It’s certainly fair to say, life has become a little more difficult for everyone at the moment. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted everything, and as a result, we have all had to adjust to new ways of both working and living.
Where there are some definite perks of working from homes, such as no commute and easy access for lunch, there is also some downside like boredom, uncertainty, anxiety, and feeling the stress. It’s completely normal to feel as though you are a little bit all over the place while you find a comfortable working routine.
On top of this, a lot of us are concerned about the security of our jobs and future job prospects as well as looking after the kids.
The following steps should be able to help you with your adjustment to working from home, feel much more productive, and take good care of your mental health through this difficult time:
Create Your Own Routine
You need to establish your own routine when working from home. Without a steady routine in place, the lines between personal time and work can easily get blurred and it can be quite stressful to get right.
Try to stick to your normal sleep, rest, work, and personal life patterns wherever possible, and be consistent.
Get up on your usual time, eat breakfast, and make sure to change out of your PJs. It’s great if you continue to use your commute time to do tasks like reading, exercising, or cooking. Just as important, if not more, you need to make sure you stop when your workday stops. Shut everything down, stop yourself from checking emails, and turn your focus to your home life.
Create A Dedicated Workspace
Living and working in the same space can be stressful and can stop you from being able to concentrate. It can even lead to anxiety. If possible, try to find a space away from other people and distractions such as TV or children.
Get everything that you need in one area before you begin to work. See the selection of glasses, grab your chargers, and gather anything else you may need for your working day. Even if you need to use a shared space, try to designate a space just for your work.
You also need to make yourself comfortable. Yes, it might be tempting to sit on the couch, but it is much better for you to sit at a desk or table. Make sure you complete an assessment through your work to ensure your workspace is set up correctly. If you have to sit on a sofa make sure you use a pillow to support your back.
Make Sure You Give Yourself Breaks
When working from home it can leave you feeling as though you need to be ‘available’ at all times. However, being present when your mental health is suffering isn’t what you should be doing.
Make sure you make time for breaks, they are an important way you can tackle stress. Take a lunch break each day and take breaks away in front of your screen. Even short five or ten-minute breaks can help you to focus more and be more productive. If you can, think about taking some time to go for a walk or run to get some fresh air.
Working from home may mean that you are naturally moving less, if you start to feel tense or stiff, try to do some light exercise or stretching. Just ten minutes is enough.
Feeling isolated is completely normal right now. However, there are lots of ways that you stay in touch with those who matter. It will help to boost both of your mental wellbeings. Following the government guidelines, you can now also meet people outside of your home as long as you stick to the steps they have put into place.
If you’re not able to leave your home because you are isolating, try to schedule video calls or just pick up the phone instead of emailing or instant messaging. If you feel as though you are struggling, speak out to other colleagues and your manager. There are plenty of ways that you can support each other.
Set Some Boundaries
To successfully work from home you need to set boundaries with other members of your household. It can be the key to staying mentally healthy while you work from home.
You can definitely be more flexible when you work from home, so try to enjoy it. There is no denying that it can also be extremely difficult when there are new distractions to deal with. For example, children may get easily confused and think that you are on holiday away from work and want to spend their time with you.
If your children are old enough, try to discuss your needs. Let them know that you have some work to do and need some quiet time to do it.
You should also set boundaries with work. It can be easy to stay logged on when you are working at home, however, try to switch off when the day is over and on breaks. Enjoy your home time with your family.
Think About The Long-Term Plan
You may have to work from home for a while yet, so you should think about ways that you could potentially improve your working life in your home. Perhaps you could work in the garden when it’s warm? Are you able to set up a dedicated working space in the future? Is there any different software that you could utilize to make communication easier while at home?
Remember To Be Kind To Yourself
You can’t deny that this is an unusual time and situation for us all, and things won’t feel normal. Although many of us may be getting used to the ‘new normal’ it’s important to remember that you’re not alone and it’s ok to feel extra pressure and face extra challenges through this time.
Be kind to yourself, and make sure you acknowledge the fact that you may not be as productive as you are used to. Be realistic about what you should expect given the circumstances, and relax once your working day is over.