Everyone talks about remote work and the benefits it brings with it, from productivity to work-life balance improvements. But for many among us, changes like these bring new challenges. It can be unstructured, unstable, and even a lonely experience, especially if you are new to it.
So, how can you look after your well-being when working from home? How can you create healthy boundaries between work and personal life, and stay mentally healthy? These simple tips can help you feel more productive and motivated, and take care of your mental health while working remotely.
Pay attention to your physical needs
It’s common to think that you should work harder to justify your WFH position. Yet too much focus can be a problem in the long term, it drains your brain of energy, prevents you from seeing what is happening around you, and eventually gets you burned out.
Listen to your body, eat well, sleep well, and exercise. These are the most crucial activities that should not be ignored just because you are working from home. If possible, prepare breakfast and lunch ahead of time to avoid skipping meals. Don’t compromise your sleep, keep up physical activity, whether it’s by going for a walk outdoors or using an online exercise tutorial to guide you indoors. Moving around does a lot of good things to our mind, like making the necessary hormones and improving the brain’s blood flow.
Set and stick to a routine
When working remotely, the lines between work and personal time can easily get blurred. Try to maintain your previous routine and keep a steady schedule. Get up, and be ready at your desk 10 minutes early to go through emails and create your daily task list.
If you feel defeated by your responsibilities, try splitting your work into smaller tasks, and work on one thing at a time to avoid getting overwhelmed. Then, when the working day is over, disconnect and focus on personal activities to avoid burnout and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Create a dedicated working space
One of the most important things you need to consider when working from home is creating a dedicated workspace. Choose a separate room that can be closed to minimize distractions. If you don’t have a free room you could also use the corner of your bedroom, it doesn’t matter as long as you keep this space separated from your personal life. Focus on your work only when you are in this space to create a physical and mental boundary between your professional and personal life.
Be kind to yourself and others
Working from home is not always easy. Keep in mind that everyone is human. It’s important to be kind to others and yourself and be patient with your manager and teammates. It will get easier with time. The most important thing to remember is that we are all in it together, figuring it out as we go. If you are unsure or have any concerns, don’t be shy to raise your hand and ask questions.
Working from home takes a lot of self-discipline. Some days will feel more productive than others and it’s important to know that it’s normal!
Changes are difficult but worth the risk
Many companies now realize that working from home makes everyone more productive. They would have gotten there eventually, but the latest events rushed the process. I was new at this once, and I know about the doubts that tend to build up. Yes, remote work means you need to let go of the perks of being in the office, you have to develop a new set of skills and get used to the new teamwork dynamics. But now the timing is perfect. Trust me and the research: leaving the office building behind will make you happier, healthier, and more fulfilled.
Self-care when working from home is essential. By setting healthy boundaries and prioritizing your mental and physical wellbeing, you’ll avoid falling into bad habits and remain productive and motivated instead. Good luck!