With the increase in the Covid-19 cases in the UK, and the closure of many businesses to protect the physical health of staff, an extraordinary number of people will be working from home where able. This may seem like a dream come true, and your initial thoughts might be “another half hour in bed? Don’t mind if I do”, but a lot of people who have never worked from home before may being to struggle.
Add to the change and upheaval of home working for the first time, with the national panic of the virus, and this may be too much for some. However, we are here to help! We have put together a list of tips, tricks and advice for staying calm, and looking after your mental health, as well as physical, in such an anxious time.
If you are worried about working from home, here are some general points about helping your mental health:
- Get up and get dressed – this may not seem important but starting your day as you would if you were leaving the house and going to work will make a massive impact on your mindset.
- Give yourself a break – again, this may not seem like a top priority. If you are in the office, you may eat lunch at your desk, or have a ‘working lunch’, so why is home any different? When you work from home, you (for the most part) will have less distractions. This means that you will spend a lot more time staring at your computer screen and can easily get sucked into whatever is thrown your way. Taking 15-30 minutes away from your desk, making some lunch and regrouping with yourself ensures that you are as productive in the afternoon as you have been all morning.
- Get outside – so this one may not be as plausible during the Covid-19 outbreak, as we have been told to limit social contact, however those with gardens should use them! Get outside for 10 minutes before work with a coffee – it will set you up with fresh air for the day, and clear your mind before the emails come flooding in. If you can, try and do a bit of light exercise – just think you would be walking to and from the car/public transport.
- Call friends – the thing people don’t expect from home working is how lonely it can be. Without the comradery of a team surrounding you, you can begin to feel quite alone. Make some time during your lunch to check-in with the team and see how everyone is doing or call the friend that you’ve been meaning to speak to for a while. Everybody is in the same boat at the moment, so a little kindness goes a long way.
The concerns about home working can be easily solved, however there is a wider worry about the virus itself. We have provided some advice to help take care of your mental health away from work as well:
- Limit the amount of time you spend reading or watching any news that makes you feel distressed or anxious. Choose a specific time of day to check-in with the news.
- Stay informed on the latest news though reliable and reputable sources, such as government and NHS websites
- Mute keywords on social media which may alert you to distressing content
- Mute groups and posts on social media which may leave you feeling overwhelmed.
- If self-isolating, make sure you stick to a routine but allow time for some variety to avoid monotony. Try making a to-do list of things you have been meaning to get done.
It’s important to remember that this period will pass. And, while no one can predict the future, there is one thing we are certain of—UK businesses and employees will come through this challenging time stronger than ever.
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