Being physically active is not only good for the body, but is also linked to better mental health. Regular physical activity reduces anxiety, depression and negative mood, while improving self-esteem and cognitive function.
A walk before starting or during your lunch break is a great way to be active. Just 20 minutes of brisk walking is enough to enjoy the mental health benefits, but the key is consistency. Walking during phone conversations or meetings also fits exercise into the day without much effort.
Routine and structure can increase feelings of control, lower stress levels, and improve focus and productivity.
Start by setting times to wake up and go to bed, eat, and start and finish work. Make lists of non-work tasks you want to achieve. Routines need to leave room for flexibility, but having an idea of what you will be doing and when you will be doing it can be great for motivation and self-esteem. Make sure to plan for socializing and self-care as well.
Humans are social by nature, craving connection and belonging. Social contact decreases depression, lowers blood-pressure, promotes purpose and improves confidence. There are ways to build social contact into your work-from-home life. Good workplace mental health requires contact and support.
It can be helpful to start the day with on online meeting. Try to have digital coffee breaks or quizzes, or call colleagues instead of emailing. Outside of a work context, try to call or text friends and family regularly, but don’t feel pressured to reply to everything immediately.
Working from home isn’t all about productivity. When lines between work and life, and office and home, are blurred; other aspects of life can suffer. Time to recharge and recover is vital to maintaining a balanced and sustainable routine.
Give yourself time for moments of rest and recovery several times a day, and build screen-free time into your non-working hours. Keeping the hour before you go to sleep free from screens is a good way to wind down and fall asleep more easily. Good, restorative sleep is vital to a healthy mind and helps improve workplace mental health.