6 ways to manage your mental health while working from home
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Looking after your mental health while working from home isn’t always easy. These practical tips can help you manage your mood and your productivity.
The COVID-19 crisis has meant a lot of us are now working from home – some of us for the very first time. While it may have started out as a bit of a novelty, the negative effects may be starting to show. Feeling disconnected from your co-workers, unable to switch off from work and feeling generally demotivated are common experiences.
Now, more than ever, we need to look after our own mental wellbeing, and that of our teams. Here are some simple ways to help create a positive work environment and manage your mental health while working from home.
Even though working from home makes it easier to attend to domestic tasks, the key to making the arrangement work is clear separation between work and the rest of your life. One of the best ways to keep things separate is with a dedicated workspace.
If other members of your household are using the study, try setting up a table in the corner of the living room, using one end of the dining table or even sitting outside on a balcony or patio. If possible, avoid working in your bedroom to prevent your sleeping space becoming associated with work.
Trying to get your head around video conferencing systems and accessing the intranet remotely for the first time can be stressful. The solution? Your IT department or, if you work for a smaller company, a co-worker that’s great with technology. Asking for help means less time pulling your hair out and more time for productive work.
Even though they might seem restrictive and boring, routines are extremely important for your wellbeing. They can help you feel steady and safe, and bring back some normalcy to your days. Aim to get up, start and finish work, and eat and sleep at regular times.
It can be tempting to lounge around in your pyjamas all day but, if you’re dressed for bed, your brain may think it’s bedtime. That’s not to say you need to suit up – instead, wear comfortable clothes acceptable for a Zoom call with your colleagues.
Research shows that , so it’s especially important now to stay connected with your co-workers. Organising virtual meetings and social get-togethers can help to reduce stress levels, lessen feelings of isolation and boost productivity. If you’re a manager, aim to set up regular team meetings and let your team know you’re available for one-on-one chats at any time.
Exercise is excellent for your mental health, especially when you’re working from home. It stimulates chemicals in the brain that improve your mood, and there’s also research to suggest regular exercise can be an for some types of depression. It doesn’t need to be vigorous – a brisk walk each day is enough. Try starting the day with some yoga, head out for a walk to break up your afternoon or go cycling after work is wrapped up.
Managing your mental health can be tricky when you’re working from home, but these simple strategies should help to boost your mood – and your productivity.
This information does not take into account your personal circumstances and is general. It is an overview only and should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon. Consider obtaining personalised advice from a professional financial adviser and your accountant before making any financial decisions in relation to the matters discussed in this article, including when considering tax and finance options for your business.