As the world is learning to live with Covid-19, there has been a major shift in the labor force. The most notable workforce trend is that certain positions are transitioning permanently to work-from-home positions. Many people recognize the benefits of working remotely. However, we are only beginning to understand the full impact of what this shift means and how it is affecting social dynamics and mental health. Many at-home workers report greater feelings of isolation, diminished social interactions and connections, longer working hours, difficulty separating their work and personal life, and burnout. Research tells us that self-care is essential now more than ever which is why we wanted to share some of our best practices for self-care when working remotely.
- Establish a routine.
There is no question that it becomes harder to maintain a routine out of the office. Therefore, you have to set a routine with clear times for personal life and work responsibilities. This includes logging in and out at the same time every day. You shouldn’t be working during your “off” time. A routine also applies to your sleep schedule to ensure you get enough rest. Getting proper sleep enables you to perform at peak productivity and efficiency both at home and on the job.
- Be mindful of your mental health.
Another pitfall is ignoring your mental health. Be mindful of your feelings and be honest with yourself about how you are doing. It’s important to recognize your issues and not be afraid to ask for help. If you have struggled with mental health issues in the past, this is even more important. Knowing what patterns and behaviors trigger them will better prepare you to avoid them.
- Don’t overlook your physical health.
Your physical and mental health are intimately tied to each other. However, it becomes difficult to maintain a healthy diet and exercise when working remotely. Good physical health can improve your mental health. Moving your body throughout the day can help prevent other health complications from a sedentary lifestyle and boost your serotonin levels. So, it’s important to find time to get active. You can incorporate yoga, stretching, and short workouts during your breaks. Instead of looking at it as another chore, find an activity you enjoy and look forward to every day.
- Make time to do things you enjoy.
Speaking of things you enjoy, you should also find time to do the things you like to do. Taking breaks throughout your day will make you more productive as well. So, why not spend 15 minutes listening to music, catching up on your favorite podcasts, getting ahead in your reading, going outside, playing a game on your phone, or calling a friend? If you feel like you are stuck in a rut, try taking up a new hobby. Doing something simply because you enjoy it may be exactly what the doctor ordered.
- Enforce boundaries for your work-life balance.
Life is all about balance. This is why it’s crucial to make clear distinctions between your work schedule and personal life. Although your career should be a priority, there’s more to life than work. Set aside time for family, friends, hobbies, and yourself. Keeping boundaries between your personal and professional life will help you be more present and less distracted by your other responsibilities.
While there are many things we can do to promote good mental health for our remote workers, you can’t overlook the value of genuine social interactions. Here at P3, we know the value of the connections and do what we can to improve them. Even if we no longer are working in the same physical environment, we find new ways to socialize. For those who are struggling with mental health, you’re not alone. But acknowledging the problem and taking steps towards better-self care can improve your performance and relationships.