Working from home is the new norm. From the finance industry to the creatives, people have been forced to work at home to stay safe from the coronavirus pandemic. It sounded like an excellent opportunity to have work-life balance, but the situation revealed that working from home is not for everyone.
Stressors come from anywhere. If a person lives alone, they are isolated and do not receive enough stimulation to keep them motivated. On the other hand, if a person lives with their family, on top of the office work, they are burdened with more tasks like childcare, chores, and errands. Workers also get the pressure to appear busy. They make sure that people see they are productive, so they are there for every phone call, email, or message a colleague sends. As a result, workers tend to feel guilty for their “inadequacy.”
Working from home should not feel this way. You should be able to make yourself comfortable, just like your office environment did. Here are some tips to keep you mentally healthy at home:
Set a Work Area
Assign a space for work where you can focus and be productive. It can be anywhere—your dining table or the left end of your couch—as long as you can go to it for work and walk away from it once your day is over.
Maintain a Regular Schedule
Set and maintain a schedule. It will allow you to have a structure and not lose yourself doing one thing and not doing the other. This schedule does not have to be the same as your previous nine to five timetable. It just means that you have to give yourself a specific time to wake up, get ready, and boost your confidence for the day. You should also set an end time to your day to shut everything off and transition to your life outside of work. Allow yourself to have periodic breaks to recharge. It can be a quick snack, a short time to play with your kids, or even simply stare outside your window.
Connect with Loved Ones
Keep up with your loved ones, even though it can only be online. Take some time to do activities together like online brunches or video game nights through Zoom. Simply hanging out with them can take away your work-from-home woes. Do not also hesitate to reach out to your older relatives even through phone, especially your grandparents, who might be alone at home or in a facility where they receive palliative care services.
With the pressure of appearing productive, people tend to neglect their wellbeing. Disconnect with work and set aside some time for yourself. Carve out a time of the day for exercise, baking, gardening, or meditation. That will help you recharge and refresh for the next day. Choose anything your heart desires. It’s your time anyway.
No matter what steps you would take, keep in mind that remote working is undoubtedly a huge part of the “new normal.” Take this as an opportunity to have more ownership of your time. The sooner you master delineating work from your home life and get accustomed to what works for you, the easier for you to be more productive and mentally healthy.