Looking After Your Wellbeing While Working from Home
As the world grapples with the coronavirus outbreak, and people adjust to a new way of working, it’s normal to feel confused and anxious. Change can be unsettling, especially when there are so many unknowns. Being exposed to large volumes of news and negative information can compound feelings of anxiety.
Many companies are now directing employees to work from home where possible, as the government cancel large gatherings and encourage social distancing. This can result in feelings of loneliness and isolation on top of heightened distress and anxiety. At times like this, it’s important to manage your own physical and mental wellbeing. Focus on the importance of social distancing to help others in the community and remember that this situation is temporary. Working from home, self-isolating or being in quarantine doesn’t need to be negative or lonely. The following are some steps you can take to look after yourself during this time.
Stick to a routine, ensure you have regular bedtimes and allow time for breaks, exercise and enjoyable activities. Don’t stay in your pyjamas, a morning routine will help you transition to the workday. Equally, know when to end the workday and step away from your desk and emails. Try and ensure everyone in the household follows the routine and give each other space and privacy where necessary. If you have children at home, plan their activities with supplied homework, games and online courses.
Stay connected with colleagues, friends and family via email, social media, video conferencing and telephone. If you’re working from home, schedule a morning video call with your team to connect. Human interaction is important for mental wellbeing at times of stress. Beyond Blue have an online forum dedicated to coping with coronavirus, that connects you with others.
Get fresh air and sunlight every day by setting up a space near a window. Spending time in green space can improve your mood, reduce feelings of stress or anger, and make you feel more relaxed. If you can’t go outside for a walk, try indoor plants and flowers, landscape images and apps that have sounds from nature.
Find ways to spend your time with a variety of physical, productive, stimulating and relaxing tasks. There are plenty of workout apps and YouTube videos online you can follow in your living room to stay active without going outside. This could be a good time to do a clear out and catch up on administrative tasks you’ve been putting off. Keep your brain active with books, podcasts and puzzles. Try mindfulness activities like colouring in, yoga and meditation. Headspace are offering some free meditations and workplace tools. myCompass is another great resource.
Limit news and stick to reputable sources. While it’s important to stay informed, it’s vital to get accurate information from credible sources to help you maintain perspective and feel more in control. Check out:
Seek support if you are feeling overwhelmed or have experienced mental health issues in the past, it’s important to seek support from your family, friends, GP or EAP.
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Please note, if you feel your safety or another's safety is at serious risk, please always remember to call 000 in Australia and 111 in New Zealand, for emergency assistance.