This year Mental Health Awareness Week will take place between 18-24 May 2020. Due to COVID-19, this year the theme is kindness. As many of us are working from home we would like to share some tips with you on how you can look after your mental health during this challenging time.
How you can look after your mental health while working from home:
1) Maintain a regular sleep schedule
When you are working from home remember to set a routine to get enough sleep as it really can work wonders for your mental health and wellbeing. Use the time in the morning you would spend commuting on a few extra minutes or hours of sleep a night.
A lack of sleep can have an impact on your whole day as it can make you more irritable, you will have lower energy levels and it can have an influence on your overall concentration.
Adults are recommended to have at least seven to nine hours of sleep a night.
Here are a few ways you can improve your sleep:
- Exercising regularly
- Avoid drinking caffeine before bed
- Build a regular sleeping pattern
- Avoid looking at your phone before you go to bed
2) Get dressed for work
When you are working from home it can be tempting to stay in your pyjamas all day. However, you should get dressed for work like you normally would do as it will get you in the right mindset for the rest of the day.
3) Work in a well-lit room
Working in a well-lit room is vital when you are working remotely, especially if your work involves you looking at a screen for majority of your day. When you work in a well-lit room the lighting will help reduce eye strain and your chance of getting a headache.
4) Exercise regularly
Exercising daily is excellent for your mind! It is not great just for your physical health but mental health too. Exercise stimulates chemicals that enhance your mood and it can help improve your memory and increase your overall productivity. Regular exercise can also help reduce your stress levels and improve symptoms of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety.
Under the current government guidelines, you can now exercise as many times as you would like. Make sure you remember to keep at least two meters apart from others.
5) Eat healthy
Eating healthy does not only have an impact on your physical health but it also plays an important part on your mental health too. Improving your diet can have a significant influence on your mood, energy levels and a healthy diet can help you think more clearly.
6) Drink plenty of water
Make sure you drink enough fluid throughout the day to keep you hydrated and those concentration levels up. Try to keep a glass of water next to you as you work. The NHS recommends that you should drink around six to eight glasses or 1.2 litres of water a day.
7) Take regular breaks
Remember to take regular breaks and screen breaks throughout your working day. Try to get some fresh air on your lunch break as it will help you keep motivated for the rest of your day and it can help reduce stress.
8) Remember to check in with your team
Set regular meetings and catch-ups with your team to make sure that they are all okay. Regular video calls will also help improve communication and creating weekly fun challenges such as virtual quizzes can help you all still feel connected and close.
9) Listen to your favourite tunes
Listening to music you enjoy, releases dopamine. Dopamine is a feel-good chemical in your brain that gives you an instant mood boost. Background music whilst you are focusing on a task can help improve your overall productivity.
10) Be kind
Be kind to yourself and others. This is a tough time for most people, and it is okay to have bad days where you find yourself struggling. Remember to celebrate whatever you achieve during the day no matter how big or small. You are not alone.
Here at SSA, we want to help break the stigma this Mental Health Awareness Week and help spread the message that it is okay not to be okay. If you do feel like you have nobody to speak too about your mental wellbeing, there are many people that can help you.
- Mind have an information line where you can ask questions about a range of mental health topics.
- Samaritans offer confidential emotional support 24 hours a day.
- If you are looking for additional information on how you can improve your mental wellbeing, the Mental Health Foundation offer great information and advice on a wide range of mental health topics.
Be kind and stay safe.
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