When the pandemic began, nearly 80% of global companies implemented work from home policies. While vaccination efforts have helped reduce some of the concerns associated with Covid-19, work-from-home practices are likely to stick around for a while longer.
For some, working from home is a great experience. It can mean less time spent in the car and more time spent with family. However, for some people, working from home can be draining and can negatively impact your mental health. If you are currently working from home, there’s a good chance you will continue to do so for a while. Implementing these practices into your workday can help maintain and even improve your mental health.
Limit Screen Time As Much As Possible
Most remote jobs require a significant amount of time in front of a computer screen. A sedentary lifestyle plus extensive screen time can take a serious physical and mental toll on your body. In fact, Harvard researchers have linked excessive screen time with poor sleep and decreased creativity.
Try taking regular “tech-free breaks.” Although it may feel more efficient to eat lunch at your computer, your brain will thank you for taking a break from the screen. Eat lunch with your family, outside, or reading a physical book.
Experts also suggest implementing the 20-20-20 rule while working from home. Every 20 minutes, focus your eyes and attention on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This will help clear your mind and give your brain a short and regular break. This may seem like a small thing, but limiting your screen time in little ways can create big payoffs when it comes to your mental health.
Prioritize Physical Exercise
A primarily sedentary life can contribute to anxiety and depression-like symptoms. That’s why it’s so important to prioritize physical exercise while working from home. A run, walk, or trip to the gym has obvious physical benefits, but daily exercise can also have a significant impact on your mental health. Exercise reduces stress, eases symptoms of depression, and improves your thinking, learning, and judgment.
Additionally, exercise releases endorphins, which can act as a mood booster as well as a natural form of pain relief. Sitting in a chair all day can cause quite a few aches and pains. Regular physical activity can actually help relieve those problems.
Create Boundaries Around Your Workspace
Even if you’re working from home, it’s still important to go to the office each day. Set up a dedicated space in your home for work and limit your work time to that particular space during each day. This will help you stay more focused when you’re working, and it will be easier to be fully invested in home life at the end of the workday.
While it’s a good idea to establish a more permanent workspace, it’s also a smart idea to change up your scenery once in a while. Moving locations helps stimulate your brain and may inspire more creative thinking patterns, which encourages positive mental health.
Blending home with work on a daily basis can be detrimental to your mental health and overall productivity levels. So, pick a bright, sunny spot in your house, and set up a semi-permanent home office. Setting intentional boundaries in your home will help reduce stress and benefit your mental health in the long run.
Protect Your Long-Term Mental Health
Working from home can have many upsides, but ignoring the challenges it creates for mental health can be draining. Embracing a work-from-home arrangement as a way to not only be safely productive but to improve your own mental health, can help you get the most out of each workday.
If your mental wellbeing and general health are at the top of your priority list, you might have pressing questions about your health insurance. If you are from the Kosciusko area and have questions about your health insurance options, set up a time to meet with insurance agent, Michael Suhany. With his years of experience, he can walk you through various insurance plans and find one that prioritizes your long-term mental health needs. Contact him today to set up an appointment.