This year has proven to come with many challenges for all of us due to the COVID pandemic. Chances are, you’re operating in a territory you’ve never seen before. With the widespread closure of schools and businesses, for lots of people, part of that new territory includes working from home.
You may have always dreamed of the chance to work in your PJs, and though remote work has its perks, there are also several factors at play that can decrease your productivity, and in turn, increase burnout.
If you’re not careful, all of this can have a negative impact on your overall well being. So how do you avoid that downhill slide?
Make Your Own Well Being A Priority
You’ve probably heard variations of it before, but this tried and true bit of wisdom is one to live by. If you want to be productive, you have to take care of yourself. Strive to find a balance between working from home and taking time to attend to your needs.
There are four main areas you should focus on when thinking about your well being.
1. Healthy Eating
Did you just juggle a baby in one hand and chase your toddler around the room all while working an eight-hour shift? Chances are you’re probably exhausted and the convenience of a drive-thru sounds overwhelmingly tempting. You can almost taste those french fries. Before you grab the car keys, take a step back, and think again.
Even as adults, our diets affect our brains. Try to make room in your meal plans for healthy foods and reap some of the benefits listed here:
● Concentration and Focus
● Blueberries, avocados, leafy greens and even water
● Decrease In Depression and Anxiety, Reduce Inflammation
● Adopt the Mediterranean Diet which limits red meat intake and is packed full of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as nuts and legumes.
2. Stress Management
There are plenty of things about being an adult that can be stressful. Pack those in with the added pressure of having to stay productive while working at home, and you’ve got a recipe for a stress explosion. Taking the time to recognize and deal with your stress is even more important than ever.
● Take A Step Away
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Physically taking a step away from whatever it is that is stressing you out can help redirect your thoughts and calm your mind. Take a short walk around the block or sit in a quiet room for five minutes.
● Recognize What You’re Feeling
The basics of emotional well being tell us it’s important not to bury all of those emotions you might be feeling right now. Talk to someone, write them down, meditate. Do something to label what you’re feeling (scared, mad, irritated, etc). This can let them out and free you from an emotional buildup that could easily get out of control.
● Change Gears
Do something to get your mind off of things. Play with your pet. Get some fresh air. Sweat it out with some exercise.
3. Get Good Quality and Quantities of Sleep
A good night’s sleep can do wonders for your well being. In order for adults to operate at optimal levels, both cognitively and physically, between seven to nine hours of sleep is needed every night.
Pick a specific bedtime as well as waking time and stick to it. This will help your brain learn a pattern.
Find a few things you can do each night that help you wind down when it’s time to hit the hay. For example, try mindfulness exercises such as deep breathing, and follow that with a cup of tea and your favorite magazine.
● No Blue Lights or Loud Noises
Turn off your devices and do your best to reduce noise at least an hour before bedtime. Doing this regularly will train your brain to recognize that this is time for sleep.
4. Have Fun!
This one should be a no-brainer but sometimes we can get so wrapped up in things that we forget how important it is to have fun.
● Have Fun With Others
Working from home, it’s easy to feel isolated from your extended family, friends, and even your coworkers. Scheduling some time to have fun with others during this pandemic. Host a Google Meet party or start your work Zoom meeting with a game.
● Have Fun By Yourself
Alone time can be underrated. Is there a language you always wanted to learn or a skill you always wanted to master? Now is the time to go for it!
Following these tips can help you maintain a good sense of well being while working from home. Sometimes it’s necessary to ask for extra help. If you feel yourself struggling, contact the mental health professionals at TMS Advantage today.
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