As of Thursday 16th April, the UK entered an extended lockdown of three weeks, with many people already working from home for over a month. The latest UK lockdown restrictions were announced by Dominic Raab, who has taken a temporary role as the leader of the Conservative party, while Boris Johnson recovers from Coronavirus. Although the news was not unexpected, given the daily death toll in the UK, the restrictions are beginning to have a real effect on mental health.
We are used to being able to go into an office and speak to our colleagues, or if you already work from home, you can escape by going out for a coffee, meeting a friend for lunch or a client for a business meeting. These little things are important to our mental health, and although the idea of working in our pyjamas all day can be attractive, the novelty soon wears thin.
We can expect the lockdown to at least last another 3 weeks, but if we are realistic, it will probably last longer than this, especially with workers returning to busy offices. It is important that we pay close attention to our mental health during this period, as it is incredibly challenging. If you are working from home, you should take care of your mental health. These are some ways to manage your mental wellbeing while working from home.
Stick to a Routine
Although you can afford to be more flexible with your day, it is important to stick to some kind of routine. A set routine will help ensure you complete all the necessary tasks for the day and will make it easier when you do go back to your normal day. It can be easy to slip into a routine of staying up late, getting up late and basically have a routine which is all over the place. This can affect both your mood and your sleep patterns, and it can also affect your diet. Try and start and finish your day at the usual time and leave your evening free for relaxing.
Speak Your Mind
These are extremely challenging times, and you will go on an emotional rollercoaster. Don’t be afraid to speak to your colleagues, friends or your boss if you are finding things difficult. Mental health problems can become much worse if you don’t speak to people about them, and let’s face it, we’re all facing struggles at the moment. It’s completely normal to not be 100% productive every day.
Take Your Daily Exercise
It is vital for both your mental and physical health that you take your daily exercise. Even if it’s just a walk round the block, it will improve your mood and give you a Vitamin D boost. It can be tempting to stay in every day, especially if your local area is busy with other walkers, but it is fundamental to your wellbeing.
Ideally, you should aim to take a quick break every 45 mins to 1 hour, even just to grab a coffee or have a quick read at your book. It is important to take breaks away from the computer and to do something you enjoy.
Switch off Social Media
Although social media can be extremely important and useful, especially at this time, it is also one of the worse causes of poor mental health. Limit your usage of social media, especially at this time when its full of conspiracy theories. A quick look in the morning, afternoon and evening is more than enough.
How are you finding working from home? Are you enjoying it or is it a huge challenge? We would love to hear your experiences and thoughts.
We are also available for an online tea and chat if you need some company, get in touch!