What comes to mind when you think of mental health? Is it meditation? Self-care? Whether or not you feel like your mental health is getting the attention it deserves? How does your work life affect it?
If you’re working from home, your mental health might be on the backburner and you might not even realize it. What’s to be unhappy about when you can work from your bed and in your pajamas! You can never have too many mental health tips for working from home.
Here are 11 mental health tips for working from home.
Set and maintain boundaries between work and home.
No one, not your employer, coworkers, or boss’s boss, is going to set your home life and work life boundaries for you. Those boundaries are only able to come from you. Set them and maintain them.
If you’re able to, keep the office, your laptop, and even your cell phone outside of the bedroom. Keep all work-related items in one area, one room, one cubby – don’t let them bleed into your home life! Maintain your boundaries by setting alarms when you need to, reminding coworkers of your hours, shutting off notifications, whatever you need to do.
Keeping a healthy boundary between work and home is an important part of your life and it’s at the top of our list of mental health tips for working from home.
Setting boundaries is an important part of avoiding burnout.
Make your bed.
Every morning, when you wake up, you might have a routine, you might not. Either way, incorporate making your bed into your day. This will signal to your brain (and your body) that it’s time to get up, get ready for work, and start the day.
It will also make it so much easier not to hop back into it. 😉
One simple way to keep your momentum going, to feel more like you’re going to the office, is to get dressed as you would if you were going into the office.
It can be too easy to stay in sweats all day and remain comfy. We love comfy too! But we understand how difficult it can be to stay motivated and productive when your sweats are pulling you into the comfy nest that is your couch or your bed. Ahhh just five more minutes!
Getting dressed might not sound super meditative, but when you think about it, mental health is often about signals, making this little action one of our mental health tips for working from home.
Find your morning and nighttime routines.
It’s your routine. Do you wake up, wash your face, and practice yoga? Do you stay in bed and scroll on your phone? Do you jog around the block? All answers are correct if it’s part of your routine! Start small. Each day, try to replicate the day before, eliminate what isn’t working, rinse and repeat.
Having a routine helps get you ready for your work day, and it can help you wind down at the end of the day as well. A nighttime routine is prepping you for the next day, to get ready to do it all over again.
Both are incredibly important mental health tips for working from home and will help to avoid burnout.
Design a calming office space.
The great thing about working from home – whether you have a little space or a lot of space, is that you can make it your own. No more harsh overhead lighting or dusty cubicles! You now have free reign to make your office space at home as calming as possible!
Here are a few ideas to help get you started:
• Add a candle with a calming scent to your desk. Try lavender, eucalyptus, or peppermint.
• Add a zen garden.
• Decorate the office space with colors that make you happy.
• Add any little things that make you happy! Pictures of family, a tennis ball, a fidget toy, whatever floats your boat!
• Think about the lighting, adjust as necessary. Is it warm? Is it too harsh? These things can make for a hostile environment. Check out these 10 brilliant tools you need for your remote office.
• Add a big cozy rug!
• If windows are available, put your desk near the window – natural light is good!
• Stay organized. Put things away when you’re done using them. Clutter can cause anxious thoughts!
Take frequent and mindful breaks.
Take as many breaks as you need to. The world has been flipped upside down since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of us did not plan on working from home for such a long time. But here we are! So take those breaks. Breaks can be a great way to rejuvenate, refresh, and reset. Set an alarm on your phone or laptop if you need to.
Keep your breaks mindful – be aware of what you are doing when you take them, and how this can affect your mental health whether that’s consciously or subconsciously.
Movement is a great segway to good mental health making it one of our 11 mental health tips for working from home. When you’re working in a physical office space with others, you probably walk to meetings, walk to others’ desks to ask questions, walk to the water cooler, maybe walk to lunch.
When you’re working from home, it can be easy to stay seated for eight straight hours. Get up and move! Your body and your brain will thank you.
Take one lap around the house every hour, or commit to walking for 1-minute every 3 hours. Maybe yoga is your thing – find some space to incorporate it into your day.
Create a fake “water cooler.”
How is faking a “water cooler” on our list of mental health tips for working from home? Let’s dive into this idea. When you’re at the office, you have “water cooler moments” or spaces where you gather with coworkers or others in the office to gossip, talk about the game last night, or talk about things that aren’t necessarily work related.
You might not realize it in the moment, but this does wonders for your mental health! It’s a reminder that you are indeed not stuck in this office for life although sometimes it can feel that way.
Fake your commute.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have heard or read about people going on fake commutes every day. This is another mental health tactic that can signal to your brain that you’re going to work, it puts you in the mindset. For instance, people get their minds ready for work while they drive to work, walk to work, or hop on the subway.
Since those moments of transition have been eliminated, it can be hard to properly set and maintain a work/life balance for some. Fake your commute! Walk around the block, go outside sit in your car and come back inside, whatever you need to do.
Creating a fake commute is an important part of our list of mental health tips for working from home.
Create and hang up a vision board in your office.
A vision board is a fantastic way to keep a positive mindset around you while working in your office space. Vision boards can include goals, things that spark joy, positive mantras, pictures, doodles, anything that will make you smile. You can add travel quotes, art, and maybe what’s next on your bucket list. Psst! You can make a digital version too.
Make sure your vision board is either in eyesight or easy for you to pull up and take a look at – maybe make it your desktop background.
Unplug, unplug, unplug!
Our final tip on our list of 11 mental health tips for working from home, is to unplug. When we say unplug, we mean really unplug. Shut off the computer, shut off your phone, or change your notifications.
Do what you need to do to create a healthy environment for yourself.
Now that you’ve seen our list of mental health tips for working from home, what did you think? Did we miss anything? Leave us a comment below!