Keeping your mental health in check when going remote
It goes without saying that life’s become pretty difficult over these past few months. The pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives, and we’ve had to adjust to new ways of living and working.
For many of us, the biggest change has involved going remote, that is to say, working from home. While of course there are countless perks to this (bye alarm clock), it can cause a sense of isolation or stress during those first few months, especially with so many of our other hobbies and social events off the menu.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of a few tips, which are designed to keep you feeling relaxed and in control during these tricky times.
- Stick to a schedule
Having a clear schedule for when to work and when to hit ‘shut down’ can help to maintain a healthy work-life balance. That said, you shouldn’t be inflexible. If you have young kids at home and need to put an extra few hours in once they’re fast asleep, then go ahead. Just make sure you give yourself a few hours of free time the following morning to compensate.
- Prioritize socializing
As we mentioned earlier, working from home can leave some people feeling isolated. Take the initiative and suggest a virtual coffee break a couple of times a week with your colleagues. This will help you feel connected and will also give you the perfect excuse to take a break from work for half an hour.
- Get dressed
Those yoga pants may seem like the best choice for your new 9 to 5, but your clothes impact your productivity and mindset. You may not pull on a suit, but by making yourself presentable for public viewing (Zoom, Skype, etc.). It adds a sense of confidence, especially in team meetings, and also helps draw the line between work and play.
- You are what you eat
Having the refrigerator within arms reach is a recipe for a nutritional disaster. Just remember next time you reach for that snack that burgers don’t do much for brain function. Try to draw up a meal plan for the week both to save time and to stop you grazing your way through the working day.
- Set some ground rules
Remote working can be misunderstood by people, especially members of the older generation. It’s important to make the people you live with aware of your working hours and meeting schedule to prevent impromptu interruptions. This also helps you stick to your schedule and means you won’t be working late into the night.
- Be kind to yourself
Those first few months of remote working can be especially tricky and your productivity or concentration may be a little off. In order to prevent issues with colleagues or periods of extreme stress, try to be realistic when setting goals and deadlines and keep all lines of communication open with your colleagues.