Working from Home – A Guide for your Wellbeing
Author: Sarah Crowe
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have been given the privilege of working from home, but it can be a new challenge for those who haven’t done it before. The CheckPoint team reached out to our community to ask how they work from home, and we’ve compiled these tips and tricks into a helpful guide about maintaining your mental wellbeing while you’re working in your home.
Structuring your day and maintaining your space
One of the most popular responses we received about how to work from home in a sustainable way was focused around scheduling your time and keeping your work space in check. By sticking to a regular schedule, it can help you adjust between the “this is work time” and “this is my free-time” mindset. Some of the best ways you can do this are:
- Sticking to a regular sleeping pattern.
- Eating regular, healthy meals away from your desk or workspace.
- Taking breaks like you would on a normal work day.
- Making time to step outside and get some fresh air.
- Keeping your desk tidy and inviting to work at, it will feel much better if you enjoy being in the space!
- If you can, avoid working from your bedroom, having a specific space that is strictly for work can be beneficial.
Maintaining positive habits
For many people, their everyday habits and routines can be changed drastically while working from home. Many people have reported that they feel a lot better if they stick to their regular routines! Taking a moment to reflect and think about the things you do regularly that help you feel happy and well can give you an indication on what may be important for you. Our community suggested:
- Practicing personal hygiene as normal. This means showering as normal, brushing your teeth, putting on some fresh clothes and making yourself feel ready for work.
- If you’re someone who walks or cycles to work, perhaps taking a few minutes to exercise before starting could be ideal for you.
- Commuting time isn’t work time, if you spend 30 minutes getting to work, don’t spend that time working!
- If you prepare lunch for work, preparing your lunch in advance could be helpful!
Keeping your tech in check
For many of us, we have the privilege of using a separate PC at work, but if you’re adapting to using your own personal computer, there’s a few tips and tricks you can use to make it feel less like your PC for home use! Some ways you can make your PC feel like a work one are:
- Creating a separate user on your PC, so you won’t be tempted by things like installed games and websites you frequent often.
- Listen to some calming music, sometimes having some background noise can be helpful if you’re used to noise. Podcasts are also a great way to hear people’s voices if that’s more your thing!
- Use the same browser you use for work, it can help your workflow feel similar.
Staying social while social distancing
If you’re someone who works in a busy office or surrounded by people, the sudden isolation can feel overwhelming. Making time to speak to your colleagues during the day is really important and it doesn’t have to be about work stuff all of the time. If you often go for a coffee with a coworker, perhaps asking them if they would like to have a break at the same time you do could be nice!
Unwinding after work
Giving yourself a firm deadline to close up and finish work everyday is important. Doing things like taking your dog for a walk, playing a video game, watching your favourite show on netflix or enjoying some hobby time are all great ways to unwind! Remind yourself not to check your emails or work social media while you’re unwinding too.
Things will feel different right now and that is okay. These circumstances are bizarre, and it’s okay if you’re not adapting as well as you think you could have been.
It’s also okay if you’re not as productive as usual! Be gentle on yourself, take breaks if you need them and prioritise your wellbeing. Stay safe and well!
If you’re feeling like you might need professional support, please reach out to your doctor or take a look at our global mental health support resources page.