Mental Health Awareness Week: Five practical tips for working from home

21st May 2020

We have all experienced unprecedented changes to the ways we live, communicate and work. For many, the uncertainty of the pandemic will cause considerable anxiety and stress. Even after the lockdown has lifted, working from home will be the ‘new normal’.

It is paramount that you take care of your mental wellbeing as well as your physical wellbeing whilst working from home. This blog sets out five practical tips to help you maintain good mental health whilst working from home.

Have a regular routine and remembering to switch off

Where possible, you should be strict with the times you start work, have lunch and finish work. Whilst it may seem difficult to stop yourself working late into the evening or even impossible not to, try and be disciplined about the time you finish work in order to avoid burning out. It is also important to take regular breaks.

Often, having something to look forward to at the end of the day can help you switch off such as having a video call with friends or family, watching a film or trying something new.

Have a dedicated workspace

When we live and work in the same space, this can cause issues with focusing on our work when distractions of home life surrounding you. Having a dedicated work space where it is quiet can help you focus better.

Stay connected with colleagues

Working at home can be an isolating experience, particularly when you are used to working in an office. Many people find it beneficial to regularly connect with colleagues via Zoom, Microsoft Teams or other virtual means of communication.

Not only will this help you work better as you can discuss workloads, what needs prioritising etc., but this can also be used for team building activities such as participating in work quizzes. This may help give you a sense of normality whilst working at home.

Physical exercise

The positive impact that physical exercise has on your mental health, cannot be emphasised enough. Make sure that you take the time to either go for a walk, run or even cycle every day. If the weather is not suitable, there are apps and YouTube videos encouraging different types of exercise ranging from Zumba to cardio workouts.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the simple practice of paying attention to the present moment. It involves being aware of your thoughts, feelings and the world around you. This can have the effect of improving your mental wellbeing.

Whilst you can practise mindfulness for several minutes every day, you can also do exercises such as meditation.

For further information and support visit the following links:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/improve-mental-wellbeing/

https://www.mind.org.uk/

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/7-simple-tips-to-tackle-working-from-home/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/mindfulness/

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week

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