So while it was a novel idea at the time, you may now be starting to feel the effects of working from home for long periods of time.
This could potentially affect your Mental Health.
Just as it is important to look after your physical health during the COVID 19 outbreak, it is also equally important to take care of your Mental Health and keep on top of how you are feeling.
Some common feelings people may be experiencing could include;
- Feeling isolated, lonely, or disconnected from other people socially and professionally.
- Being unable to “switch off” from work
- Having difficulty staying motivated
- Having difficulty prioritising workload
- Feeling uncertain about your progress and whether you are performing OK
- Insomnia and sleep problems
To help combat this, the following are some tips and tricks written by the Black Dog Institute to protect your Mental Health when working from home:
Set up a routine and structure your workday and create boundaries between ‘work time’ and ‘home time’.
Set start and finish times as if you are in the office and structure your day with a task list including scheduling break times and exercise.
This should assist in maintaining a strong boundary between work and home life, minimise the possibility of work intruding into your family time and Vis Versa and help switch off at the end of the day.
You may also create cues such as getting changed into ‘work clothes’ and out of them at the end of each day to help stay in routine.
Create a specific work space (not in your bedroom).
Studies have shown that working from home can interfere with sleep, especially for those who find it hard to switch off from work.
Avoid working in the bedroom, otherwise it can become associated with being alert, awake and switched on.
phone Stay connected with co-workers and your manager by scheduling regular check in’s.
It’s important to stay connected to work colleagues in order to maintain positive relationships, staying connected with others will also help to reduce stress levels, assist you with feelings of isolation and stay positive.
It also helps to stay connected with your manager to keep them informed with what you are working on.
Try a Digital Detox in the evenings!
The downside to technology is it can make it harder to switch off and separate work from home life. Try a Digital detox to help improve switching off and spend some quality time with your family or doing the things you want to do.
Try and get outside at least once a day
If you’re not stuck in isolation, try and get out at least once a day. Go for a walk, get some fresh air and sunshine. If you have to be in isolation, go out into the garden or out on your balcony and enjoy fresh air.
Focus on Silver Linings
Working from home does have benefits;
- It can improve productivity
- Reduce distractions
- Reduce stress
- Improve work satisfaction
- Lower the time and cost of commuting to and from work
- Provide a greater sense of control over your workday
- Assist with avoiding challenging work colleagues
Other actions to assist maintaining positive Mental Health
- Exercising, getting a good night’s sleep and eating well
- Doing activities you enjoy
- Staying connected with social supports
- Managing stress through problem solving, relaxation or mediation
- Thinking in helpful ways
- If you need more tips and strategies, consider accessing your Work Place EAP Provider, or do an online program or speak to your GP
- You can also speak to your Union Delegate or organiser if you are experiencing a workplace issue.
Other online resources and digital tools include:
- My compass – www.mycompass.org.au
- Black Dog Institute – www.blackdoginstitute.org.au
- This way up – www.thiswayup.org.au
- Mindspot – www.mindspot.org.au
Hopefully these helpful hints can keep you safe and motivated during this trying time.
If you are not a member and wish to join, you can do so by going to our website www.usu.org.au/join