The presumption that working from home is all about coziness and having coffee breaks whenever you want is completely wrong. Working from home can be just as challenging as working in an office. The freedom that it offers can often lead to procrastination and of course lots of stress. As your home is both your place of relaxation and your office, you can sometimes mix the two worlds and feel consistent pressure to work. Sounds familiar?
Feeling anxious and experiencing stress is common among remote workers. The solitude of the home office can easily add to the pressure. In order to maintain your mental health and reduce anxiety, you need to implement a few handy tips into your daily routine. The negative feelings are normal but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t fight against them. Welcome the following changes into your life which will help you keep your mental health in check while working from home.
Have a Day Off
The availability to access your work tasks at any time can consume each day of your week. You might think “I’ll just do a few things this Sunday to speed up my work” and then you spend hours at your desk. Big mistake.
The same as every other worker, you deserve a day or two off. It can be a weekend, or any day during the week. Luckily, you have the freedom to decide which days you can single out for relaxation.
Allow yourself to shut down from all the work obligations even just for a day. Even if you think that doing a task or two won’t matter, your brain will be in work mode yet again.
Pick a specific day in a week when you won’t think or look at your work tasks and stick to that. Once you get used to that, you will start to enjoy those days more without the pressure of work.
Set a Work Schedule
Not everyone who works from home can dictate their schedule but if you can do it. Introduce some discipline into your life before you get wrapped up in your work.
For example, you can decide on a certain part of the day when you are most productive to deal with work obligations. The rest of the day will be yours to enjoy.
Why is this helpful you may ask? Well, if you keep your options open when you’ll deal with work you’ll feel the pressure the whole day. That thought that you have a task to finish will obsess you consistently until you get it done.
However, if you know that your work hours are from 4 pm to 9 pm you can relax during the morning because you know when your “workday” starts. Give this a try and you’ll see how a routine helps you with relieving the pressure.
Estelle Leotard, a writer at GrabMyEssay shared why she has a strict work schedule, “Yes, I can work whenever I want, but I feel much better when I have a schedule. I used to feel stressed all the time because I was completely disorganized with my writing. With a schedule, I don’t feel that pressure anymore because I differentiate work time from chill time.”
Stay Away from Social Media
One of the biggest challenges of remote workers is to keep their phones away – or to be more specific social media- during work. This is damaging for your mental health in multiple ways.
First of all, it lowers your attention span. Cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf explained in her podcast that by scrolling on social media we’re getting our brain used to the short intake of information. That is, the more you do that, the more will your brain be bored when it encounters lines of text. The lack of concentration that you develop will make you impatient and anxious.
There is another trouble that comes with using social media often and during work hours. Can you relate to the following situation: You just take your phone for a second to relax and check out new posts on Instagram. The next thing you know,you’ve been scrolling for hours. Most of us have been there.
The result that comes out of it is that you feel guilty and stressed because you wasted your time on nothing.
Don’t fall in the trap that you’ll “just take a glimpse” because you won’t. It’s better to stay away from social media when yourworking. If you need your phone for work, find apps for blocking social media.
Get out of the House
When your workplace is the same as your living space you can easily spend days not getting out of your house. There is no office to go to so you might not feel the need to get out. The self-imposed confinement will affect your mental well-being.
We all need fresh air, some physical movement, and social contact. Depriving yourself of that can lead to negative effects as serious as depression.
Bridgette Hernandez, a writer who runs BestEssayEducation blog had opened up about how remote working has made her feel like her own prisoner. “At one point, I didn’t feel the need to get outside except to get groceries. I had a lot of work and that was my excuse but it wasn’t a valid one. I wasn’t able to understand why my mental health was getting worse until my friend who is also a writer didn’t recommend daily walks. From that day, my life has become so much better and I was amazed at the change that happened in me after that,” shared Kristin.
Find a reason that will get you out and about every day. It may be a short walk with your headphones in, a quick coffee break with your friends, or an exercise in the park. Choose what suits you and stay true to this habit.
Remote workers are the masters of their own time. This comes with a huge responsibility and pressure. What you can easily forget is that your number one responsibility should be keeping your mental health in order. These simple tips can help you with your well-being. Remember to always find time to relax and release your mind from work-related thoughts.
About the Author: Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she works as a freelance writer at WowGrade and Studicus.