World Mental Health Day: 7 tips to manage your mental health and well-being while working from home  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
New Delhi: Working from home was earlier seen only during long periods of absence like prolonged illness, maternity leave, travel etc. but now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak it has become a norm with most of the organizations globally. Though initially, it seems great, working from home for long periods can affect our mental health and one might experience feelings like loneliness (if you stay alone), irritability, difficulty to stay motivated, anger outbursts, insomnia or excessive sleep, anxiety and at times even depression.
Tips to boost mental health as you work from home during COVID-19
In order to maintain a proper work-life balance, there are certain measures you can take to take care of your mental health and well-being.
Maintain a routine
- Sleep and wake up at your regular time.
- Carry out your morning activities like exercise – preferably outdoors. Ecotherapy is a good de-stressor. Ecotherapy helps lower blood pressure and stress levels.
- Exercise for 20-30 minutes daily significantly reduces anxiety levels, boost endorphins and serotonin levels in your brain which helps you to feel good.
- Yoga – pranayama, meditation.
- Preferably change into work clothes – it helps when you attend the virtual meetings.
- If possible, have a separate workplace – not your bed or couch.
- Have a comfortable, preferably an ergonomic chair. It helps your back, neck and shoulder muscles. Some organizations purchase it for their employees.
Create boundaries between work time and home time
- Have a start and stop time – switch off from work at the end of the day.
- Set out your goals for the day.
- Proper time management.
Take regular breaks
- Helps to break the monotony and reduce stress.
- Reduces eye strain from constant exposure to devices like laptops, computers.
- Sleep well, preferably 8 hours of sleep. Maintain sleep hygiene.
- Have a healthy nutritious diet. Avoid binge eating.
- Indulge in hobbies, learn new skills.
- Take time off to do activities like cooking, listening to music etc. which make you feel happy.
- Communicate with colleagues by virtual meeting or phone calls. Some organizations conduct regular coffee and cocktail parties virtually.
- Maintain human connections by communicating with family at home.
- Connect with friends either virtually or in person.
- Avoid internet addiction – have a designated amount of time for social media
So, in order to make the most of your potential, it is important to have good mental health and well-being. This helps in giving a sense of purpose and direction, energy to do the things we want to do and the ability to deal with the challenges that we may have to face in life.
Disclaimer: The article is authored by Dr Usha Talvadkar, Consultant Psychiatrist & Co-ordinator Psychiatry Dept., Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre. Views expressed are personal.
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