The coronavirus is definitely impacting the way the world works. To limit the number of face-to-face interactions people are having, it has become more common that employees are being told to work from home rather than come into an office. Working from home can have its perks, but after a while, it could have an effect on your mental health. While these are necessary precautions, your mental health should never be compromised. If you’re concerned about being forced to stay home for a prolonged period of time, here are some tips.
1. Get out of bed
This may seem like an obvious first step, but it’s one that should not be overlooked. While you might feel some relief on not having to wake up early, be careful not to overdo it. Even if you set an alarm 30 minutes later than normal, definitely keep an alarm. Once you are up, stay out of your bed. Your bed should be a place to relax and sleep, so definitely leave your bedroom if you are planning on being productive. This also helps you keep from feeling static from staying in one location for a long time. Find a place at the kitchen table or living room where you know you’ll be able to focus. Go about your routine like you usually would if you are going to work. Even if you are working from home due to the coronavirus, you are still working.
2. Get dressed
You might be tempted to stay in your pajamas all day since you are working from home and nobody will see you so why shouldn’t you? Try to resist this urge and get dressed like you are going to work or at least going out. Obviously, you don’t have to go all out with what you would normally wear to work, but definitely change during the time that you would be getting ready. Since you won’t actually be going to work, you can see it as an opportunity to dress a bit more casual. Find some middle ground with your clothing, even if it’s just jeans and a T-shirt or your favorite hoodie. This lets your body know that it’s time to get to work. You wouldn’t want to get caught in your pajamas during a surprise conference call.
3. Create your perfect work environment
When working from home, you can definitely use this as an opportunity to work in an environment catered towards you. The typical workplace can sometimes feel static with harsh fluorescent lighting and limited personal space. Now you have all the space you want in an environment that is centered around you. Feel free to light some candles, keep the lights dim and play your favorite type of music out loud before you settle in to get your work done for the day. You can grab some pillows and blankets to keep yourself comfy while working, as long as you can resist the urge to lie down and just watch Netflix all day. Just make sure to sanitize your environment to prevent any spreading of the coronavirus.
4. Take breaks as needed
When you are working from home, it is important that you map out a schedule for the work that you are doing. Depending on the type of work that you are doing, you might need to have an acute sense of focus for an extended period of time. With that said, make sure you are taking a break every once in a while to avoid getting burnt out. Even if you are enjoying the work that you are doing, it’s important to step away even for just a few minutes. When taking breaks it’s important to step away from your work environment or at least move around so you are keeping active. Try to get outside for a walk if the weather isn’t too terrible. The coronavirus doesn’t mean that you can’t go outside, just make sure you are still social distancing and avoiding large groups of people. This also helps your mind to take a break from the constant news cycle. Grab your headphones and listen to some good music to keep spirits up.
5. Be social
One of the recommendations being made to prevent the spread of coronavirus is to avoid being surrounded by large groups of people by social distancing. This can be difficult for some people especially those who get energy from other people and enjoy being social. The effects of social distancing or self-isolation can lead to feelings of anxiety.
Thankfully we have technology on our sides. We have alternate methods of keeping up social interactions through the use of the internet. Make sure you text your friends and family even if it’s just to ask how they are doing. Video chats are also helpful since it’s a way to actually get you verbally talking with people and of course, allows you to see the other person’s face. The coronavirus does not mean we have to stop being completely social. In fact, you can get a group chat with multiple people going on and be productive together! Chances are that they will also be working from home, so working together lets you feel other people’s presence and keeps you accountable for still working at home.
6. Stay calm
It’s no secret that coronavirus has affected the lives of everyone in some way. Apart from the virus itself, the fear surrounding it has seemed to have had a profound impact on the way people live their lives. While uncertainty continues to linger, it’s best to remain calm and level-headed with everything. Sometimes fear itself can be more powerful than the threat that the fear it is based on. It would be best not to give in to the fear or contribute to the hysteria. It’s not helpful to the people around you nor is it helpful to you and your mental health. While we don’t know everything surrounding the coronavirus, we can’t rule out the possibility that it is temporary. Everything goes on, and so will this. It’s important to stay informed as well, but no so much that it becomes overwhelming. Limit the amount of news you watch and social media you scroll through, which is actually helpful advice in general. What’s important is that kindness goes a long way and to take things one day at a time.