Many members of our Jobipedia community are finding themselves suddenly working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic. While flexible and remote work has always been a desirable benefit of some jobs, the sudden shift to entire companies operating remotely is a whole different ball game. How can you invest in your mental health and well-being while working from home? Here are our top three recommendations.
Make A Routine
While we are facing a time with so much uncertainty, establishing a level of predictability is a great way to take back control of what your daily life looks like. Create a rhythm for your day by waking up at the same time, getting dressed (yes, in real clothes), and having parts of the day set aside for specific types of tasks. Include breaks and flexibility with your schedule - don’t over-program yourself or you may accidentally set yourself up to fail.
This isn’t the time to expect perfection. Be patient with yourself and your coworkers as you adjust to this new normal. It will take time to figure out what routine, tips, and methods work well for you to help you feel accomplished in your work.
Streamline What You Can
Keep in mind, you aren’t working remotely under normal circumstances. Because of the circumstances, your productivity may be affected. Work with your supervisor and your team to identify the essential tasks, meetings, and deadlines that you should focus on. De-prioritize your other tasks and direct your energy towards these essential things.
For team members who are caring for children or the elderly on top of working from home, expectations may need to look different. Work within your team to keep everyone in the loop and informed, but to streamline who is required to be in meetings and what work is essential for those who are spread thin at home. Push back with your supervisors if more is on your plate than you can handle in a healthy way. Especially while you are physically distant, clear, kind communication is key to working well together.
Keep Up Good Practices
Now, more than ever, your healthy practices are vital to your sustained mental health. Staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and consistently getting some fresh air are great ways to pursue wellness. There are lots of free meditations and yoga practices online that can also help reduce stress if you find yourself struggling. Even things as simple as opening all your blinds, playing peaceful music in the background, or burning your favorite candle can make your home a less stressful work environment.
Working remotely has its advantages, and being employed during all of this is something to be grateful for. That doesn’t diminish the fact that significant disruption and change can take a serious toll on your mental health. Especially if you suffer from anxiety or depression, be mindful of changes in your mood or behavior and ask others in your life to do the same if you’re concerned.
The bottom line is that this isn’t forever...but it is for now. Work with your support system and your team to make this season sustainable. Your mental health is important and you’re not alone as you work through staying well while working from home.