World Mental Health Day blog series
Working from home
by Courtney Briggs, Trainee Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner at MyWellbeing College
How I Look After My Mental Health Whilst Working From Home During The Pandemic
1. ROUTINE! I have a routine for the day. Working from home can cause you to feel unmotivated, and it can be easy to develop a habit of just rolling out of bed ten minutes before you’re due to be online. But to help me mentally and maintain motivation, I make sure I get up an hour before I start work to have breakfast and shower. I fit in regular breaks and schedule some outdoor time to get fresh air.
2. WORK MODE! I put on ‘work clothes’ and make sure, as easy as it is, I don’t spend the day in my comfies. I work in a different room to the one I relax in (thanks to my big brother moving out, his bedroom desk has become my new office space). Putting work clothes on and creating a home office helps me to get into work mode, and switch into home mode at 5pm where I shut the door on my homemade office and put my loungewear on.
3. COLLEAGUE CATCH UPS! It can be isolating and lonely working from home without the usual hustle and bustle of an office. I have started video calling colleagues whilst working and having each other on mute to continue with our work. Just having them there on video can make you feel much less alone, and between calls to clients you can have a quick chin-wag to break up the day. I also make sure I attend work huddles which is where we catch up and have a wellbeing check in with our team members. We tend to go through the ‘end of day checklist’ also which a good way to appreciate hard work from the day and leave difficulties behind.
4. ME TIME! I schedule in ‘me time’ for at least half an hour a day where I’ll carry out some sort of self-care activity, usually just after finishing work. My favourite to do at the moment is jigsaws, which my grandad kindly passes down to me when he’s completed it. Having this time for myself helps me switch off from what I’ve been doing at work.
5. BEDTIME RITUAL! I am strict with myself when it comes to bedtime. Around 9pm I’ll put my phone on charge at the other side of my bedroom so I’m not having screen time before trying to sleep. (I also set my alarm on my phone so in the morning when it goes off, I HAVE to get out of bed!!). I then read my book until I feel sleepy. Lastly, I put a meditation on (usually a progressive muscle relaxation) to send me to sleep and unwind – Headspace is an amazing App for this! For a lot of people, the pandemic has caused a huge disruption to their sleep, so having a strict routine at bedtime can help you keep a consistent sleep pattern whilst also ensuring the quality of sleep is good.
I hope my little tips help you keep happy and healthy!