Keeping Your Mental Health in Check While Working Remotely

Introduction To Mental Health

By definition, mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Your mental state directs all aspects of your life, especially your thinking.  Making sure you are always on top of it and doing all the things that will lead you to a positive side.

Remote Work’s Impact On Our Mental Health

The dilemma with remote work is the loneliness that can overcome you. A study conducted by the APA (American Psychological Association)conducted an online survey of 1,000 remote workers. The majority of employees working from home say they experienced negative mental health impacts, including isolation, loneliness, and difficulty getting away from work at the end of the day. Remote workers can be seen as fun and creating flexibility but it has another negative side that can affect overall productivity. Workers will tend to be hostile, distant, and off-track with their performance.

Symptoms of Mental Health Breakdown

Exhaustion has been one of the biggest symptoms for a while and the easiest to dictate, however, the list of symptoms has now expanded to feeling anxious, depressed, tearful, or irritable, feeling emotionally and physically exhausted. Most remote workers take leave thinking that these symptoms mean they need rest, not knowing that they are revealing a bigger problem. When you see these symptoms, do not hesitate to consult a professional to talk to your trusted family members and friends.

Overcoming Mental Health Issues

While remote work can definitely impact your mental health if not addressed immediately, there are far more positive things about it. Here are several things you can do to keep your mental health in check while working remotely.

a. Take breaks. Some people forget to stand up from their chairs and take their lunch breaks when working from home. This is a big no-no as this only fuels burnout. Breathe as often as you can, go on short walks, and drink as much water as possible. You can also whip up a quick lunch, take a nap, or do light exercises during your shift. These are little things that can help boost your happiness and productivity at work. The mind can only take so much information until it can no longer process anything and that can lead to a mental block. Mental blocks can prevent you from thinking or encoding the simplest of information and you can be stuck doing the same work over and over again. Take the breaks and listen to a song or switch on the television just so you can revamp and rejuvenate then get back to chasing deadlines.

b. Create a Routine. Structuring your day also ensures that you accomplish those basic tasks that must be done, which will leave you with the time to schedule other things that you want or need to accomplish. Routines help us to create positive daily habits that promote self-care. We can organize our time around things that we deem important to maintain happiness and feelings of fulfillment. Of course, your schedule may change somewhat depending on the day of the week, but sticking to a basic structure for when you will wake, eat, work, do activities, and sleep can help you feel less stressed out and more organized.

c. Nurture your Home Office. Your space is your sanctuary, it will bring peace and put you in the right frame of mind to complete your tasks. This space is also the source of your creativity therefore it needs to resemble all the things that calm you and make you creative. Organize your space in colors you like, have a snack and water closet, and have all your favorite stickers and sentimental items that bring up happy thoughts and are able to put you in the best mood. Attitude is everything and the more positive you are the better results you will produce.

d. Exercise. Exercising 20 to 30 minutes daily can significantly lower anxiety levels. You’ll also boost endorphins and serotonin to flood your brain with happiness. Plus, working out distracts your noggin from work problems so you can actually take a break . Fight the urge to stay sedentary and schedule an active time to get your heart pumping. Go for a walk or bike ride, stretch or do yoga, practice a hip-hop dance video on YouTube — whatever floats your boat.

e. Socialize. Working remotely doesn’t mean you have to stay at home and be a hermit. Don’t forget to connect with your friends and family on your breaks or on weekends. You can schedule facetime in order to ensure you don’t completely alienate yourself from your loved ones while working remotely.

f. Go on me-days. A me-day is a mental health day. It feels good to go on vacations, spas, or basically just get along, uninterrupted sleep to treat yourself after a stressful week at work. Be sure to give yourself a treat without feeling any guilt. Also, be sure to not do anything work-related during this time to ensure you are fully recharged once you go back to work!

g. Learn something new. We’ve read about many folks, who, after the pandemic started, also acquired different hobbies in order to keep themselves productive and keep their minds on positive things. You can also sign up for a class to upskill. It could be related to your work or completely unrelated, like learning a new language.

 h. Start saying “no”. Ensuring that you prioritize your mental health sometimes involves saying ‘no’. Working from home sometimes seems one can get carried away and start taking on tasks, which can lead to fatigue. Having the right mindset and balanced work tasks will have a positive effect on your mental health. Taking advantage of your own free time can lead to burnout.

May is mental health awareness month, it is imperative for all companies to stop and look at some of the things they can do to ensure that their people are kept in check. There’s no formula to ensure that you have a healthy state of mind, but there are many simple ways that you can do and change to improve it. All you have to do is start being more conscious and aware of your mental state and get to work consistently ensuring you have a healthy mindset as you are working remotely!

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