No matter whether you work online because of the pandemic or for personal reasons, you can experience mental health issues that come with the work arrangement. It’s no secret that being in front of a screen and at home, the entire day can be isolating, especially if you live alone. In case you live with someone, you’ll find setting boundaries and focusing on work challenges. Although you might work online permanently or temporarily, it’s crucial to do one thing. Keep your mental health in order while doing your work. Take a look at a few ideas to help you cope with online work and preserve mental health.
Stick To the Usual Routine for the Sake of Your Mental Health
What most employees miss during remote work is their usual routine. Settling into a new routine takes time. Nevertheless, you can still keep your old one with a few adjustments. You no longer have to commute and that gives you some extra time to linger in bed. However, you should try to wake up around the same time during the workweek. The same goes for going to bed. It structures your day, improves the quality of your sleep, and keeps you well-rested. You’ll have plenty of energy to tackle whatever work tasks you take on. And you have more time and energy to do the regular household chores. In fact, there are even some positive effects of cleaning on mental health – so it’s a win-win combination.
Look Your Best
Another part of your morning routine is getting dressed up for work. You’d take a shower, brush your hair, put some make-up on, and workwear. Now that you work online, you might want to feel more comfortable and relaxed. That’s why you spend your days in yoga pants, sweatpants, or pajamas. Believe it or not, what you wear while working affects your performance and mindset. Despite working online, you can still look your best. Getting ready in the morning puts you in work mode although you’ll spend a day in the home office.
Stay in the Loop
Working online means there are no spontaneous encounters with coworkers and team leaders. Instead, you have to create them by yourself to stay in the loop. Social connections and employee communication give you access to the newest updates. This way you have all you need to meet organizational expectations. In case you need help or advice with anything, you can reach out to colleagues anytime. You don’t have to stress about tasks or deadlines. Also, interacting with others will diminish the loneliness and unproductiveness remote work causes.
Find a Quiet Nook
Work from home presents a challenge for most employees. It’s almost impossible to keep family and professional life apart since they’re both taking place in your home. If you were to find a quiet nook in your home and use it as a home office, then you might be able to balance the two. You don’t need too much space as long as it gives you the privacy you need. Try not to set your home office in your bedroom if you don’t have to. The bedroom is your haven and bringing work into it will only disrupt the atmosphere.
Since you’re working online, there’s no need for you to leave the house. That’s why you tend to feel lonely while working from home. To fight the feeling away and take care of your mental health, you should go outside whenever you can. Take a walk, go for a run, walk your dog, or grab a cup of coffee with a friend. You can even take a walk before and after logging in to work. It’ll give you the impression of having arrived at work or home. Spending time outside helps you clear your mind, breathe fresh air and soak up the atmosphere.
Design a Schedule
Without fixed working hours and coworkers around, you might feel out of control sometimes. Especially, if you’re new to online work which is full of uncertainty. To gain a sense of control, you can try a few tricks. For instance, set definitive times for your usual daily rituals — working, clocking out, interacting, entertaining, and sleeping. Knowing when you’re taking part in any activity makes you feel in control of your day. Thus, you can respond to any challenges that come with this work arrangement.
Focus On the Positives
Spending hours in the virtual world every day can cause you to feel alienated even though you’re surrounded by family. You start overthinking and evaluating every single thing. Under such circumstances, you can only focus on the negatives around you. Excessive self-evaluation and introspection can lead to depression. The best way to combat those negative feelings is by focusing on the positives. Working from home allows you to provide for your family and spend time with them. Also, you can work from anywhere and at any time. With great organization, you can enjoy more free time than usual.
Include Wellness Activities in Your Day
Most people fail to realize the greatest advantage of remote work. You finally have time to do what you usually couldn’t do when you had a fixed schedule. For instance, take part in wellness activities and improve your overall health. In between meetings, you can switch to a more comfortable place to sit and meditate for a few minutes. Then, you can take deep breaths while relaxing your shoulders and straightening your back. While doing the exercises, practice being in the present rather than thinking about upcoming tasks. They’ll help clear your mind and sharpen your focus.
If you’ve set working hours to stay organized, then you should also set time aside for self-care. During an hour or two every day, indulge yourself as much as you can. For instance, take part in some exciting activities or treat yourself to a bubble bath. You can also take up a language or painting class and learn new skills. Another way to practice self-care is switching off work notifications after clocking out. This will prevent you from overworking yourself and adding too much pressure. If you need to, schedule a reminder to make sure you turn them off. You can really boost your mental health with these powerful self-care tips and tricks.
Under the heavy workload and pressures of online work, your mental health might start to fail. With our tips, you can practice mental hygiene. As you get used to remote work, you’ll also learn how to maintain good health.
About the Author
Jess Cooper is a part-time journalist and blogger based in Sydney, Australia. She is an energetic, creative highly motivated person with plenty of interests. The most prominent areas of interest include makeup and cosmetics, fashion, style, event organization and decoration, healthy food, fitness, learning languages as well as home improvement. Jess loves learning about new things and having the chance to combine those insights with her ideas and spread them to the world. She enjoys having a mindful and well-organized, healthy life, filled with all kinds of different activities and interwoven with close friendships.