Working from Home

There are some advantages in working from home that some of us can enjoy, but feeling stress, boredom, anxiety and uncertainty is also completely normal.These tips can help you while working at home, to feel more productive and take care of your mental health in these difficult times.

 

Tackling work from home

We shared a few tips for working from home during the first lockdown; here are a few more that we suggest – to keep you energised as we work through our second:

Your working day

Follow your normal sleep and work patterns if you can and stay consistent.

Before your workday starts try scheduling in the time it would take you to travel to work and spend it exercising, reading or listening to music before logging in.

When your workday stops, shut down, stop checking emails and focus on your home life. And at the end of the day, try to get to bed at your usual time.

 


Your working space

Find a quiet, dedicated space for your work area which is away from people and distractions

Make sure you are comfortable, sitting at a desk or table as much as you can.

As lots of us will continue to work from home for a while, see if there are any ways you can improve your workspace, even if that means setting up in another room, maybe one with more natural light.

 


Your physical wellbeing

Working from home means you might be spending a lot more time without moving your body as much as you normally would.  Try doing some light stretching or exercise with a 10-minute workout.

 

Try and set a time to go for a bike ride, run or walk to enable you to get some fresh air.

 


You are working remotely – not in isolation

There are lots of ways to stay in touch with those who matter, especially if you are feeling isolated.  This will help their mental wellbeing as well as your own.

 

Set up video calls or pick up the phone instead of emailing. Write a letter or send a card.

 

 


Ask how your colleagues/friends are doing and whether there are ways you can support each other.

Socialising virtually can be fun– schedule in a digital coffee/lunch break or Friday evening online get-together.

 

Most importantly, always remember to…


Helpful tips for those of us on a screen all day:

Screen time is a big issue these days. You probably spend a good number of hours looking at screens, like your computer at work and at home, your smartphone, television, or other digital devices. Looking at screens too much can lead to eye strain. But the 20-20-20 rule may help.

Basically, every 20 minutes spent using a screen, you should try to look away at something that is 20 feet away from you for a total of 20 seconds (It takes about 20 seconds for your eyes to completely relax).

While you’re resting your eyes, it’s also a good idea to get up and grab a drink of water to keep yourself hydrated. If your body is hydrated, your eyes will be as well.

 

How to survive a winter lockdown, from those who’ve done it

The winter lockdowns across the UK have filled many of us with dread. But millions of people across the world have already experienced coronavirus lockdowns often in sub-zero temperatures – so what can we learn from them?

Norway

Lockdown in Tromsø began in March 2020, when the average temperature was -1.1C, with lows of -8.9C. It rained or snowed almost every day.

The mindfulness researcher at the University of Tromsø sees winter as “really embracing winter for what it’s worth” rather than “something to endure”. She says adopting a “positive winter mindset” could help us cope with the stresses of a lockdown at this time of year.

 

Top tips from Norway:

  • Get a winter wardrobe (she says British raincoats aren’t enough, so layer up!)
  • Light candles to give yourself a comforting break from the darkness outside
  • Try to take notice of nature and small things around you, like a tree or a ray of sunshine

Australia

Melbourne entered a three-month lockdown during Australian winter in July, when temperatures reached lows of 3.1Cand highs of 17.4C.

The luxury of a hot bath helped to face the mental pressures of a 112-day lockdown in Melbourne.

 

Top tips from Australia:

  • Make winter treats (like hot baths and pizza nights) part of your weekly routine
  • Don’t be too be hard on yourself!
  • You can’t judge yourself on now because it’s not the normal thing, so take it hour by hour.