Our top tips to help mental wellbeing whilst working at home
At Digital Innovators we explain to students the importance of achieving and maintaining a healthy work life balance. This has become even more important as digital technologies have infiltrated our lives and contributed to an ‘Always On’ society. We need, therefore, to learn how to manage this.
In 2018 MindTech and the James Lind Alliance created a top 10 list of questions around the impact of digital technology on mental health. Four of the top 10 questions highlighted the need to get a balance between the use of digital technologies and human “face to face” interaction. This has become challenging in recent weeks as many people are now working remotely and students are faced with self-directed learning at home.
But there are steps we can all take to support our wellbeing. As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, here are our top tips for working at home and maintaining a healthy mindset.
AVOID THE EMAIL TRAP – TALK TO PEOPLE
It seems obvious, but how many times do you find yourself ploughing through emails, many of which have little value. Then you hit the reply all button! If it’s important, pick up the phone and make someone’s day. Better still, consider a video call – it’s a great way to keep in touch and maintain a sense of face to face contact.
WATCH THE CLOCK
When working at home many of us will work longer hours. As there is no need to travel to the office or meet people, we just crack on. In addition, there may be a hidden guilt that you might get caught out if the boss calls and you were not at you desk. Give yourself a BREAK.
A ROOM WITH A VIEW
Our brains need stimulating and to stay alert require our senses to be collecting new data from the surroundings. If you spend everyday working in the same space repeating the same activity it will not be long before your brain switches off. Also known as Cabin Fever.
Top Tip – Do not work in the same room you spend your leisure time! i.e. your bedroom
SET SIMPLE GOALS
Everyone says this but what does it mean? Essentially, a goal is a dream or a want, with a date or a time, on it. For example Today I WANT to cut the grass in the garden. Or Tomorrow at 2pm I will phone my sister. Achieving it will lift your spirit.
We are all creatures of habit and the current situation is not normal. Where possible, stick to existing routines or create new ones. This allows your brain some space, to switch off and coast. Create time slots when you turn off your devices or stop working and fill that time with an activity you value.
BE KIND TO YOURSELF
There is no greater critic of yourself than you! It is therefore important to recognise that when in isolation, or not communicating with other people, you can become very self-critical. Why not treat yourself at the end of the day / week for a great job? You could also treat a friend as a surprise. Try it – you will be surprised how good it feels