Ways to Take Care of Your Mental Health When Working Remotely
At first, working from home might seem to be a dream come true; you get to wake up just before work and sit in a pyjama with a mug of coffee in your hand and no one can comment on how many snacks you’re munching on. At the same time, remote work can make it difficult to maintain a life-work balance and increase your stress. Here’s what you can do to make this model work for you without letting it negatively affect your health:
1. Learn to recognise when you aren’t well
If you’re new to working remotely, a transition from the traditional working style might be overwhelming. To prevent the stress from turning chronic, consider keeping a mood journal. Putting your thoughts down on paper will not only increase your mood but also allow you to spot patterns. If you notice that you’ve been feeling emotionally low for a couple of weeks, it’s a sign that you need to change your approach or take some days off.
2. Set boundaries
Saying no to someone isn’t easy, especially if they’re your boss but the only way to keep your mental health in check is to prioritize it overwork. If you’re asked to do extra work, consider if you can complete it without compromising on spending time with your family or sleep.
3. Connect with your co-workers
Even though you might appreciate the peace and quiet at first, remote working can also increase the feeling of isolation. Additionally, studies show that maintaining relationships at work can translate into higher work satisfaction, which might make you feel happier and increase your performance.  Even though daily Zoom conferences might not be possible, make sure you try to find a way to connect with your co-workers; even joining a group chat where you complain about the workload can make you feel less lonely.
4. Take regular breaks
When you work from home, you can choose when and how to have a break which can be both a blessing and a curse. If you tend to reward yourself with a break only after you’ve done all the work or if your time-management skills aren’t great, you might end up being glued to your laptop for hours. Lack of breaks isn’t just bad for your body but also for your mind. If you constantly over work yourself, you’ll eventually find it difficult to stop thinking about your job. So set an alarm clock and make sure you rest whenever possible.
5. Practise meditation
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is clocking out mentally as soon as the work ends; this is especially difficult if you work from your bedroom and not a living room or a dining area. To learn how to relax and stop worrying about your job after hours, try guided meditation. There are plenty of short videos you can find on YouTube – all you have to do is listen and follow the instructions.
6. Make changes to your environment
Depending on your living arrangement, you might struggle more or less to focus on your job – hearing your neighbors mow the lawn or have a heated discussion isn’t ideal but you can invest in earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones to minimise the distraction. A good idea is to also organise your desk as clutter is linked to increased stress. 
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Contact My Family Psychologist to see how we can help