Looking After Your Mental Health During the Coronavirus Pandemic
In / By Charlotte Tobulevicius / 15 May 2020
The 18th May 2020 is the beginning of Mental Health Awareness Week. The unprecedented times that we’re living in due to the Coronavirus pandemic means that our mental health has never been more important. Looking after our mental health in this time and improving our wellbeing is imperative for coping with the threat of COVID-19 and the uncertainty it’s creating.
With so many people working from home in isolation due to the social distancing and lockdown measures in place, we thought now would be a good time to explore our top tips for keeping your mind healthy when working from home.
1. Stick to a Routine
We know it’s not easy to maintain the same routine as you had before the pandemic, especially if you’re also balancing home-schooling and keeping the kids occupied! However, just having a few formalities to add some structure to your day will really help to keep your mind balanced.
We suggest having one single place to work from, ensuring it’s somewhere in your home that you don’t ordinarily spend a lot of time in – working from the sofa is not a great idea! It’s also important to put structure in place when it comes to taking regular breaks and time out for lunch. If your routine simply comprises you getting up at the same time each day and getting ready for work, then this in itself will put you in the mindset for work, ensuring you have some form of routine to keep the mind focused where it should be.
2. Embrace Video Calls
Just like sticking to a routine is good for keeping your mind healthy and putting you in the ‘work zone’, video calls are also a great way to maintain some normality in the working day and provide the social interaction that you would have in the office.
Video calls can often make people a bit nervous, but it’s important to remember that you’re simply just using a different medium to speak to the people who would normally see and speak to you in a office environment. Whether you’re catching up on projects, priorities for the week ahead or even just having a natter over a coffee, video calls are essential for looking after your mental wellbeing when working remotely and they’re so easy to set up!
3. Get Up and Move
Keeping active has long been cited as a great way to look after your mental health, whether you opt for a fat burning HIIT workout or a steady cycle in the countryside. Exercise has also been proven to lower anxiety levels, as well as release endorphins and serotonin which flood you brain with happiness.
Exercising in the morning is a great time to increase your energy levels and set you up for the day ahead. By working out or going for a walk in the morning, you’ll gain a real sense of achievement straight off the bat and you don’t have to worry about fitting your exercise in during the rest of the day or after work. In addition, getting those endorphins flowing will give you a great mood boost that’s sure to last all day!
4. Make Use of Available Support
If you’re beginning to struggle with your mental wellbeing during lockdown and working from home, it’s important to talk about it. A great place to start is to reach out to your colleagues, friends and family. Isolation can often make us feel lonely, but by simply venting about your feelings or having a chat about your latest binge on Netflix can really help to improve your mental state.
It’s also beneficial to find out what mental wellbeing services your workplace offers – some organisations offer free and confidential virtual counselling, while others have set up coffee breaks that you can join to take your mind off work and the pandemic for 15 minutes or so.
5. Go Outside
Spending time in the great outdoors can be an effective way of refreshing the brain and taking your mind off any stresses or worries you might have. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can treat anxiety, stress and depression, while outdoor walking can help to lower blood pressure and stress hormones.
Even just going out for a quick walk in your local area at lunchtime is a good way to look after your mental health, plus being outdoors and exercising means you can tick two of our top tips off in one go – win win!
The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of us in so many different ways, but it’s important for us to keep our mental health front of mind, whilst also ensuring we look out for the mental wellbeing of the people around us.
Contact us today if you’d like to speak to someone about how having the right technology in place can support positive mental wellbeing when working from home.