National lockdown number two starts in England from midnight tonight. After the government’s big push to get everyone back to work, many will now be preparing to return back home to work once again!
Whilst working from home seems like a luxury to some, it doesn’t suit everyone. And, combined with the uncertainty of the current economic situation, working in isolation at home can cause heightened stress, loneliness and anxiety.
It’s vital to look after your mental health and wellbeing when you are working from home. From investing in ergonomic office chairs for your home office, to making self-care a priority; there are lots of ways you canlook after your own wellbeing whilst working from home.
Read on for are some working at home wellbeing tips to stay productive, positive and take care of your mental health.
Create a hygge work environment
One of the main benefits of working from home is being surrounded by all your personal affections. Many office spaces can feel clinical and lifeless, but you have the opportunity to create a space you truly love when working from home.
If you have a home office then don’t make it resemble the type of dull cubicle you might find in an office block, but instead bring the personal touch and your home décor style to your office space too.
Choose a custom made rustic desk to bring warmth into your home office. Add a cushion for extra comfort to your chair and cosy rugs on top of real wood flooring.
Hang your favourite art on the walls, light a scented candle whilst working, slip your shoes off and nestle your toes into that fluffy rug under your desk!
Enjoy these little luxuries that make working from home a joy and a unique experience. Make your home office the cosiest place you want to be this autumn!
Swap the commute for yoga or meditation
If you usually have to commute to work then use this time to focus on your wellbeing instead. Rather than stressful traffic jams and packed tubes, take the time to practice yoga or meditation to soothe your mind and set the tone for your day.
There are many free videos on YouTube, including Yoga with Adriene who has practices for productive days, busy days and more work related yoga flows. Make it a habit every day before and after work and see your mood and thoughts improve!
Take a break
There’s a reason why there are legal break times for the employed in the UK, so make sure you don’t skip these just because you are working at home.
It’s important to take short breaks to reduce stress levels and for eye health if you are working at a computer screen all day. It’s also important to eat and drink nutritious food for brain power and energy, so don’t skip lunch!
Focus on nutrition
It’s no secret and I’ll put it bluntly - crap food makes you feel crap!
Just because you’re working at home and the biscuit tin is an arm’s throw away, it doesn’t mean your healthy eating habits should slide.
To feel your best and be motivated and productive you need to eat as much fresh nutritious plant based food as possible.
Choose your home office snacks wisely and keep a fresh fruit bowl to hand, along with nuts and healthy treats.
Whilst coffee is usually the drink of choice for many adults, it can lead to anxiety, jitters and even a caffeine crash in the afternoon.
Choose fresh water instead to invigorate the mind and body, green tea for a caffeine boost without a crash and the best mushroom tea for a natural energy boost.
You’re not alone
Don’t forget to keep in touch with your manager and colleagues. You are not alone and they are only a video call or email away.
Use your breaks to give a friend a quick call for a catch up.
If you start feeling lonely or isolated when working from home, then reach out to someone. Don’t feel like you need to be alone.
It’s easy to stay connected nowadays and you can still meet up outdoor with one person from another household, even in the new national lockdown rules in England from tomorrow.
Set boundaries and know when your working hours are. It’s very easy when working from home to stay at it all day long, especially when all other social events are cancelled and there’s nowhere else to go right now!
It’s important to switch your brain off work mode and have some you-time. If you live with others then make sure you spend quality time together and aren’t wrapped up in work all day, every day!
Try to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Don’t be tough on yourself
Times are strange right now and it’s OK to have an off day. We are going to feel stressed or anxious at times. Things will get overwhelming sometimes. That’s OK.
Don’t beat yourself up about it. Read the signals and know when your mind or body needs a break from work.
If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed then take a step back from work, for a moment, and practice some self-care. Go for a walk in nature. Watch your favourite TV show. Have a warm candlelit bath. Read a book. Whatever switches your mind off and lets you relax and take a moment for yourself - do it.
You won’t be productive or feel motivated if you’re too stressed and anxious whilst working from home. Make sure you prioritise your wellbeing so you can remain productive when you need to work.
Related mental health blog posts:
- 4 healthy and cheap ways to destress
- Why social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation
- How CBD can beat work related stresses
- Why yoga is so good for your mental health
- Tips to relieve the stress of balancing children + work life
- Money and relationships: how to deal with financial stress