If you’re like me, the announcement of the recent stay-at-home order was no surprise thanks to Covid-19. As we check in with our friends, our family and our colleagues we are finding that some people are just settling into the remote working routine, while others are counting the days until they can resume work in an office setting and get back to their daily lives. With so much pressure on us to perform our job duties from home, it’s too easy to put our own mental health on the backburner and pause our self care routines.
There are, of course, some perks to working from home such as no commute, sweatpants/pjs every day (from the waist down anyway), no interruptions, and that the refrigerator at home has all their favorites. The downside is that being isolated and without human interaction daily takes a toll on even the healthiest of minds. Don’t get me wrong, I adore my dog – but it is just not the same as interacting with other humans on a daily basis.
It’s so important in times like these to really focus on maintaining your mental health, especially if you have dealt with anxiety and depression at different times in your life.
For me, it’s often hard to stay focused and motivated while working from home. Distractions are a dime a dozen and I have to really push myself to stay on task which can be mentally exhausting. I have put together a short list of some of my favorite ways to nurture my mind during quarantine and to make sure that I stay in tune with my mental health.
- Set up a designated work area. I know not everyone was prepared to work from home for a long period of time but setting up a workspace is very beneficial to help avoid unnecessary distractions. Surround yourself with things you love, colors that speak to you, motivational quotes, anything that makes you feel happy and ready to take on the day.
- LOG OFF! Set work hours for yourself and stick to them. You don’t have to answer emails at all hours of the day or night and shouldn’t. Prioritize yourself and your spouse/family by keeping work within work hours and being present at home after hours.
- Find hobbies and interests around your home that keep you busy and occu py your mind, I really enjoy getting outside and working in my garden. Growing your own foods is so satisfying and the fresh air is beneficial as well.
- Keep lines of communication with friends and family that make you happy open. It’s easy to self isolate in circumstances where you are unable to be social, which can have a negative impact on your relationships. Make it a point to schedule a zoom call with friends or chat with family members weekly, If you’re feeling depressed or anxious, vent to a spouse, a sibling or a friend,
- Try something new, read a new book, listen to a new podcast. Try yoga, biking, listen/play music or even yard work to take advantage of your “you” time.
- Try to limit the news/social media that gets you down. I make it a point to check CNN in the morning, followed by NPR 10 minute news. I don’t look again until the next day. This allows me to stay up to date without getting so engrossed that it takes over my life. I also like to keep my social media circle fairly small and only surround myself with positive people, which is especially important during this time.
- Pamper yourself! If you’re feeling stressed, run a warm bath and relax with a glass of wine! Give yourself a manicure or do a face mask; anything that makes you feel refreshed and rejuvenated,
In short, put yourself first. Period!
Your mental health depends on it.
If you’re interested in hearing my story and learning about my past mental health issues and hardships I’ve overcome in my life, you can get a copy of my book, Emerging Butterfly here, Available for purchase on audible, amazon and goodreads.