Working from home (WFH) has become the norm for millions since the pandemic. It’s more flexible and it cuts the commute time. For many, it’s a win-win situation. But working remotely can take a toll on your mental health. If you work from home a lot, it’s important to ensure you’re protecting yourself from the possibility of burning out and feeling isolated. Here are 5 ways to do just that.
Go outside every day, even for 15 minutes
Try to make time for a short walk outside every day. This could be a stroll around a green space, grabbing a coffee or spending time meeting up with a friend. Even if it’s for 15 minutes on your lunch break, going for a walk can do wonders for your mood and your well-being. It will also give you a break from staring at a screen all day!
Schedule meetings or calls into your day
Working from home can be a great tool when it comes to being able to focus on important projects. There’s an appeal to the solitude of working remotely, without any distractions or continuous interruptions. While this can be great in short bursts, working alone for a long time can be quite isolating. If you find yourself to be working from home a lot, or full-time, try to schedule meetings with other people in your team. You could work on projects together, or catch up on what you’ve been up to. If you can’t spend time with, or you don’t have colleagues, why not call a beloved friend or family member to see how they’re doing?
Set firm boundaries in place
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘bringing work home from the office?’ Well, what do you do when your office is at home? When working from home, setting boundaries in place is paramount to ensuring a good work/life balance. It can be incredibly tempting to check your emails, or to just spend a few minutes longer finishing off your work, because it’s so easy to do.
Whilst it’s great to care about your job, working outside of your hours can lead down a murky path. Once you start blurring the lines between your work and your personal life, it will become very easy to burn out from spending extra time checking up on your work. Set firm boundaries in place to ensure you can protect your time outside of work. Try setting an alarm for when your work day ends, or if you need to spend a bit longer on something after work, set a firm deadline in place for switching off your computer.
Get ready for work every day
It can be very tempting to roll out of bed 15 minutes before your work day begins, quickly get dressed and then open your laptop. In fact, In 2020, YouGov America conducted a survey which showed that almost half of Americans working from home aren’t always wearing trousers. While wearing comfy clothes, or a lack of proper clothes can be tempting, doing this long-term could have an impact on your mental health. To avoid this, spend some time getting a morning routine in place. Shower and get dressed, make yourself some breakfast, or even fit in some early-morning yoga if you have time!
Plan a fun activity in the evening
Imagine you’re going into an office. You get ready in the morning, you commute by walking, by car, or a train, and you arrive at your office. You see your colleagues throughout the day, and you have unexpected interactions. Perhaps you end up chatting with other people commuting, your barista, or an acquaintance. Now imagine that you’re working from home. It would be very easy for you to not speak to anyone else all day, and doing this long-term can be detrimental to your well-being. To combat this, why not schedule in something fun for the evening? Spend time with your friends, go take part in a hobby you love, or go for a walk somewhere in nature. Making time for interactions with other people and the outside world can do a world of good for your mental health.
Working from home can be a great way to create more flexibility in your career and have more personal time. Like any other job though, it can come with its downsides, which is why it’s so important to ensure you’re cautious about the impact it can have on your mental health. If you work from home a lot, these tips should help to arm you with some strategies on how to keep boundaries in place and to make sure you can enjoy your personal time away from work.
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