Marisol Salgado, MA, LPC
3 Ways To Look After Your Mental Health When Working From Home
If you’re stuck working from home, unable to see your work colleagues from day to day, you may find yourself struggling with your mental health.
This is understandable, as often just seeing others can brighten your day. Very few want to be stuck at home all day, let alone have to work from home every day. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule.
Consider these ways to look after your mental health when working from home.
1. Try to Get into a Routine (Its more important thank you think!)
It can be a challenge and isolating to work from home. Often, you may find your attention wandering, or you may be missing your work colleagues.
A routine can help you focus on your tasks.
Use these strategies:
● Have a space for work that is free of any distractions. Here you will see my own Telehealth space.
● Set a routine to get up and get started, take regular breaks including lunch, and finish work at a reasonable time.
● Avoid working in your pajamas. Changing to to work clothes tells your brain its Tim to work.
● Set clear tasks for the day and prioritize them. Do the most important tasks first.
● When you finish work, clean up your workspace as you would in an office.
● If you’re homeschooling your children, it may be a good idea to let your superiors know. You’ll want to set up a routine of when you can work and when you can give your children the attention they need too.
2. Keep In Touch With Colleagues
To avoid becoming isolated while working from home, keep in touch with colleagues, both in a formal fashion and a more social one.
Try these techniques:
● Discuss with your colleagues when it is best to contact you and try to remain available during these times.
● Use video calling software for formal discussions.
● Follow up any video calls with a quick note to ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding the actions that need to be taken.
● You can also use video calling for more informal chats or use other messenger services if it is more appropriate.
● Check in with the rest of the team at the end of the workday to get updates. These updates might be work-related, or you might use this time for personal updates.
Try to keep your work and social life separate. When working from home, it is easy for your work and social life to merge.
Not all of your colleagues will appreciate you sharing everything with them, so respect their boundaries, just as you expect them to respect yours.
3. Use Any Support Available
Working from home can be challenging, so if there is support available, make the most of it:
● Many employers will have support available for its employees, with dedicated apps and websites offering support.
● If you are currently struggling with a physical or mental health condition, your employer may be able to make reasonable adjustments to your work schedule, offer additional support from managers or other colleagues, and to provide equipment if needed.
● Look at the self-care techniques you’ve used in the past that have worked for you. You will have to be flexible sometimes, especially if you are stuck at home. For example, if you would usually go to the gym to relieve your issues, you could try working out from home using an online class.
Working from home is not for everyone. Some people will thrive in that environment while others will struggle. Keep these tips in mind, especially if you’re struggling. They can help you remain a productive worker while you’re stuck at home.
If you need additional help your employer might have EAP (employee assistance program) benefits you might be able to use. Contact your HR team to ask.