By living and working in the same place, even the most introverted of introverts (like me 👋) may struggle to keep their mental health in check. If you’re working remotely (or anywhere, really), here are some tips to keep your spirits high and your stress levels low.
#1 Develop a Daily Routine
Living where you work, oddly enough, can make it difficult to find that perfect work-life balance. You’re quite literally taking your work home with you, and it can be tough to tell where work ends and where life begins. Not only does developing a daily routine do wonders for your mental health, it will help make sure you’re providing yourself with some much needed you-time.
Having a routine can help to reduce the amount of unstructured time in your day and keep your mind focused on the task at hand, leading to more productive work. Plus, for those who experience any level of depression or anxiety, the holes in your day are where those things like to creep in. Start by finding one thing you can do each day, like journaling in the mornings, then keep building from there!
#2 Seek Out Social Interaction
The importance of social interaction cannot be overstated. It’s one of the key ways humans connect with each other and share information. Even with a full slate of Zoom calls on your calendar, it’s important to get out and be social beyond your workday.
Social interaction helps reduce stress, maintain a sense of wellbeing, and stave off the feelings of loneliness and isolation some may experience when working remotely. Call on your friends and family, take a class at your local community center, attend networking events - whatever works for you. Just don’t fall into the work from home trap of going more than a day or so without some kind of social interaction.
#3 Get Your Workout On!
If your career involves a lot of desk duty, it’s extremely important to get that blood flowing. Remote work often results in an even more sedentary situation, as there is no commute or need to even go outside. Beyond the obvious physical benefits of exercise, getting those endorphins firing can also have a serious impact on your mental health.
Incorporating a workout into your daily routine, even if it’s just a walk, can help increase productivity, boost energy levels, and improve your overall mood. When you can, try working from a standing position for a while. Even if you just utilize your kitchen counter, every bit of physical activity will do your body and mind right. Speaking of kitchens…
#4 Follow a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet can play a big role in combating some common mental health issues, like anxiety and depression. Food is fuel for your body and mind, and you’re basically a Ferrari. Fill up with that premium stuff, and you’ll be humming along like a fine-tuned machine. Order fast food from your go-to delivery app, and you’ll be searching for a nap by 2PM.
Working from home can sometimes make us too comfortable, and it may be tempting to reach out for creature comfort snacks. By stocking the fridge with healthy options and prepping a few meals at the start of each week, you won’t even need to think about what to eat throughout the week. That being said, don’t forget to treat yourself every now and then! Pizza and ice cream might not be the healthiest of options, but they sure can be great for the soul.
#5 Relax & Practice Self-Care
Remote work might seem more loose and laid back, but that doesn’t mean you’re not working hard. It’s important to take time to relax and practice self-care, whatever that looks like to you personally. For some, it may be closing the laptop and sitting down with a cup of coffee and a good book. For others, it may be getting out in nature.
Spend your downtime doing things that make you happy and bring you peace of mind. Shoot, you could even binge your favorite show and go for that pizza and ice cream mentioned above. Just like your physical health, improving your mental wellbeing requires you to focus on yourself. Listen to what your mind and body need, and embrace your you-time!
#6 Get Yourself Some Sleep!
Sleep is essential for a healthy mind and body. When we don't get enough sleep, our brains don't function as well and we can feel fatigue, irritability, and even depression. By getting 6-8 hours of sleep each night, you can achieve increased productivity, enhance your mood, and alleviate stress overall.
If counting sheep isn’t quite cutting it, here are a few things you could try to get yourself on track:
- Factor Sleep Into Your Daily Routine: Getting yourself to bed at the same time every night can “trick” your body into falling asleep faster, so add it to your schedule!
- Avoid Caffeine and Junk Food Close to Bedtime: We all love a good after-dinner coffee or late night snack, but what we put in our bodies close to bedtime can negatively impact our sleep.
- Try a Sleep App: There are all sorts of great apps out there designed to help you fall asleep. From guided meditations to peaceful music and sounds, millions are turning to apps like these to get better sleep.
- Avoid Screens Before Bed: I know…it’s hard to imagine laying in bed without staring at your phone. That being said, phones, tablets, computers, and TV’s can be incredibly stimulating and make it difficult to fall asleep.
You Are Not Alone
Regardless of your occupation, if you struggle with depression, anxiety, or any other strains on your mental health, you are far from alone. Following the steps detailed above can be beneficial, but there are many resources available to you if you feel as though you need help (as we all do every now and again).
For those of us who work from home, it’s easy to feel as if you’re on your own little island, but you’re not! There are tons of awesome online and in-person communities you can locate via LinkedIn, Facebook, and elsewhere. You can even organize events with your remote team where work talk is prohibited, so you can actually get to know each other better.
Where to Find Remote Work
Freelancing platforms like Pangea.app have tons of awesome opportunities that are all remote. Much like remote work, freelancing has exploded in popularity the last few years. Working as a remote freelancer is a fun and exciting way to earn a living by working with multiple clients in need of your skillset.
One of the coolest aspects of this new work from home culture is that, much like how you can work from anywhere, companies can now hire from anywhere as well. This opens the door to countless more opportunities. There are hundreds of remote opportunities live on Pangea.app right now, so sign up for free today and let’s get to work (from home)!