Some of our team already work from home at times; although some of these points may seem like common sense, they are things that we find ourselves forgetting too sometimes.
Reliable and verifiable news sources are the best option. Someone’s aunt’s dog’s friend’s copy-pasted shared post on Facebook isn’t the most reliable source of information, and sharing these kinds of posts can do even more damage – beyond giving incorrect advice, sometimes website links can even be a security risk, fooling people into thinking they are viewing the website of a reputable company when in fact they are not. Stick to news articles from sources such as the BBC, Reuters or AP News.
Making time to check the news and then closing all relevant browser tabs when that time is up can prevent you losing too much time to reading and checking news. Limiting your intake of news this way can also help to curb the stressed-out feeling that reading (often negative) news reports can cause. Good news is out there too; particularly in the case of COVID-19, stories of people who have recovered from the illness or those who have gone the extra mile to help someone in need are sometimes just what is needed.
There are some apps that you can use to help maintain mental health and wellbeing during lockdown, isolation or general working from home. Apps such as Headspace, Calm, MoodSpace and other, similar apps can help you manage these issues – and track your moods so that you are able to see when there might be an issue that you need help with.
Making time to chat and share with colleagues and friends from work can also help. Taking breaks at set times as a group and catching up with each other on these breaks can also help with feelings of isolation or disconnection.
Keeping in touch with friends and family via video calls, phone calls or even just messaging apps or SMS messages can also help to alleviate these problems – you might find they’re experiencing something similar.
Pets can also be a great source of comfort during these times, especially if you live alone or are alone for large amounts of time. Paying a bit of attention to a furry (or feathered, or scaled…) friend can help to elevate your mood and lower blood pressure.
Keeping a careful eye on habits such as smoking, drinking or overeating can be helpful during these times to prevent overindulgence; if your habits become a worry, please seek professional help.
Regular exercise is also important – although at the moment government guidelines are that we should only leave the house for exercise once-a-day; a short walk around your local area just to get some air and get your body moving and working can not only help with mental wellbeing but also with preventing aches and pains caused by bad posture or sitting too long.
Reading, painting, gaming, writing, drawing, watching TV… even dancing or fitness activities can be done from home. Be sure to make space and time for yourself to keep up with things you enjoy, as they can be a good way to wind down after a stressful day. Keeping your mind busy with a variety of different activities can help mental wellbeing, but it’s also wise to ensure that your hobbies don’t encroach on your work time, especially when you’re not used to working from home.
Next week, we’ll be looking at the importance of maintaining the work/life split during times when you’re working from home, and some tips on how to manage it.