The Covid-19 pandemic is a major health emergency, but it is not just a physical health issue. The steps we all must take to stop the spread of the disease means there are mental health issues to consider as well. In particular, mental health issues that can arise from remote working.
At SL Controls, we have initiatives aimed at helping our employees live a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally. Those initiatives are Live Well at SL for physical health and Think Well at SL for mental health.
As the company has moved to 100 percent remote working as we follow advice to help slow the spread of Covid-19, a key focus during this time is to promote good mental health
Here are our tips at SL Controls for looking after your mental health while working from home.
The Mental Health Challenges of Working from Home
Many of us are now working from home, some of us for the first time. Even for people who have a lot of remote working experience, this situation is unique as partners, children, and others who live with us are also practicing social distancing so are at home as well. This makes working from home even more challenging.
Isolation and burnout are other mental health issues that are important to consider in relation to working from home.
Isolation because we don’t have the same connection with colleagues. This is exacerbated during this pandemic as we also don’t have the same connection with family, friends, and others that we normally do.
In relation to burnout, it is common for people working from home to work longer hours. This, as you might expect, throws work-life balance out of kilter.
It’s also important to consider the suddenness of the situation we are all now in. That can have an impact on our mental health too.
Mental Health Tips While Working from Home
Accept There Will Be Challenges
This is a unique situation that nobody has faced before, at least not on this scale. So, things won’t always go according to plan and there will be challenges. Accepting this helps to prevent anger and frustration.
Create a Daily Routine
It is essential you create a routine or schedule for the working day and then stick to it. Also, try to keep your routine as close to normal as possible, including taking regular breaks, setting tasks for the day, and monitoring your progress.
In addition, focus on reaching outcomes not just letting the time go by, and be flexible in what you want to achieve in the day.
Avoid Mixing Home Life with Work Life
You are working from home so this is not easy, but you should make a clear distinction between work time and home/family time and then do your best to adhere to it as much as possible.
We hear a lot at the moment about staying connected with loved ones. This is crucially important, but it’s also important to stay connected with work colleagues too.
This isn’t just staying connected in relation to work issues either, as it’s important you keep social contact with your work colleagues as well.
Get IT Help When Required
One challenge that many people face when working from home is getting the technology to work. Don’t let your frustration get to boiling point before you seek help, though.
Be Flexible in How You Work
Everyone is in the same situation, adapting to this new, albeit temporary, work reality. So, things won’t always go smoothly. Therefore, you need to be flexible and patient in your approach.
Eat Well and Exercise
An important part of looking after your mental health involves looking after your physical health too. So, avoid going to the fridge for a snack every 30 minutes and exercise when and where you can while following the social distancing rules and guidelines.
Manage How You Consume News and Information
This final tip is a general point, but it is crucial to overall mental health. After all, there are currently two things happening at the same time, both of which can come into conflict.
The first is our desire for information on the pandemic and how we can protect ourselves and our loved ones. The second is the overload of information that is available on the topic.
The advice from mental health professionals is to control and sometimes limit your consumption of information and news to prevent it from becoming overwhelming. You should also make sure you only get updates from reputable sources.
Staying Mentally Healthy
There are things we all must do to stay physically healthy, prevent the spread of Covid-19, and help the country get through this pandemic. It’s important during this time, however, that we also look after our mental health.