Has COVID-19 seen you required to work from home? Are you worried that working from home may impair your mental health?
From creating routines to virtually interacting with your colleagues, we have delved into how to look after your mental health when working from home here.
Across the world, millions have felt the repercussions that the global pandemic has had on their mental health.
From lockdown to having to work from home, over 69% of people in the United Kingdom alone have reported to be suffering with mental health disorders since the start of the pandemic.
It can be further noted that 80% of people in the United Kingdom claim working from home has contributed to an impaired mental health.
How Can Working from Home Impair Our Mental Health?
Over the last eight months, an increasing amount of people have found themselves forced to work from home.
Although working from home is the norm for many self-employed individuals, for those that are used to working in a designated working space, such as an office, adjusting and adapting to a new working environment has been somewhat difficult.
From finding new ways to participate in team meetings to remaining motivated and in good spirits, the new pressures faced can ultimately impair an individual’s mental health.
How to Look After Your Mental Health When Working from Home
Although looking after your mental health when working from home may seem an impossible task, there are some relatively simple things that can be done to ensure that your mental health remains in top form. Below, we have shared our top five tips with you.
Create a Designated Workspace
As you temporarily set up your home office, it is important to create a designated working space that will allow you to focus on any tasks that you need to complete throughout the day without feeling distracted.
If possible, you should attempt to set your home office up in a separate area to your living space. This will enable you to create a distinct division between your living and working spaces.
Failure to do this could cause you to find it harder to switch off from work, leaving you experiencing stress, exhaustion and even burnout.
Communicate with Your Colleagues
Social interactions are vital to human beings. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, it has been reported that 7.4 million people in the United Kingdom have admitted to feeling increasingly lonely.
Almost a quarter of individuals stating that they feel lonely cite isolation from colleagues as one of the main causes.
Unfortunately, feeling lonely has the potential to impair our mental health, leading to heightened bouts of anxiety and depression.
While we may be unable to see our colleagues in a co-working space, frequently communicating over Zoom offers a form of social interaction.
While video messaging is not quite the same, it provides the ability to communicate with others in real time.
In turn, this can mitigate loneliness, enhance our overall mood and boost our mental health.
Talk to Your Employer
If you begin to experience symptoms that are associated with anxiety, depression or severe stress, it is imperative that you confide in your employer.
Regardless of whether you are working from the office or from home, they have a duty of care for you.
If you find yourself struggling to adapt to working at home, you must be honest with your employer.
Not only can they assist you in making your home working experience and environment more pleasant, but they offer support to reduce the impact that working from home may have on your mental health.
Take Regular Breaks
As individuals have commenced working from home, it has been uncovered that many people are refraining from taking regular breaks.
According to Nuffield Health, 36% of those working from home claim that they feel they are unable to take regular breaks as they feel a heightened responsibility to be available at all times throughout the working day.
This overwhelming sense of responsibility paired with a lack of time away from the desk can increase anxiety and stress.
While you may not believe that taking a mid-morning, mid-afternoon or lunch break is necessary, even taking just five minutes away from your desk can help you look after your mental health.
Create A Routine
Working from home can be challenging. Lack of structure and routine causes many to find that their day’s blur into one.
Although you may be relieved that you no longer have to wake up early and complete your daily commute, it is likely that you will soon find yourself craving your typical daily routine.
While we fail to realise it at the time, having a routine offers structure to our day, it creates purpose and also helps us feel productive.
Lack of routine prevents us from setting boundaries. It also prevents us from truly switching off at the end of the working day.
With this, comes additional pressure to complete tasks after hours.
In turn, heightened stress levels arise, causing out mental health to feel the brunt.
With this in mind, if you are hoping to look after your mental health when working from home, creating a routine is highly advised.
As you set out to create a new daily routine for yourself, use the time that you would have spent commuting to go for a quick walk or take part in an online fitness class such as yoga.
During your lunch breaks, take time away from your screen to do something you enjoy.
As your day comes to an end, remove yourself from your home working space and take time to relax and communicate with your loved ones.
How Asana Lodge Can Help You Look After Your Mental Health
If you have read our tips on how to look after your mental health when working from home and still find yourself struggling, we can offer you additional support.
Whether you need someone to talk to or hope to seek advice, please do not hesitate to contact us today.