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How to Maintain Mental Well-Being While Working From Home

Updated on April 19, 2020
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With most of us on self-quarantine or working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have to deal with a lot of problems.

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Work From Home and Mental Well Being

Working long hours on the computer at home amid the lock-down, struggling between work assignments and household chores can cause one to be more stressed and fatigued out than a 9 to 5 workday. Added to that the constant news updates on the spread of the virus and its toll on people across the world can lead to anxiety and depression also. Taking care of mental well-being during this crisis is as important as taking care of your physical health. There are ways to stay productive and not lose your calm during the shutdown. So here are some tips to beat loneliness and isolation while working from home during the pandemic.

Plan Your Day Ahead

To avoid confusion and work-related troubles, plan your day ahead carefully. It is important to plan a schedule on what needs to be done on a daily basis so as to stay focused and productive. Deadlines need to be met whether you are working from home or from an office. So set a timeline and get going, don’t brood on the boredom of working alone. Getting the work done is important. The first step is to wake up early. True you have saved on the commutation time, but the sooner you start your work, the easier it is for you to complete the work as per your schedule. Go to sleep early so it is easier to wake up early. A paper planner can keep you on track every day. Schedule the toughest task for the mornings when you are refreshed and active, calls in the afternoon to keep boredom away. It is advisable to schedule a specific time for emails and chats with colleagues. Set up professional and personal goals. Follow your progress and see what needs to be done to improve your productivity. Achieving the daily goals that you have set within the allotted time gives you a sense of satisfaction and motivates you to work better. Maintaining a work-life balance is important for good mental and physical health during these critical times.

Create a Conductive Working Space

Create a workspace in the house that is conducive to work. Don’t slouch on the couch with your laptop, it is not only bad for your posture and back, but can be demotivating. Invest in comfortable furniture. Find a space that is pleasant with good light and air. Fill it with house plants. Natural surroundings keep you cheerful. Keep the surroundings where you work clean. Keep your desk tidy with the things you need to work with like notepad, pen, cellphone, charger within easy reach like you would in an office cubicle. Noise cancellation headphones should be very useful and help you to concentrate on the work. Ensure that you are not disturbed by pets or children when you are in your designated workspace, working.

Technology to the Rescue

All employees who work from home, work on laptops or desktops at home. Most of the important applications and data are on the cloud; critically most companies have a remote/distributed work culture already in place. Home internet connections are fairly good. Apps like Microsoft’s Teams for chats and sharing pictures and zoom for calls and video meetings. Whiteboard on Teams helps to illustrate points and Channels in Teams to share notes. The pandemic is demonstrating that technology will keep us close, even if we are physically apart.

 Dress well to feel Inspired
Dress well to feel Inspired | Source

Work From Home Fashion

Apparel firms have come up with new styles for professionals who work from home. With a sharp slump in sales due to the COVID 19 and lock-down, these firms are hoping to up their sales with a variety of styles for meetings, client calls and such specific work from home apparel. They also have makeup and accessories. They believe that even in the post COVID era ‘work from home’ will be accepted more and practiced widely. They have come up with a wide range of formal yet comfortable apparel for the fashion-conscious. So go for it. Dress like you do when you go to the office with the latest fashion trends. It will uplift your spirits and get you in the mood to work.

Stay Updated but Don’t Obsess Over Negative News

It will only cause more anxiety and fear. Use social media to stay connected with near and dear ones. Use online platforms with caution and follow only reliable and verified news. Do not be a victim of rumors and fake news. Epidemics and Pandemics are known to cause fear and affect the mental health of people long after they are over. Self-correcting systems of yoga, meditation, and breathing techniques are best to heal your mind and body. Do not post anything related to work on social media during work time as it can lead to a lot of complications. Log out from all social media accounts from the computer that you are working on to avoid distractions and the temptation to scroll through those accounts whenever you get a notification. Many companies have begun conducting some fun activities to uplift the morale of their employees in these depressive times. From fitness classes to music concerts and virtual birthday celebrations, employers are doing their bit to keep their staff motivated. They have also started helplines for counseling distressed employees and their families. To stay calm and make the most of your time at home during the pandemic, please read my hub:

https://hubpages.com/health/Corona-Scare-How-to-Stay-Calm-And-Make-the-Most-of-Your-Time-at-Home


Stay connected

Stay connected with your colleagues, friends to beat the isolation blues. The key to success during work from home lies in communication. Update your team members by video call or chat rather than sending emails and waiting for their replies. Share important information with your team. Ask for regular performance evaluation with your manager and get sufficient face time with him. Co-workers and colleagues need to reassure and help each other stay healthy during these stressful times. Use video for conversations with colleagues as face to face conversations build rapport and help to bond better. Respond quickly to questions and be available for meetings, chats, and conferences. Be willing to help coworkers to re-prioritize tasks when they are indisposed. It helps build trust. They can also exchange helpful tips during their free time about their children and family which can be very useful at critical times.

Being Physically Active is Crucial

As sitting in front of the computer all day long can cause fatigue, try to take breaks in between, move about or try to work standing for a little while. Take small breaks once in a while, do the dishes, laundry, water the plants. Don’t work continuously for long hours. Work in chunks of 25 minutes. Thereafter stand up and walk around for five minutes. Make it a habit to move throughout the day to beat the ill effects of a sedentary life. Exercise is a must as your physical movements are restricted. Stretch as often as you can, it will relieve you of the stiffness that comes with working continuously hunched over your laptop. Yoga, breathing exercises, aerobics, and mindful meditation are all recommended. Make Exercise a daily routine and fix a time in the morning or evening specifically for it. Breaks are known to improve creativity and productivity. You can also play some light background music if it helps you work better. Block out distractions when you are working. Join online yoga or dancercise classes.

Practice Yoga with Your Child in your Free Time
Practice Yoga with Your Child in your Free Time

Ensure that the Children Are not Bored

Apart from handling your office work, make sure that your kids are engaged in studies or other fun activities. Juggling between the needs of children and office work can be challenging. Imagine when you are in the midst of a video conferencing or chat or a face to face meeting with a client and your child barges in and wants something immediately. If you do not have another person to take care of the child and both the parents are working, and the child is old enough to follow, you have to make the child understand that he or she should not disturb when you are working and are on a call. It is best to keep the child engaged with some activities like painting, writing, or music. You can also enroll the child in online classes. There is no dearth of online classes for children these days. From Eco-friendly crafts to baking, painting, music, and dance, there are a lot of options. But a little parental intervention may also be required for such classes if the child is small. You have to schedule your work timings so that it does not clash with the child’s class. This way you can guide the child till he or she gets accustomed to the routine. to read more on tips to keep the kids engaged at home during the pandemic, please read my hub:

https://hubpages.com/family/How-to-Keep-Kids-Engaged-at-Home-During-The-Corona-Virus-Lock-Down


Spending Free Time in your Garden can be Refreshing
Spending Free Time in your Garden can be Refreshing

Self-Care is Important

Set aside a little time for yourself after the office work is done. Watch your favorite movie, read a book. Continuing with your hobbies when you are working from home is important. Create your own space in bathrooms for that feel good soak. Home space is where you will heal now. Sleep is essential for being productive. But sleep is hard when anxiety levels are high during a pandemic. Missing out on sleep could impair your cognitive functioning and lead to fatigue, irritability, and mental confusion. Ensure you get proper sleep by avoiding caffeine, screen addictions, and a sedentary lifestyle. Set a regular bedtime and wake up time. Binge-watching comedy series like Friends on TV on weekends along with family can be a very good morale booster in these times when there is depressing news everywhere. Spending some time in your garden can be refreshing and therapeutic.

Cookies Amidst Chaos

Baking seems to be a favorite de-stressor for professionals working from home these days. Mixing the flour, kneading the dough, baking and feeding it to their loved ones seem to be uplifting at these stressful times. New studies have shown that baking can relieve stress. It brings out the creativity in you and makes you forget the stressful and anxious situations. The pandemic forced a major chunk of the workforce to work from home. The present situation entailed work for home as one had to do everything oneself because domestic or outside help is not available due to the lock-down. This caused a huge burden on the people leading to a lot of mental stress and strain. Baking seems to calm people and is in fact therapeutic. So many work from home professionals have taken to baking in their free time to beat stress and anxiety due to the double burden of work from home and work for home.

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Avoid Junk FoodNutritious Food For Energy
Avoid Junk Food
Avoid Junk Food
Nutritious Food For Energy
Nutritious Food For Energy | Source

Avoid Junk Food and Take Care of your Diet

Eating well during quarantine is an important way to maintain good immunity and be productive at work too. For this, you need to have scheduled meal times and eating what you would normally eat at the office. Eat healthy balanced meals with pieces of fruit or a healthy cracker, drink 8 to 10 glasses of water and have a glass of antioxidant-rich vegetable juice daily. Use the time saved on commuting in preparing healthy snacks and cook meals for yourself and your family. This is the bright side of lock-down. You are in charge of the kitchen now, what with no maids and cooks and it is a wonderful time to control the diet of the family. Unstock all the unhealthy junk food that destroy your immunity like alcohol, aerated drinks, artificial sweeteners, and fried and junk food. These may initially spike your blood sugar but will also send them crashing down. Don’t eat at your work desk and don’t work while you eat. Don’t watch TV while you eat. Concentrate on your eating, enjoy each bite, chew slowly and see what a difference it can make to your health and immunity during these stressful times.

Final Thoughts

There has been a drastic improvement in the air quality due to the lock-down. Vehicular transport has come to a standstill; the levels of atmospheric pollution in urban centers all over the world have dropped significantly with billions of people being home-bound. There has been a marked improvement in the environment. The sky is bluer, water sources are cleaner, and we can even hear the birds chirping, what with the absence of horns and other traffic noise in the cities. Considering these enormous benefits of working from home, many companies may consider making work from home a long term option. It saves businesses the office space and rent, electricity and other essentials needed to run an office. For the employees, maintaining a work-life balance can help in beating isolation and loneliness. Then by incorporating certain changes like a disciplined work schedule, a good diet, small breaks in between, proper exercise, and staying connected with coworkers and colleagues, work from home can be productive and fun too.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 VIDYA D SAGAR

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    • profile imageAUTHOR

      VIDYA D SAGAR 

      2 days ago

      Thank you so much Nikhil for visiting and for the encouraging comments. I am glad you liked the tips for mental well-being while working from home. As WFH is the new normal now it is important that we take care of our physical and mental health and not let the stressful situation get to us.

    • sachnikh profile image

      Nikhil Sharma 

      2 days ago from India

      These are really amazing, simple ways to destress ourselves during work from home situation. Through your article, I get to know plenty of useful information on the topic. I'm going to follow you now, Vidya.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      VIDYA D SAGAR 

      4 weeks ago

      Thanks Linda for visiting and for your kind comments. I am so glad you liked it. Take care and stay healthy.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      4 weeks ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for sharing some great ideas, Vidya. I'm glad I read your article.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      VIDYA D SAGAR 

      4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Suresh, I appreciate your visit and your kind comments. Have a good day, stay safe and healthy.

    • profile image

      Suresh 

      4 weeks ago

      Good article

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      VIDYA D SAGAR 

      4 weeks ago

      Thanks, Kyler for your kind comments. I appreciate your visit and comments. By being active we can keep negative thoughts away, so it is crucial both for our physical and mental health. The same can be said about a good diet. Whether during a lock-down or otherwise, a good diet is important for a healthy mind and a healthy body. Take care, have a great day.

    • Kyler J Falk profile image

      Kyler J Falk 

      4 weeks ago from Corona, CA

      Staying active is such an important, crucial, aspect of every facet of life, not just working from home, and I'm so happy you included it! Diet coming in at a close second!

      Great article!

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      VIDYA D SAGAR 

      5 weeks ago

      Thanks Lorna for your kind comments. Yes in our enthusiasm to do it all we often tend to neglect ourselves. That's why self care is very important in this scenario. Simple past times like gardening, baking or even reading, and writing can help a lot in beating the stress and uplifting our mood. Take care dear Lorna, stay safe and healthy

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      5 weeks ago

      Depending on the type of work you do I think working from home has many benefits in particular for the environment. However, for those people with mental health issues, it can lead to an increase in their condition.

      Normally I spend three days a week working from home and two in the clinic. Now I am working from home full-time I do have to remember to set time aside for other things and in order to do this I have made out a schedule.

      This is an excellent article Vidya full of great advice and tips on self-care which is so important. Thank you for sharing. Take care and stay safe.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      VIDYA D SAGAR 

      5 weeks ago

      Thanks Lora for your kind comments. I am glad you liked the ideas mentioned in the article. I hope it is helpful to a lot of people who work from home. Many people have actually realized the enormous benefits of working from home. As you mentioned a little juggling is needed and a few changes to make the most of this good concept. Take care friend and stay safe.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      VIDYA D SAGAR 

      5 weeks ago

      Thanks John, I really appreciate your visit and your kind comments. Lucky are those people who have the option to choose to work from home was my thought when I had to attend office and no option to choose. Actually more work can be done with a little discipline and dedication to your work. Spending time in the garden is the best way to cope with the loneliness that comes with working alone from home. I do hope many more people start to practice this concept long term. Take care friend, stay safe.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      VIDYA D SAGAR 

      5 weeks ago

      Thanks Mitara for your kind comments. Yes it can be quite exhausting balancing office work, household work and the children. It can cause mental problems, if proper care is not taken, the reason why I came up with this article. Less pollution is the major benefit of this concept and the fact that you can be with your family more. Take care Mitara, stay safe.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      VIDYA D SAGAR 

      5 weeks ago

      Thanks Eric for visiting and for your kind comments. Good to know that you are already practicing this concept. It is heartening to note that many companies are considering it a permanent option, given that the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Take care my friend and stay healthy.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      VIDYA D SAGAR 

      5 weeks ago

      Thanks Liz, I appreciate your visit and comments. It is true that mental health can get affected due to the stress of working alone, added to attending the household chores alongside. I have seen my daughter struggling along with a five year old kid at home. So I thought of some tips to beat the blues of working from home.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      VIDYA D SAGAR 

      5 weeks ago

      Thanks Pamela for your kind comments. I hope employers will continue the option of work from home wherever possible, even after things get to normal. So much vehicular pollution can be avoided and help our environment. Commuting time, rent and space can be saved. Employees must strongly advocate for it. Take care Pamela, stay safe.

    • Lora Hollings profile image

      Lora Hollings 

      5 weeks ago

      Your article makes us realize all the positives from working at home, Vidya. And I was really impressed with your poll results as more people seem to prefer working from home. We would have a lot cleaner and healthier environment as well. You make some great suggestions on how to juggle both working from home and spending time with our families too. I will definitely implement many of your ideas for a healthy mind and body. Thanks for this great article!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      5 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      You offer wonderful advice in this comprehensive article, Vidya. I already work from home and despite the lockdown etc seem to be getting more work than ever.

      I have been spending a lot of extra time in the garden though for exercise and sunshine as the weather is perfect.

    • MitaraN profile image

      Mitara N 

      5 weeks ago from South Africa

      I love the way you have structured them all excellent ideas.You provide excellent advice. Mentally its exhausting as we all lose track of time balancing workload, schoolwork, housework. At the same time, I for one enjoy having my family around.

      I agree with you regarding the air pollution, vehicles are much more lessened to the norm, which is a great benefit, wish we could say the same for the car insurance though lol.

      God bless, take care and be safe Vidya.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      5 weeks ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great advice here. Some concepts I have been practicing for years. As a stay and work from home dad, I appreciate you bringing this to our attention.

      I really hope more people start working from home. What ever app you use video conferencing and one on one is awesome. I still go out to talk with associates as that is good but I can also go a week or more without.

      Family togetherness and our environment sure are winners in this trying period. I use the word "try" on purpose.

      thank you for this service you have provided.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      5 weeks ago from UK

      You give a lot of good advice. Much has been said recently in the UK about the potential negative effects of working from home on mental health.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      5 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

      Vidya, this is a great article for those working from home. You have written about so many good ideas. I wonder if once this pandemic is over if some people will continue working from home, at least some of the time.The benefits you mentioned are very good to know.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      5 weeks ago from SW England

      I totally agree. You keep safe and well too.

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      VIDYA D SAGAR 

      5 weeks ago

      Thanks, Ann for your kind comments. Yes while we are locked down, the environment is healing, and I hope we learn a lesson from the pandemic and start to care better for our natural resources that are so crucial for sustaining life on this planet. Take care, stay safe and healthy.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      5 weeks ago from SW England

      There are at least some positives coming out of this - less air pollution for one, as you say.

      You have good advice here.

      Ann

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