Working from home has many benefits, but for those struggling with their mental health, it may present some unique challenges.
At-home jobs can be isolating when you don’t have the opportunity to regularly engage with coworkers or peers. You can feel as though you aren’t grasping the daily tasks associated with your role, lacking connection, or interpreting the tones of emails and messages differently than they should be perceived.
Plus, making your living space into your working space may cause stress and anxiety, leading to blurred boundaries and burnout—outcomes everyone wants to avoid.
All of these possibilities have the power to take away from the joy of working from home. That’s why it’s important to lay a solid foundation so you can enjoy your WFH situation.
Create a routine
Having a robust and regular routine can be a game changer for your mental health. Take a shower, get dressed, and enjoy your morning coffee before starting the day. Wind down by tidying up your desk, closing your office door, and lighting a relaxing candle. By establishing clear rituals to start and end the day, you will be less likely to answer emails in the wee hours of the morning or take your work to bed with you.
Set up a dedicated workspace
Having a separate workspace creates a barrier with other parts of the home and increases productivity. If you work from your bed or family room, you may feel like you never leave those parts of your home, creating a feeling of monotony. Having a dedicated space free from everyday distractions can help you focus during working hours.
Communicate with your team
Instead of always emailing or messaging your boss and colleagues, try calling them on the phone or scheduling video chats. Research tells us that 7% of communication is accomplished through words while 38% is through voice and a staggering 55% is through body language. By having calls and video chats, you get to view reactions, hear the tone of their voice, and understand how they communicate.
Give yourself a break
It’s important to remember to get up and get moving! Take time to step away from the screen and refresh your mind for a few minutes here and there. This will help break up the humdrum of the day and benefit your wellbeing.
Working from home can be lonely and isolating. Recognize how you are feeling as you navigate this new arrangement and honor those feelings. If you find you’re struggling to manage your mental health, help is available.