May is Mental Health Awareness Month. While one’s mental health should be a priority every month of the year, this month is designated to raise awareness surrounding mental illnesses and the areas they can affect in one’s life.
Mental illnesses don’t only touch the personal lives of people. Statistically, a quarter to a third of people’s lives will be spent in the workplace, reinforcing the fact that mental illness can play a role in one’s work life.
The popularity of remote work has proved to be both beneficial and disadvantageous for employees who had not been used to a work-from-home lifestyle. A recent study has shown that remote workers have reported negative mental health impacts, including loneliness and isolation. At the same time, remote work has also benefited some employees’ mental health by reducing work-related stress and allowing for more flexibility within their day-to-day lives.
At the same time, it can feel difficult to avoid burnout while working remotely. Here are some mental health tips to keep in mind when working from home.
Stick to a routine
With a lot of flexibility, you may feel dissuaded from planning your day. However, remote workers can greatly benefit from simply sticking to a routine. There are countless health benefits from routines, including better sleep, stress levels, and using time productively. Don’t forget to make time for breaks within your routine too.
Move your body
Sure, remote work may allow you to wake up and work in the same room, but that doesn’t mean you need to stay in one spot all day. Be sure to get up and out of your workspace to move your body, whether it’s to go for a walk for some fresh air or run an errand. Additionally, incorporating exercise into your routine is likely to have a positive effect on your overall mental health and wellbeing.
Staying connected can mean a number of things in your professional and personal life. If you can’t see your coworkers in person, schedule weekly or monthly hangouts or happy hours with them to talk about things outside of work. Reach out to family and friends during your carved-out break time. Scheduling time doesn’t just have to be for meetings—it can also be for laughs.
Maintaining a work-life balance is crucial to your mental health while working remotely. Just because your work life and home life are more blended when working remotely doesn’t mean you should be attached to your email at all times. Establishing boundaries for yourself—and sticking to them—is crucial for maintaining a healthy relationship with work. Don’t be afraid to step away from the computer and carve out time and space for yourself.
Consider a change of scenery a few times a week
If you feel yourself starting to get tired of the same workspace every day, consider going to a local café or even perhaps a designated workspace such as a WeWork. Experiencing a new change of scenery is proven to increase one’s productivity.
Note: If you are experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety, or depression, reach out to the following for support:
- Crisis Text Line: Text 741741
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255