Keeping your mental wellbeing while working from home
There are upsides of working from home, such as eliminating the commute, improved productivity and more flexible hours, but what of the downsides? Feeling isolated, endless home distractions and interruptions can build stress levels and above-all, without a clear division between the physical workplace and the home, burnout is a real threat to personal wellbeing.
So how can you create healthy boundaries for a work-life balance? We asked the Digiterre team, who regularly work from home, what they do in practice to maintain wellbeing. Here are their 6 top tips:
- Develop a timetable for the week – setting a timetable for the week ahead gives some shape and expectation as you kick-off every Monday morning. It may be as simple as setting a regular day to be somewhere else e.g., in the London office every Thursday.
- Set daily mental boundaries – rather than just schedule work in your calendar or daily to-do list, schedule all your home tasks as well, such as the school run or the weekly shop. Take a short local walk before and after work as a boundary and a replacement for the commute.
- Establish a ‘work zone’ separate from your ‘R & R zone’ – you shouldn’t spend your evenings relaxing in the same space you work in – you won’t mentally switch off. Your work zone may be a different room or perhaps floor in your home. Keep your sitting room and kitchen as your playroom.
- A change is as good as a rest at mid-day – why not cook yourself a proper lunch? Plan some recipes in your lunchtime slots. Rather than spend a rushed 15 mins with some crisps and a sandwich, set aside an hour to cook and enjoy a meal. Alternatively, visit the gym at lunchtime perhaps 2 or 3 days a week. That way, if you do work later in the day, you can at least feel content you’ve not slogged through from 9am without a decent wellbeing break.
- Be physically active – create a separation from the keyboard. Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. Evidence shows it can also improve your mental wellbeing by raising your self-esteem and causing chemical changes in your brain which can help to positively change your mood. Think about how you can set-up a standing desk platform to work from, rather than sitting at a desk the whole time. A wireless headset will enable you to move too, walk around and stretch during those long meetings!
- Experiment with a ‘power hour’ – say between 6am and 7am, when you can put 100% effort into a dedicated task or project with no distractions, unrelated calls or texts or unproductive time on social media.
Some great ideas from the team. Having some shape to the day, week or month working from home and keeping active is good for your self-esteem and can keep you more mindful and focused on whatever you’re doing at home, whether it’s work or play!