Building Resilience and Wellbeing While Working from Home
Working from home, once seemed like rare luxury that very few ever got to experience. Replacing your morning lengthy commute with precious extra minutes of sleep, your uncomfortable high heels with your cosy slippers or your stiff tie with your snug pyjamas.
From a novelty to now the norm, for many of us working from home has been a difficult adjustment.
Whether it’s eating well, exercising, drinking lots of water or getting enough sleep, we all have healthy habits we use to help us tackle stressful situations, build resilience that in turn help keep us mentally well.
Unconscious wellness strategies that have been built into everyday routine have now been lost and replaced with uncertainty, constant change, and situational stressors. Disconnected, isolated, confined, and unable to separate work-life from home-life can all negatively affect our mental health.
Looking back pre covid, the mundaneness of structure and routine such as the fresh air or exercise of the morning commute, used as a time to catch up on music, podcasts, books and videos or the social aspect of lunchtimes spent with colleagues or after work drinks were all unconsciously building our resilience and aiding our overall wellbeing.
So, what do we do now that they’re gone? What can you do to build your resilience and wellbeing?
There are a number of healthy habits and many more being discovered to help mental wellness and build resilience while working from home.
- Establish boundaries between work and home
The line between work time and personal time can become blurred when your office is also your home. This line needs to be defined, a clear work-mode and a clear switch off mode. Set yourself up a routine as you would if you were going into an office, a regular alarm, start time and finish time with scheduled in breaks and exercise.
In the office the end of day is clear, you pack up your belongings and head home. Define that time for home, you finish, and you switch off. Don’t blur the lines by checking your emails – digitally detox.
2. Get outside
I know the morning and afternoon commute were always a struggle, but they got you out of the house or office. When you are working from home if you want to get outside you need to actively work it into your schedule otherwise it won’t happen.
By using techniques such as time blocking to schedule out and split up your day, will help you to prioritise tasks, find time for other activities and reduce the overwhelmingness of the day ahead.
Whether it’s before or after work or during your break, you should aim to get some appreciated fresh air and sunshine. A simple walk of the dog, ride or just stroll around the block helps you mentally detach from work and helps clear your thoughts.
3. Reach out
Another change that has occurred is the way in which we socialise and communicate. With organic face-to-face interactions largely absent from working life, many amazing new socialising platforms have been established.
Whether its Zoom or Teams these amazing technologies are constantly being developed to improve the way we communicate…So use them!
These encounters won’t happen spontaneously or naturally like they would in an office, they need to be proactively planned and organised to maintain positive and healthy relationships.
Conducting daily or weekly meetings, have a coffee over a catch up with colleges or if you’re managing people, making sure you are cheeking in. Don’t keep it strictly business, discuss what you’ve been doing, how you’ve been keeping, incorporate those personal aspects of socialising.
Staying connected to others helps to reduce stress levels, helps productivity and gives people a sense of team belonging.
4. Make time for you!
When you are working from home you may not feel as though you are having any down time. Between working, household jobs, cooking, cleaning, or taking care of the kids, you need to set aside time that is purely for you.
Whatever you do to relax you need to make time to do it. Make time for those podcasts, books, or shows, take a relaxing bath, mediate, whatever works for your metal wellbeing.
Mental resilience can always be developed, these healthy habits can be incorporated but don’t be afraid to seek out or ask your managers for additional resilience training. Mental resilience takes time to grow and develop, it will help you though new and challenging experiences and stressors, which are becoming increasingly prevalent in everyday life.
Build your own wellness and resilience and help those around you do the same, reach out and check in on your colleagues, friends and family, there are a lot of people who are experiences similar challenges and adjustments during these uncertain times.