress you too much.

Just remember to take breaks for doing non-work related things. This ensures that your most important tasks always get done while still keeping up with yourself in the process.

 

Upgrade your Home Office

More than just the comfort of your home office set-up, ergonomics have been found to improve mental health, as posture has a profound effect on how you feel. Good posture has been tied to energy levels, productivity, and even confidence and memory. So, Pain Free Working’s guide to ergonomic dos and don’ts when working from home recommends investing in a desk that’s the right height for you, and a comfortable chair with a backrest that lets you sit up straight. These also minimize the impact on your joints to lessen your chances of repetitive stress injuries.

 

Break up your Workday

One of the biggest rewards of working from home is getting to do things you might not be able to do anytime inside the office, like taking walks in the neighborhood, or doing meditations in your living room. You can also break up your workday with quick exercises like jumping jacks or lifting kettlebells. The Muse recommends as many as 51 things to do when you want to take a break from work.

No matter what activity you choose, remember that working from home is yet another “new normal” to get used to, and the sooner you adapt to what makes you most productive, healthy, and mentally well, the better.

 

Stay Connected

The isolation factor may be difficult for people who work alone. So remember to keep up with friends and family, even if it can only be done through voice or video calls. Message them regularly, and once restrictions are lifted in your area, try to make safe plans with them, as you feel comfortable. It can be tough not leaving the house for long stretches of time, but staying connected is key.

Prioritize the protection of your mental health from the loneliness, anxiety, and depression many remote workers have a hard time dealing with. Reach out to people you trust, like family, friends, or colleagues. Speak to mental health experts and professionals for advice. Remember: You are not alone, and tomorrow is always a fresh start.


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