Mental health tips for remote workers
Working remotely can affect your mental health tips in various ways. Learn how to cope with the challenges of isolation, stress, and burnout with these mental health tips.
Mental health tips for remote workers
Remote work has become more common and popular in the wake of the pandemic, but it also comes with some challenges and risks to mental health. Working in isolation can lead to feelings of loneliness, anxiety, stress, burnout, and depression. Therefore, it is important for remote workers to take care of their mental well-being and find ways to cope with the difficulties of working from home.
- Exercise regularly: Physical activity can improve your mood, reduce stress, enhance your energy and promote better sleep. Try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise into your daily routine, such as walking, jogging, cycling or yoga.
- Get outdoors for fresh air: Spending time in nature can also have positive effects on your mental health, such as lowering blood pressure, improving attention and boosting creativity. Make sure to get some sunlight and fresh air every day, even if it’s just a short walk around the block or a visit to a nearby park.
- Take breaks throughout the day: Working remotely can blur the boundaries between work and personal life, making it hard to switch off and relax. To avoid overworking and burnout, set a regular schedule and stick to it. Take frequent breaks during the day to stretch, hydrate, snack or do something fun.
- Maintain a consistent, adequate sleep schedule: Sleep is essential for your mental and physical health, as it helps you recover from stress, consolidate memory and regulate emotions. Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep every night, and try to keep a consistent bedtime and wake-up time. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and screens before bed, and create a comfortable and dark sleeping environment.
- Meditate: Meditation is a practice that involves focusing your attention on the present moment, without judgment or distraction. It can help you calm your mind, reduce anxiety, enhance your awareness and improve your mood. You can start by meditating for a few minutes every day, using an app, a guided audio or your own breath as a focal point.
- Structure your day around new routines: Working remotely can disrupt your normal routines and habits, which can make you feel lost or unmotivated. To regain a sense of control and purpose, create new routines that suit your remote work situation. For example, you can start your day with a morning ritual, such as reading, journaling or listening to music. You can also plan your tasks and goals for the day, prioritize the most important ones and reward yourself for completing them.
- Dedicate a physical space to work: Having a designated workspace can help you separate work from home life, minimize distractions and increase productivity. Choose a space that is comfortable, quiet and well-lit, and equip it with the necessary tools and resources. Make sure to keep your workspace tidy and organized, and avoid using it for non-work activities.
- Connect with others: Social connection is vital for your mental health, as it provides you with support, belonging and validation. Working remotely can make you feel isolated or disconnected from your colleagues, friends and family. To combat this feeling, make an effort to communicate regularly with them through phone calls, video chats or online platforms.
- Hold your employer accountable: Your employer has a responsibility to ensure that you have the appropriate resources, guidance and support to work remotely effectively and safely. If you encounter any issues or challenges with your remote work arrangement, such as lack of equipment, unclear expectations or excessive workload, don’t hesitate to raise them with your manager or human resources department. You can also ask for feedback on your performance and suggestions for improvement.
- Take a collective pause: Working remotely can make you feel pressured to be always available or responsive, which can increase your stress levels and reduce your productivity. To avoid this trap, try to establish some boundaries and norms with your team or manager regarding when and how you communicate. You can also agree on taking a collective pause at certain times of the day or week, where you disconnect from work-related matters and focus on yourself or other aspects of your life.
- Address meeting fatigue: Remote work often involves attending multiple online meetings or calls throughout the day, which can be exhausting and overwhelming. To reduce meeting fatigue, try to limit the number of meetings you attend or organize per day or week. You can also suggest alternative ways of communicating or collaborating with your team or clients, such as email, chat or document sharing. When you do have meetings, make sure they are necessary, relevant and efficient.
- Let employees self-direct their mental wellness: Everyone has different needs and preferences when it comes to their mental health and well-being. As a remote worker, you should have the autonomy and flexibility to choose what works best for you. You can experiment with different strategies and techniques to find out what helps you cope with the challenges of working remotely. You can also seek professional help or support if you feel that you need it.