Interacting with others is human nature. But as coronavirus continues to spread, people are encouraged to limit social interaction and avoid large gatherings. For some, that includes the office. If you’re working from home for the foreseeable future, don’t let the extra alone time interfere with your mental health. Use these tips to stay healthy:
Set up a dedicated workspace.
It’s important to keep the office separate from home life, even when your home is the office. Though it may be tempting to set your laptop up in a comfy spot on the couch, designate a separate room or space as your home office. That way, you can physically leave once your workday is done.
Make the most of your commute time.
Now that your daily trek to the office is a matter of steps rather than miles, that bonus time should be dedicated to yourself. Get your morning going by doing something you enjoy. Drinking coffee on the porch or doing a daily meditation practice will start your day off on the right foot and put you in a good mood.
Put yourself on a schedule.
It’s hard not to feel like you should answer every email and text immediately while working remotely. But being “on call” could actually harm productivity. If you create a schedule that alternates working on your responsibilities with checking for messages at a regular interval, you’ll be less distracted and frustrated by notifications.
Go for a walk.
Office life means distractions – phone calls, coworker chatter, questions from colleagues. When working from home, you may find yourself on a roll of productivity without all the bustle around you. Break up the day with a walk outside to refresh and reinvigorate you when you’re working hard. Research shows that a midday walk can boost concentration and happiness while lowering stress levels.
Continue human interaction.
As social beings, we are hard wired to seek face-to-face interaction with others. Host your business calls and virtual meetings with your webcam component on, rather than just the audio function, to foster a feeling of engagement and socialization.
Take frequent breaks.
Whether you’re in the office or telecommuting, frequent breaks should be a part of your daily routine to prevent burnout and protect your wellbeing. They don’t have to be long: you can stand up and stretch, walk, make a healthy lunch, drink some water or coffee, or even throw in a load of laundry. Just a few minutes of time away from the computer can make the difference for a happier workday.
Listen to music.
There are a few things you can do while working at home that you can’t do in the office, like controlling the sounds around you. If you focus better with noise, it’s the perfect opportunity to listen to some music you like or put on background noise like the history channel. Of course, if you work better in silence, turning down any noise is an option too.
Choose a quitting time and stick to it.
With the separation between home and office gone, it may be difficult to stop checking your email throughout the evening. Set a clear sign-off time and stick to it to keep work from distracting you from your personal time.