The pandemic has changed our lives and enforced a new normal for us to adapt to. Most of us have been working from home for over a year now. Amidst the endless uncertainty and prolonged isolation, many of us have been struggling with stress, anxiety, burnout, depression, and more. Here are some strategies to stay productive and mentally healthy.
Are you a victim of disturbed mental health due to increasing work pressure in work from home setup? Here’s what you can do to tackle mental wellbeing while working from home, as told by Dr Amit Malik, Psychiatrist, Founder & CEO, InnerHour
1# Set a schedule & define boundaries
Not having our usual routine can make it difficult to adapt to WFH. Create a new routine to follow:
- Incorporate time for work, chores, leisure, self-care and social interactions.
- Give a structure to your day so you can find an anchor to feel grounded.
- Set boundaries that work for you.
Remember that it’s okay to say ‘no’ and to take a break once in a while. You can also communicate your boundaries with people at home and let them know how they can support you.
2# Stay motivated
Being at home for an extended period of time can make your work days seem long, tedious, and monotonous. Think of different ways to stay motivated at work and in your personal life. Set small goals for yourself, so you have something to look forward to. You can also create daily to-do lists and check off items as you complete them to experience a sense of accomplishment.
3# Eat healthy and exercise
Working from home can change your eating habits and exercise routines.. Your physical health and mental health are interconnected, and it’s important to focus on the basics. Set clear meal times, eat mindfully and have well-balanced meals. If possible, work with a nutritionist to figure out the most balanced meal for your body. Eat at regular intervals to avoid binges but also do not reprimand yourself for indulging occasionally. Create a workout regime for yourself by incorporating exercises that can be easily done at home. Stay active by simply walking around your home at regular intervals.
4# Find ways to maintain your productivity
Find a specific space in your house that can be used just for work. If possible, work from the same desk each day, as a way to ‘prime’ your mind. You can also mentally prepare yourself by changing into work clothes before the start of each day! Try using the Pomodoro technique, where you work in 25-minute periods followed by 5-minute breaks.
5# Focus on staying connected
Not having face-to-face interactions with coworkers not only makes work harder but also contributes to feelings of loneliness. Use technology to stay in touch with your colleagues. Choose video platforms for work calls so that you can see each other as far as possible. Stay in touch with your loved ones. Think quality over quantity, and find creative ways to spend time online: have lunch with a friend while being on video call, or watch a show together online.
6# Make time for self-care
Self-care can be the last thing on your mind right now, but it is crucial for your physical and mental health. Here’s how it can be done:
- Define what self-care means to you, and make time for it each day. You could practise mindfulness, journalling, talk to a friend, or spend time with your loved ones. This will allow your mind to rest and recharge, and can even protect you from burning out.
- You could also try digital tools, including self-care apps like InnerHour, that offer a range of personalised self-care activities that can be used anytime, anywhere.
Remember that you are not alone, and try to take things one day at a time. Focus on what you can control to make your physical and mental health a priority.
With inputs from Dr. Amit Malik, Psychiatrist, Founder & CEO, InnerHour
Image Courtesy: Freepik
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