fbpx
 

What I’ve learned about working from home (Part 2)

advice | business | mental health

Earlier this week I started a post about working from home. It covered the things I’ve learned over the last year that might be helpful to you who are now finding yourselves having to work from home too. It turned into a bit of a beast of a post. So, I decided to stop things where they were and write a part 2 to cover the rest of the information I spoke about during the Facebook live session I held. 

So, here’s what I’ve learned about working from home (part two!). 

Your mental health matters

I spoke, in the first post, about how working from home can have a distinct effect on your mental health. That’s something I’d like to cover in more detail in this second post. 

In this period of self-isolating or socially distancing ourselves, isolation is a big concern when working from home. I can’t imagine how having to stay at home must feel if you’re more extroverted. As a complete introvert, I’m more than comfortable in my own company. I find social situations quite emotionally draining. That being said, even I appreciate the company of people outside my four walls at times!

Keep talkin’ 

The first thing to do is to figure out how to maintain communications and keep up those relationships even though you now need to stay at home. Luckily, we’re in an incredible digital age. There are a whole host of apps and programs out there you can utilise to keep in touch with one another. 

For one-to-one communications, there’s always Skype, Facetime or WhatsApp. If you need to chat with groups, or if you’re looking to network, programs like Zoom and Google Hangouts are useful. There are plenty of ways and I’m sure there are plenty I haven’t mentioned.

Regardless of your work setup and the hours you work during the day, do make time to keep in touch with friends and family too. Whether you arrange chats at lunch or evening calls, make time for them. I heard a wonderful statement the other day that said what we’re being asked to do is not ‘social distancing’ but, instead, ‘physical distancing’. Socially, we actually must remain closer than we ever have before. It’s our social behaviours and efforts that are going to help us get through this. Remember that over the coming weeks and months. Keep checking in on friends and family. Irrespective of physical distance, let’s all look out for one another.

Be open and honest

I’ll be the first to admit that, when all this virus stuff kicked off in the last couple of weeks, my mental health took a bit of a nosedive. For the first time, I missed two client deadlines. I was more worried and ashamed about having to admit that than anything else. 

Luckily I have the most amazing clients who were both so understanding. I spoke with them honestly and openly about what was happening with me. I would urge you to do the same if you are also struggling with client deadlines right now. There is no shame in admitting these events are affecting your mental health. I’d be more surprised if they weren’t. Everything you’re feeling right now is normal and you are not alone in your feelings. Please do try to remember that and keep talking about what you’re experiencing. It will help.

Fresh air

While we are expected to work from home and not go out as much as possible, it’s worth noting that getting outside can do wonders for your mental health. Going out for a walk, a run or a bike ride is still possible. If you’re not able to do those things, I’d advocate getting out into your yard or onto your balcony for a bit of time each day. Breathe in the fresh air and listen to the world outside your home. It will do you so much good mentally.

Meditation

One of the things that help me when things are getting a little overwhelming is to meditate. Taking 10 minutes out of my day to practise a little mindfulness helps me to build my strength mentally. I would recommend a couple of apps – one is Headspace and the other is Calm. Both of them offer short meditations for free. 

Journaling

As a writer, of course, I’m going to talk about journaling as a method of aiding your mental health. Now, more than ever, it’s important to document what’s going on and how you’re feeling. I find journaling helps me to figure out my thoughts when I’m struggling to understand them. It gives me a lot of clarity. 

Being thankful

This brings me to expressing gratitude. This is something I’ve only been practising lately and I use my journal to do it. I know, right now, it might seem like there’s nothing to be thankful for. But I try to express my gratitude about one thing each day, even if it’s the smallest most mundane thing. The very act of being thankful for something is a great way of boosting your mental health. Give it a try. You’ll be thankful you did!

Go easy on yourself

If there’s one thing you take away from this post today, it should be this. Whatever happens in the coming weeks and months, however it affects your mental health, remember not to be too hard on yourself. We’re all experiencing an incredibly unique and unexpected event right now. There is no right way to deal with it or manage your feelings and emotions. Just be aware that whatever you’re feeling right now is normal and you are not alone in feeling that way.

If you have anything you want to discuss, any questions about working from home or you want to speak to someone who understands, then please don’t hesitate to either leave a comment below or email me: hello@sarahwayte.com. I’m always happy to lend an ear.