I can’t quite believe it’s been almost 7 months since a lot of us started working from home (WFH). I remember thinking it wouldn’t be for long, yet, here I am. Even though I’m now fully adapted and can’t think of going back to the office full time, the reality is my mental health as suffered during these last few months.
This year’s World Mental Health Day is focusing on the impact of the pandemic on people’s mental health, especially for those working remotely.
These exceptional circumstances have affected our mental health in so many ways. From having to isolate and not being able to see friends and family, to adapting to changes in our lives and increase of social anxiety, each one of us has been affected somehow.
If like me, you’re still #WFH, here are a few things that you can do that I found to have helped my mental health.
Go for a walk
Getting some fresh air is amazing for our wellbeing. Now that the days are getting darker, colder and rainier, it’ll be hard to get the motivation to get out. But get some boots, a warm coat and get yourself out, even if it’s just for a quick 5-10 min. If you feel unmotivated, try to find a reason to get out - even if it’s just to go to the shop or grab a coffee.
Find a new hobby
One good thing about WFH is that we don’t have to commute anymore, meaning we have more spare time. So use this time to do something you enjoy and that makes you feel relaxed. This could be reading a book, knitting, exercising… During the first lockdown, I tried different things such as cross stitch and embroidery. Whilst they worked, it took me a while to get into it. I’ve now turned into digital illustrations and that is the hobby I needed. Not only am I learning a new skill, but I also feel super relaxed!
Talk to someone
One of the downsides of not being in the office is not being around people. And if you work quite independently but still in a team, it can feel quite lonely. If you’re feeling down or alone, talk to your friends, family or even a colleague. The pandemic is affecting everybody, so not only will you feel better about yourself, but you’re probably helping the person you’re talking to as well!
Take time off
Just because you are WFH it doesn’t mean that you don’t need time off work! If anything, it makes it harder to distinguish work and home, and some of us seem to be working more than usual. Burnout can affect our mental health, so make sure you take some time off to actually be at home and relax. Or go on a little staycation. Check out the Talk Twenties Staycation Series for some ideas on places to go.
Check your company benefits
Some companies give great benefits, such as wellbeing days, gym memberships, or even access to counselling. Have a look at your employee handbook or speak to HR to see what benefits you have that you could use to help you during these times.
Practice yoga or meditation
Yoga and meditation are great ways to relieve stress and help you stay focused. There are a lot of benefits associated with practising yoga and meditation and your general wellbeing. There are plenty of apps, such as Calm, that have guided meditations and mindfulness exercises. Youtube is also a great place to find guided meditations and yoga flows. I recommend Yoga with Adriane.
These are the top tips that I found that have worked for me and helped me with my mental health in days that I wasn’t feeling as great. There are plenty more things you can try, that could work better for you.
With the pandemic, mental health services have been affected. If you are struggling and need somebody to talk to, organisations like The Samaritans, Mind and The Mental Health Foundation have loads of resources to help you, or speak to somebody you know.
We’re all in this together and together we’ll overcome this.
Blog post author: Alexa Pereira
Alexa is an adopted Scouser, originally from Portugal. After moving to a new country at 22 and only recently turning 30, Alexa is the perfect person to share her experiences of being a twenty-something!
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