Work and Wellbeing · 28 May 2020

4 tips for putting your mental health first whilst working from home

mental health

Ian Wright, founder of SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk shares his top tips for mental health positivity when working from home…

Taking care of yourself and prioritising your mental health is now more important than ever. During these unprecedented times, and whilst we’re still encouraged to work from home, it’s easy to feel isolated with many of us spending the majority of our time in our houses or flats and unable to hug our loved ones.

1. Set boundaries

Many of us enjoy the separation of our work and home lives, but with no clear distinction of leaving the office and walking into our homes, it’s easy to feel out of sync. What might have previously come naturally in terms of schedules and routines may now be more of a muddle, meaning you forget important tasks or let good habits slip.

It’s important that you still set those boundaries of switching off from work mode and de-stressing in the evening. Try to avoid piling on the overtime and be clear about when you start and stop working for the day, both for yourself and your colleagues, to prevent your work from taking over your life. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is critical to putting your mental health first. Even setting up a dedicated work space can help so that once leaving this area, you know it’s officially time to relax!

2. Exercise your body and mind

Exercise isn’t just for losing weight: it has the potential to enhance our mood. Whether it’s a virtual yoga class or taking a walk at lunch time, exercise helps your body release serotonin, the chemical in your brain that promotes happiness and wellbeing.

Even if you’re only spending 10 minutes before work taking a walk around the block, this can have a positive impact on your mood for the rest of the day and put you in the right mindframe to be productive.

Additionally, it’s important to exercise your mind! This can also boost your focus and can be achieved by completing a puzzle or even pausing for some meditation before clocking back on after your lunch break.

3. Stay connected

When working from home, it’s easy to feel a little isolated not just from our family and friends but also our colleagues. Just because you can’t walk over to a person’s desk for a quick chat doesn’t mean you have to cut communication completely. In fact, it’s vital to maintain a sense of a team and organising activities like a “pub” quiz on a Friday afternoon can put you in touch with your coworkers and provide a social atmosphere even from home.

There are also many great online messaging services to touch base throughout the day, but you should also consider having phone or video calls, as it can be more personal and feel more real. Maintaining conversations with those around you can help to provide better emotional support during a time where we all feel slightly uneasy.

4. Make yourself a priority

Remember that you’re not alone with whatever you’re feeling during this unpredictable time. Although you should still make an effort to hold onto your routine and do things which give you a sense of normalcy, you should also be generous when it comes to judging your own performance.

As mentioned previously, maintaining a work life balance is important to keep stress levels low and allowing time to relax. Taking regular breaks can help recharge your mind and put things into perspective – without taking a step back you’ll be less able to focus on the task at hand. Try setting realistic goals and don’t feel disappointed if your results are a little lower than your usual expectations. It’s important to make conscious decisions to allow time for relaxing and recharging.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Ian Wright is the founder of SmallBusinessPrices.co.uk which helps UK SMEs make accurate price comparisons for a wide range of business products and services. When not working on his business he enjoys good coffee, going for short runs and long walks and most importantly spending as much time with his two young kids as possible.

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