In these times of COVID-19, mental health while working from home is a slowly emerging trend that needs to be addressed by firms and employees. In a recent survey of the workforce at a reputed firm, 44% of the respondents highlighted ‘mental health’ as a concern while working from home. Such mental health working from home survey is very eye-opening. There can be several reasons which lead to mental health issues. But there are certainly some proactive steps that can be taken by individuals to maintain mental while working from home.
Healthy Diet Helps Manage Mental Health Working From Home
Nutrition is the most important factor for overall health. In times, when the stress levels are high due to unprecedented changes it is even more important to ensure quality nutrition. People can have different living situations. Some may be living with families, others would probably be single. Certain areas are under quarantine, others may have similar restrictions. However, luckily in most parts of the world essentials commodities are available easily through private and govt.
Due to COVID-19, most people would be hesitant to go out and eat. Therefore, it is important to take charge and learn to cook simple dishes with high nutritional value. Include foods with high quantities of essential vitamins like B12, D, Iron, etc. A healthy diet would help build immunity and also protect against the Coronavirus pandemic.
A big part of a healthy lifestyle is to stay hydrated. Typically, people should aim to consume 1-2 liters of water every day. However, as people increasingly work from home, this aspect can be neglected. It is important to stay hydrated for the body to function at optimal levels. You can set up timers to consume small quantities during the day. It helps flush out toxins from the body.
Especially, if you try to maintain an active lifestyle it is important to stay hydrated to avoid injuries.
Standing Up Every Hour
Even before the pandemic struck, there was a lot of awareness being made available against a sedentary lifestyle. It is called the cancer of our times. In the time of COVID -19, as we try to mind mental health working from home, this awareness effort is more important than before. This is no, because like before facilities like gyms and health clubs may not be accessible to everyone.
As a result, you should set up some sort of reminder to stand up and walk around for a few minutes every hour to take a break during the workday. You can use fitness trackers like Apple watches which have such health features built-in.
Go for a Quick Run to Release Stress for Good Mental Health
In COVID times, it is important to stay physically healthy. You may have noticed, that your physical health plays an important role in managing mental health, especially while working from home. When we exercise, the body releases hormones that help with stress release. This release helps reduce stress which can cause other physical ailments over time.
People who were used to going to gyms for a workout must be struggling with mental health working from home these days. To get some sense of normalcy, people can go for a quick 30 minute run around their homes to get some well-needed exercise. This little change can have a huge impact on their lives. People who were never active before, can also go ahead and take up running or jogging as part of their routines as working from home becomes a norm in 2020.
Meditation – Mental Health’s Biggest Ally
One of the most commonly prescribed tools to improve mental health is ‘Meditation’. Meditation is often confused with ‘new age’ treatments. Meditation has clear benefits for mental health. As we look at mental health working from home during COVID, it is strongly recommended that people include ‘Meditation’ as a part of their day.
Meditation is one of the simplest things that people can do. If you are new to it, then just go ahead and start with small 10-15 sessions of deep breathing with your favorite music. Over time you will be able to see the benefits. Meditation promotes relaxation, stress relief, reduced anxiety among the many benefits. Definitely a tool to wield in these tough times.
Spend Time with Family
The work from home paradigm has created new challenges. However, along with these challenges we are presented with some unique opportunities. Working from home has given us the time to connect with our families and friends. To have good mental health working from home, we should take advantage of this opportunity to spend time with our loved ones. There is enough scientific evidence to demonstrate the positive impact on overall mental health when we spend time with loved ones. So we should take time to spend some quality time with family and friends in these tough times.
This would relieve some stress and anxiety that we are dealing with daily. However, a quick note, we should follow all precautions while moving around or inviting people to our homes. While it is important to connect with people, we should take care to not spread the infection and jeopardize people’s lives.
Rekindle your Hobbies
We often complain that we have lost touch of our passions as we grow up. Hobbies are such passions. As we work from home, we should try to find a little time during the week to explore these passions. These can be anything from playing the guitar to gardening. We all have a road not taken.
The biggest benefit of exploring these hidden passions is that it gives us a chance to flex our brainpower in areas other than work and family. Change from the routine is just as important as ‘Meditation’ or ‘Physical Exercise’ in managing mental health working from home.
Get Regular Health Checks
Our body is an amazing miracle of nature. There are so many processes going on in the background of every action we take. With each though having some impact on the workings of the body. So we need to take care of it by maintaining proper levels of nutrition and physical exercise. However, it is important to perform periodic health check-ups to ensure that all the important health indicators are on track.
As we try to manage our mental health during this pandemic, another layer of stress has been introduced in our lives. Stress has been proven to be the prime cause most dangerous ailments such as diabetes, heart conditions, blood pressure. As a result, you must get regular blood and urine work to make sure that your body is not falling behind on any of the key nutritional requirements to avoid these ailments.
The New Work-Life Balance helps Mental Health Working From Home
There still isn’t enough evidence to claim the benefits or drawbacks of the work from home arrangement in COVID times. There are opinions on both sides. Some folks have claimed that work from home arrangement has benefitted work-life balance others have mixed feelings. Some feel they are working longer hours and some claim that reduced stress due to no travel times time.
However, more people are raising the issue these days. So there is a trend emerging. The most common concern is regarding the extended working hours. Managers are reaching out to employees after hours under the assumption that the employee is home. This is problematic. To address this, managers and teams should have open discussions to come to an understanding regarding the working hours. Due to the uncertainty of the future, this is going to be the norm in the upcoming days. So employees need to take the initiative and decide the red lines with their superiors regarding availability. This would allow them to include some of the points listed above in their routine to have a better work-life balance and mental health.
Work from Home and Be Positive
Everyone in this world has problems. It is important to have a positive and solution-oriented outlook on life. The focus should be on solving problems and not towards the problems themselves. A positive attitude is critical to keep the mind engaged positively. A constructively occupied mind is a healthy mind. Keep your mind actively engaged in all your endeavors to manage mental health as you adapt to working from home.