Let’s face it: The year 2020 compelled companies to adopt a work-from-home setup. Nonetheless, it is estimated that 70% of employees will work remotely at least five days per month by 2025.
For one, choosing a work environment is becoming an integral factor among employees. Second, employers are starting to realize that being in the office is unnecessary to produce results.
Despite these benefits, we cannot deny that working remotely can impact our mental health. In fact, a 2021 American Psychiatric Association survey revealed that work-from-home employees are experiencing negative mental health impacts. This includes isolation, loneliness, and difficulty getting off work.
And stigma and lack of mental health support are not helping.
That said, we have listed down six actionable ways remote employees can do to look after their mental health:
Have a Dedicated Work Space
Setting boundaries is one way to look after your mental health in a work-from-home setup. And one way to execute that is by having a dedicated workspace.
However, having a dedicated workspace does not mean you need a different room that you can use as a home office.
You can designate a corner in your bedroom as a home office. Another thing you can do is look for an under-utilized space that you can transform into an office nook.
Regardless, it should be somewhere you won’t be disturbed. You should also ensure that you will only use that space when working and nothing else.
Keep Your Workspace Tidy
Now that you have your dedicated workspace, you must keep it tidy.
At Maid Sailors Office Maid Service Jersey City, we advocate the importance of having a clean workspace. That’s because a clutter-free office desk boosts motivation and productivity.
Moreover, a messy workspace can lead to a vicious cycle of clutter-stress-mental health issues.
Research shows that people in a cluttered environment have high levels of cortisol (stress hormone). Elevated cortisol levels cause anxiety and depression. Meanwhile, these mental health issues cause emotional exhaustion, delaying our decision-making process. This includes eliminating non-essential work items, leading to a messy workspace.
That said, take the time to clean your home office and always keep it tidy.
Stick to a Routine
Another way to set boundaries between personal and work time is to stick to a routine. This is also an excellent opportunity to reclaim your commute.
As much as possible, wake up and start working at the same time. That way, you can get off work regularly. Otherwise, have non-negotiable to-dos. These are tasks you must do regardless of when you wake and finish work.
For instance, you will practice meditation upon waking up and going to bed. Once you finish work, you will freshen up and write in your journal before calling it a day.
Routines can be an excellent way to ground yourself and have pockets of certainty. After all, working as a freelancer can sometimes mean uncertainty.
Implement Real Breaks
Aside from sticking to a routine, it is also essential that you take and enjoy real breaks.
This means having lunch or dinner in the dining area. You can also schedule short breaks in-between work, wherein you can mindfully enjoy a cup of coffee or take a quick nap. Another thing you can do is do some yoga stretches to counter all the hours of sitting at your computer.
Let go of the outdated mindset that rest is a waste of time. If anything, taking breaks can reduce stress and maintain productivity. That’s because it gives you time to detach from work so you can refresh your brain and come back feeling energized.
Find Time to Socialize
This is something that employers should implement. Nonetheless, you and your colleagues can set up a date and time to gather.
Ideally, you should meet face-to-face and have a chat in person. Otherwise, you can always do a virtual meetup. You can play an online escape room once in a while or have a virtual watch party.
What’s important here is that you spend time hanging out with other people. That way, you won’t feel isolated.
This is also where structuring your day and sticking to a routine can come in handy. That’s because a structured day allows you to allot time for your family.
In addition to socializing with your family, friends, and colleagues, it is also essential that you make time for self-care. Mind you, self-care is not limited to taking a nice warm bath or having a spa day.
In fact, there are six types of self-care:
- Emotional Self-care. These are activities that let you reflect on a full range of emotions. Examples are journaling or creating art.
- Practical Self-care. These are tasks that you do to prevent future stress. Examples are fixing your budget and organizing your closet.
- Physical Self-care. These are activities you do to improve your physical well-being, like exercising, doing yoga, and quality sleep.
- Mental Self-care. These are things that you do to stimulate your mind, like reading a book or solving a puzzle.
- Social Self-care. These are activities that help you nurture relationships. Examples include going on a date.
- Spiritual Self-care. These are things that allow you to think bigger than yourself, like meditation or going to a place of worship.
We recommend that you practice at least one thing each. That way, you can take care of your overall well-being even if you’re working from home.
Whether you are a veteran remote employee or new to this setup, you can be prone to the negative mental health impact of working from home. Thus, refer to this post and follow the tips listed above if you want to improve your mental well-being.