It’s funny to think about yearning for the commute: actually looking forward to sitting in traffic or on a crowded train. To want to get roped into small talk in the office kitchen, or have an argument with the stubborn printer. But for many people still working from home after many weeks in lockdown, this is the reality.
Some people find that their mental health is boosted from the routine of working life, from being able to communicate with colleagues and form a distinct separation between work and home. If you are one of those people, and you’re finding it mentally challenging to still be working from home, here are some top tips for caring for yourself and maintaining good mental wellbeing:
Create firm work/home boundaries
For those with the luxury of a home office, make sure you shut the door at the end of the working day and don’t venture back in until 9am! But for those balancing laptops on dining room tables, those boundaries are more challenging. Pack away your work equipment at the end of the day and make your home space ‘homely’ again. Make sure colleagues know that your work phone will be switched off at the end of the working day – and actually switch it off! Don’t be tempted to check emails at all hours.
Take a break and get some fresh air
It can be easy to work through your lunch break, but not taking breaks will eventually negatively impact your mental wellbeing. Block out your lunch breaks in your diary at the same time every day so that colleagues know you won’t be around, and refrain from booking meetings during that time. Get away from your workstation and, if possible, go out for a walk. If you can get to a park or out into nature, it’ll do wonders for your mentality: there is lots of evidence to suggest that nature improves mood and reduces feelings of stress or anger.
Many teams have established group chats in order to communicate – and not just about work, but general light conversation like you’d have in an office. If your team, or group of friendly colleagues, don’t currently have a chat like this set up, then why not create one. You could also regularly reach out to other colleagues outside of your team, as a wellbeing check-in that benefits you both.
Talk to HR, your manager or trusted colleagues
If your mental wellbeing dips too low and you’re starting to struggle, it’s very important to reach out to someone and explain how you’re feeling. Ideally, this would be your line manager or HR representative, as they will be most able to put practical steps in place to help you. If you aren’t comfortable doing that, speak to a trusted colleague. There is no shame in feeling low during this difficult time, and you certainly aren’t alone.
Lockdown is proving challenging for many people, but by looking after your mental wellbeing and taking care of yourself, you’ll be able to weather the storm and return to the new normal in no time.
At Optimum Recruitment, we’re offering support to in-house recruiters and hiring managers during this unprecedented time. If you have any questions, please do contact us.