10 tips to boost your mental health while working from home
By now, it’s a common concept to many of us, and while it has its obvious positives, working from home can throw a spanner in the works for many, and take its toll on you both physically and mentally. These are some of the best ways to tackle working from home
1. Get changed – While there’s no need to get suited and booted, wearing separate clothes during the working day can have a big impact on your outlook. It might sound like an obvious piece of advice but getting out of your pyjamas before you start the day keeps a separation between work and home even when there may be no physical distance or commute.
2. Clock in and out – It can be tempting to log a few extra hours of screen time, particularly when we’ve gained time by cutting out a commute. But the extra hours add up over time, and you may find them eating into time you had previously spent exercising, socialising, or practising other forms of self-care.
3. Create boundaries in shared spaces – whether you live with a partner, flatmate, or young family, it’s important to create boundaries to minimise interruption during working hours.
4. Schedule regular check-ins – Video and phone calls with your team and line manager can help foster a sense of community when you might be spending an increasing amount of time alone, and counter feelings of isolation or disconnect.
5. Stick to a routine – Avoid the temptation to have a lie-in when there are no morning meetings booked. Keeping to a regular start and finish time, as well as lunch break or scheduled short breaks, can have a marked impact on productivity.
6. Stay connected – Where possible, try and arrange Zoom and phone calls with your colleagues instead of relying on instant messaging and emails. The added face time may help combat feelings of isolation and help foster more direct communication with your team.
7. Keep a separate space – Hong Kong homes aren’t always conducive to an entirely separate workspace but, wherever possible, try to carve out an area that’s separate from the bedroom. An association between your bedroom and alertness, productivity and working can wreak havoc on your sleep cycle.
8. Make time to move – Make small but regular movements and schedule frequent intervals to stand. Gentle stretches can combat tired shoulders, while strained eyes and tired minds will benefit from a change of scenery and a short walk.
9. Get outside – Spending time outdoors can foster feelings of calm and help boost concentration. Whether it’s a brisk walk along the harbour, a jog around your neighbourhood or a morning hike to one of Hong Kong’s many accessible urban trails, time spent outdoors can work wonders on mental health.
10. Learn to say no – Working from home can exacerbate that “always-on” mentality. Learn to check in with yourself and watch for signs of burnout. Taking time to rest, recharge and unwind can be just as important as the bullet points on your to-do list.
If you would like to speak with a counsellor about how we can support you, please contact us.
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