While we’re all still working from home, a lot can be neglected, like quality time with the family or your mental health. Here are ten things you can do to take care of it while you’re working from home:
Keep In Touch
Just because we’re practicing social distancing doesn’t mean we have to sever ties with people we once spent time with. Living in isolation could cause one to feel lonely, so talk to people, share your feelings, and connect with the people you live with. If you’re living alone, one of the advantages of social media is that it keeps us connected to our loved ones even if they’re hundreds of miles away from us. Make use of your available time (we have plenty!) by spending it on people who matter.
Try a Time Management System
We know that working from home can be challenging. There may be distractions that prevent you from being productive, like noisy neighbors or loud family members. We struggle to be productive more often than we want to admit because we’re easily distracted by our phones and other activities. Instead of pouring our limited time into our tasks, we’d rather be distracted by our phones. Other times, we’re too busy to take breaks during work, making it easier for us to burn out. Try a time management system to manage your time better. There are 18 time management systems and counting to choose from. From the famous Pomodoro technique to Time Blocking, one of these will be helpful in the long run.
Use Social Media Sparingly
While connecting to people is good during these trying times, you should also remember that too much of anything can be bad for you - one of these is social media. Many online friends may spread information that is false or misleading. Everything you see on social media isn’t true. While there are credible sources, some would prefer to spread fake news. The last thing you need is stress from this. Once in a while, go offline and remove yourself from the situation. It won’t only give you peace of mind but also a mindful perspective on using your time.
Say Your Daily Affirmations
During this time, our focus may no longer be on the goal but our mistakes. We can be hypercritical of ourselves, or we may be experiencing harsh situations that could deter our mental health. Challenge your negative thoughts by saying your affirmations daily. It’s important to reset our minds every morning and set the tone for the day. Believe that there is power in your words, and whatever you put in your mind will always come to fruition.
Move Your Body
Time spent indoors for long periods can induce loneliness, boredom, or even cabin fever. In an attempt to combat the mental side effects of isolation, many people have used ways to cope like gardening, home workouts, etc. When it comes to fitness Josh McCarter, chief executive officer of the fitness booking platform MindBody, said, “Covid-19 has pushed people to think about health more holistically.” Exercise control over your life by doing home workouts. There are a lot of free videos online that could help you get started. It doesn’t have to start rigorous like a 60-minute HIIT cardio. You can begin with low-impact, knee-friendly cardio workouts and work your way from there. Remember: progress is still progress. It won’t only be beneficial to your physique but also your mental health.
Limit the News You Consume
Staying informed amid the pandemic is critical, but sometimes absorbing a bombardment of news can be too much. It can become highly upsetting after a while, and following the 24-hour news cycle can cause a lot of anxiety. Now and then, take a step back from the news to give your mind a break. You don’t have to cut off information from your life. Instead, you can find healthy ways to escape from reality. Let your mind have a chance to “have fun” through entertaining shows on Netflix or Youtube.
Pass on Alcoholic Beverages
Did you know alcoholic beverages are considered depressants? Binge drinking may be good after a long day of working at your home office, but it can disrupt your mental balance, affecting your thoughts, feelings, actions, and sometimes long-term mental health. Turning to alcohol because of its quick fix may feel good, but it’s a start on the road to alcohol dependence. Extreme drinking levels can also cause psychosis, a severe mental illness where hallucinations and delusions – of persecution, for example – occur. Next time, if you’re contemplating numbing your anxiety with alcohol, take a couple of deep breaths and collect yourself. Regroup your thoughts and focus on the task at hand. It might be difficult, but opting not to do anything may cause even more anxiety. Best to get it over with, right? You can do it!
It has proven that meditation can help with better focus and concentration, improved self-awareness and self-esteem, and lower stress and anxiety levels. A 2014 research analysis found that mindful meditation can help ease depression and be part of a comprehensive mental health treatment plan. If you want to start but don’t know how there are a lot of Youtube videos on guided meditation to walk you through it. If you can’t relax with someone speaking, you can just sit down in a comfortable position, close your eyes, empty your mind, and focus on your breathing. Whatever thoughts come into mind, let them slip away naturally. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes a day, and you’ll feel calmer and refreshed.
Maybe munching on junk foods while you’re stressed isn’t helping. Being over-caffeinated might even be the reason why you can’t seem to shake your nerves off. Instead, cultivate healthy eating habits and start developing a liking for fruits and vegetables. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, can also help with your mental health. Dark green leafy vegetables are brain-protective. Nuts, seeds, and legumes, such as beans and lentils, are also excellent brain foods. There’s no harm in trying to eat better for your health so go ahead, eat your vegetables!
Seek Professional Help
If it’s getting a bit too much for you and home remedies aren’t helping anymore, it’s best to seek professional help. Mental health has always been stigmatized in the Philippines. However, in the 21st century, where we’re all stuck in a pandemic, you have to rise above and choose what is best for you. When seeking help for your mental health, it can be hard to know how to start or where to go. It’s good that various institutions offer free consultations for their patients, as the National Center for Mental Health. It may be hard to speak up and ask for help, but there is only so much a human can take. Remember: you’re not alone. You just have to take the first step.
Start applying these tips based on what you’re comfortable with, and you’ll see a significant improvement in your mood, productivity, and even attitude towards work. Remember that not acting on your deteriorating mental health can be harmful to yourself, your work, and your loved ones as well. It doesn’t hurt to apply minor changes to your day, primarily if it’s meant to help you live a better life. We believe in you!