Australians want more opportunities to work from home, and for good reason.
Staying home and working has its pluses. There’s no need to wear business casual attire and commute. You can choose your work-from-home schedule, too.
However, for all the good that comes from working remotely, it can be a tough transition. You may start to feel yourself getting anxious or lonely now that you’re the only one in the office. Plus, the current state of the world may be scaring or stressing you, too.
Fortunately, you can learn how to maintain your mental health whilst working from home. We’re here to help — these are our best tips for doing so.
1. Create a Schedule
We mentioned schedule-making as a benefit of working from home. However, if you’re working without any type of routine, then you’re setting yourself up for stress.
You should get up, get dressed and start working around the same time each day. Have an idea of what you want to accomplish before you sit down to work. Don’t overbook your schedule — leave time for breaks and breathers throughout the day.
Also, you should designate a place in your home where you’ll work, and set up your must-have office supplies there. If you sit down in the same place every morning, it will signal to your brain that it’s time to get things done.
In the end, having this routine in place will reduce your stress and boost your productivity schedule, too.
2. Don’t Sit Still
We touched on the importance of taking breaks when you’re working from home. But we should be more specific.
Not only should you pause on work every once in a while, but you should get up and move, too.
In general, a break signals to your brain that it’s time to pause on work. Even if it’s momentarily, this separation helps you to diminish lingering fatigue and stress. When you return to your desk, you’re more likely to be productive and in a good mood.
Better yet, try to incorporate some movement into your time off. For instance, if you get up and stretch or go for a walk, you’ll boost your body’s endorphin and serotonin levels. Both the hormone and chemical, respectively, make you feel happier.
Finally, a quick boost of exercise can fight stress, as well. So, you’ll return to your desk feeling less fatigued, happier and de-stressed. We like the sound of that — time for a break.
3. Skip Social Media
Now that you’re working from home, you might find yourself online for longer. It feels good to connect with others via social media, but these apps and sites can hurt your mental health.
This tip is especially applicable in times of unrest. Seeing a constant barrage of upsetting news stories can affect your stress levels. Even if you’re not reading the stories your friends have posted, the sensational headlines can be enough to damage your mental health.
So, skip these apps and try to limit your news intake, too. Turn off notifications from any breaking news apps you may have. Limit yourself to 30 minutes of news on TV each morning to hear the headlines before moving on with your day.
4. Connect Virtually With Co-Workers
Sometimes, working from home can make you feel lonely, especially if you’re used to interacting with your colleagues all of the time.
You can still connect to them virtually whilst you work from home. Grab your phone or computer — any device with a camera — and have a virtual meeting. You can catch up on work and your personal lives, just as you would at the office.
Even having a chat window open and keeping in touch with your colleagues can be enough to get you through a tough time. Make sure you’re checking on your friends, too. You can help others through an isolated stretch with your tips for working remotely.
On that note, you can check in with your friends outside of your work circle. A catch-up session — perhaps during a break — will help you fight back against loneliness just as effectively.
5. Keep Your Best Habits
Now that you’re staying home, it is so easy to fall out of your healthy habits.
For instance, you might find yourself easing up on your workout schedule because you can’t go to the gym. Or, you’re reaching for snacks throughout the day. It’s easy when your kitchen table has become the office.
Try to avoid these traps whilst working from home. Otherwise, you will fall into a vicious cycle where you indulge, then feel guilty for doing so.
Even though your lifestyle has changed, you can still find ways to be healthy at home. Work gym-free exercise into your schedule. And stock up on healthy snacks so that you can have your nibbles throughout the day, guilt-free.
6. Know When to Shut It Off
Finally, you might find yourself working more because you’re working from home. It’s easy enough to do when your office is in-house. Why not toil away at night instead of relaxing in front of the TV?
Don’t fall into this trap when you work from home. Overworking yourself is the last thing you need when trying to maintain your mental health. Instead, you’ll feel more stressed out — the to-do list will never end if you don’t stop working.
Instead, put in the same amount of hours you would in the office. Turn off your devices as soon as that period has ended. And stick to your go-to ways to unwind.
You deserve it after a long day at work, no matter where you’re putting in the hours.
How to Maintain Your Mental Health — It Starts With You
Now that you know how to maintain your mental health while working from home, it’s up to you to make these tips a reality. So, get started today with a routine or a Skype call or a strict 6 p.m. cut-off time. Then, just wait for the stress and anxiety to fade away.
Need more tips for working from home, boosting your business or enhancing your mental health? Check the rest of our blog for more.