With more people working from home now more than ever, it’s important to remember to prioritize your health.
Working in your pajamas may sound like the dream life, but it can lose its glamour if it starts affecting you mentally.
These are the best 7 mental health tips for working from home to keep you happy and healthy.
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Treat It Like a Regular Job
It may sound a little ridiculous, but it’s important to treat it like a regular job.
Working from home is not the time to avoid everything that used to be normal and treat it like a vacation.
Be sure to still get up and get dressed for the day before clocking in.
Yes, it’s easy and so much better to stay in pajamas. You can get dressed for the day and still be comfortable.
Whatever this means for you is fine. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
Wash your face, brush your teeth, and change clothes… even if it’s just changing from one pair of leggings to another.
Maintaining a sense of normalcy is important while working from home. Try to have a set morning routine to get your day started right before you head straight for the laptop.
This could mean waking up five minutes early to peacefully enjoy your cup of coffee, getting in a quick morning workout, or just taking some time to do some meditating and deep breathing.
Here are some tasks you might consider adding to your morning routine:
- Meditation, prayer, or breathwork
- Tidy the house (start laundry, clean up dishes, etc.)
- Practice your hobby
- Have quiet time
- Get outside
Create a Workspace
When working from home, it can be hard to separate work and home life. If possible, try to create a separate workspace that you go to for only work hours.
Your bed should be for sleeping, the couch should be for relaxing, and your designated work area is for work.
If this isn’t possible (due to lack of space or other reasons), try to choose a spot that you enjoy being.
Maybe choose to work by a window, light a candle, or add some fun décor to your workspace. You might even add some motivational quotes or mantras you read over every day!
When you work from home, it’s super easy to want to either skip meals or eat something pre-packaged just for the sake of not dirtying up more dishes.
It’s important to nourish your body and your mind, even when you are at home all day.
Try to meal plan and prepare ahead of time or batch cook some meals that you can grab, warm-up, and go. Casseroles, soups, and other crock-pot and slow cooker meals do really well for this.
Plan ahead of time, throw it in the cooker or oven once and then eat it the rest of the week.
For the easily distracted at-home workers, time blocking will be your best productivity hack.
Time blocking is where you “block” certain time frames to get certain tasks done. An example time blocked day would look like this:
- 6-9 a.m.: Morning Block (wake up, morning routine, etc.)
- 9-12 p.m.: Work Block 1 (knock out all of your work to-do list that you can during this time)
- 12-1 p.m.: LUNCH
- 1-4 p.m.: Work Block 2 (finish the rest of your to-do list for work)
- 4-7 p.m.: Evening Routine (cook dinner, clean up, shower, etc.)
When you combine time blocking with task batching, it is a recipe for productivity! When you batch like-tasks together, your brain functions optimally.
This allows you to be quicker and more efficient.
This may sound counterintuitive, but you need to take breaks. When you take short breaks, it can act like a short “reset” for your brain.
Try different break splits and see what works best for you.
This can include 45 minutes of work with 15 minutes of break, 30 minutes work and 5 minutes break, etc.
A quick break can help improve your productivity and reduce brain fog.
Take some break time to get away from electronics (since you’re probably working on your laptop or computer), do some deep breathing, or even go for a short walk outside.
When you don’t have a “clock out” and go home time, it can be hard to make yourself stop working. This is where boundaries come in.
Some tips for setting boundaries:
- Turn off notifications: emails, texts, etc. Whatever is work gets put away for the evening!
- Set timers if necessary to get work projects done
- Set designated work hours and stick to those: no more, no less!
- Limit social media during the workday so you are more productive
- Have a task that signifies the end of your workday (close your computer and take a walk for example)
Interact With People
It can be really easy to not get out and socialize when you’re working from home. Regardless, humans still need interaction and connection with others.
Try to make a point to talk to someone you love this week.
Utilize technology, too. Apps like Skype, Facetime, and Zoom are all amazing for getting to see and talk to someone you love… even if you can’t be together in person.
It will still brighten your week and help keep you happy.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I keep from getting distracted?
One of the best ways to keep from getting distracted is by creating a plan and setting a timer.
If you already know what you need to do and the set amount of time you have to get it done, then you’re more likely to stick to that task the entire time.
It’s even more beneficial if you can plan the night before. Sit down and create a to-do list and assign it to your time block that was mentioned above.
You can develop more strict time blocks if you prefer.
Here’s an example:
- 6-6:30 a.m.: wake up, brush teeth, etc.
- 6:30-7 a.m.: breakfast
- 7-7:30 a.m.: write business emails
- 7:30-8 a.m.: file receipts
And so on! The beauty of working from home is you can lay out a schedule that works best for you.
Will I get lonely?
This is a common issue with working from home. It’s especially difficult for more extroverted people who really love social interaction.
This is really where it’s important to prioritize interaction!
Plan out a weekly grocery shopping trip to get out of the house. Make time to call a friend or text a loved one.
Be sure to make communication a priority and reach out to someone if you’re feeling down mentally.
How can I make working from home more enjoyable?
This depends entirely on you! Be sure to schedule a time to do things that you love whether it is a hobby or just getting outside.
Keeping a clean workspace definitely helps keep a clear mind, which also makes working from home more enjoyable.
Having a plan and sticking to it makes you efficient, which means you might get to quit work early! Really, it depends on who you are as a person.
Listen to your favorite music, take breaks, and try to incorporate anything you enjoy into your day.
Final thoughts on mental health tips for working from home
Working from home can be enjoyable, but it can also take a toll on your mental health.
If you want to avoid burnout, it’s important to remember that your mental health comes first. Prioritize yourself and don’t feel guilty about taking breaks.
Make sure to incorporate these tips to keep your mental health in tip-top shape during this time.
If you need help getting out of the house or motivating yourself to get work done, or if you’re feeling down mentally, be sure to reach out to someone.