With the pandemic, working-from-home is not a perk. It’s now the new normal for almost everyone. We can now be safe in our homes while building a solid career online. More money from savings, more time for the things that matter the most. What more can you ask for?
But then, it comes with challenges. And mental health is one that we face when remote working.
Mental Health Problems
The most common of all mental health problems are depression and anxiety. Both can come at the same time. Simplistically, depression is when you feel chronically down or sad, while anxiety is the fear and worry that anything wrong can happen at the moment. It can manifest from:
- Pressure from Expectations
You can check an in-depth guide about it at this link.
And according to a study, it can be strongly influenced by the organizations’ support from our company, colleague support, social connectedness (outside work), and work-to-family conflict. But it’s not without a solution.
Here are 9 ways to take care of your mental health while Remote working.
Acknowledge that Mental Health Problems are Real
Unlike abroad, Filipinos have this distorted notion about mental health issues, especially the older generations. Some think that you can solve mental health issues just by being happy. Or it’s just a way to be nit-picky or pretentious. That’s wrong.
It starts with awareness. Right now, mental health problems are considered diseases, the same as diabetes or hypertension. However, there are treatments and preventive measures to protect us from its dangers.
So the first step is to acknowledge that mental health problems are real. And we can safeguard ourselves from it.
Have an Ideal Workspace
We can really make a living anywhere with remote work as long as you have a laptop and reliable internet connection. You can even work at a farm, your basement, or your bathroom (if that’s your thing).
But did you know that our work environment contributes to our mental well-being? With a cluttered, chaotic, distraction-den workplace, it can take its toll.
If you can, build an ideal workspace for yourself. After all, a good home office design can relieve anxiety and stress.
Lesser Social Media
Social media is a blessing for all of us. We can now connect with our friends and see their life updates with just a click. But excessive social media use can be damaging.
When you find your feed bombarded by negative articles, how would you feel? Or maybe, your friend just posted something (like a vacation) amidst these trying times. If you feel envious and, eventually, bad for yourself, it’s time to stop scrolling.
Take lesser social media consumption to avoid these unnecessary feelings. For example, you can unfollow or unfriend some of your peers for your mental health.
What if you miss out? If something is really important, trust me, you don’t need social media to know about it. Curate your feed for better mental health.
Socialize, Even Online
Social media is not all bad. After all, you can connect with important people even at home. With that, use it to socialize with them. Maybe, do things together online or check these 7 fun hang-out ideas! In this way, you won’t be lonely in your own home. And it can lead to a better mental health.
Who says exercise is only for our physical well-being? According to a study, the efficacy of exercise in decreasing symptoms of depression is well-established. And it’s not even about the intensity, but the frequency of training.
So if you’re just losing some sweat or using fitness apps & programs, it can surely help maintain your mental well-being.
Walks with Nature
Yes, we can’t go outside as often as before. But with the proper health precautions, consistent walks with nature are linked to lower depression and enhanced well-being. The data gathered is from 1,991 participants.
Enjoy the sceneries of the wild and achieve excellent mental health. Sweet!
Forget about Goals and Focus on Systems
We all need goals in our lives. After all, what’s the purpose if you are not trying to get something done. But then, this can lead to frustration, especially if you don’t reach them.
So instead, we should forget our goals and focus on systems. Yes, we write our goals down on paper. But then, the focus should be on the process that comes first.
How are we getting the goal? What can I do every day to reach it? Can I have mechanisms in place to make it automatic?
If you can incorporate your lifestyle with what you want to achieve, frustration and anxieties will be mitigated.
(Check out our article with Atomic Habits to create results from systems instead of just goals alone.)
Are you a yes man or yes woman? As Filipinos, we don’t like to say no to our peers. But later on, we accept responsibilities, even beyond your control. That should not be the case.
It’s alright to say no. Saying no doesn’t mean you’re selfish. It doesn’t mean you’re cutting other people out of your life.
It’s just knowing what you can and can’t do — and prioritizing yourself first. After all, why do you need to sacrifice time and effort for things you don’t want. So empower yourself to say no to build your mental health.
All work, no play? You might be in the same shoes. We are so focused on our goals that we forget to incentivize ourselves for our small wins. And it can lead to frustration because we haven’t reached the final goal yet. This anxiety can lead to deteriorating mental health.
Recognize that we have to celebrate small victories. It can be as simple as an ice cream Netflix binge. Or as grand as a team celebration. Regardless, incentivizing is not just an expense. It relieves us from all the stress. And it acknowledges that we have reached milestones that are just ideas before.
So it’s time to party (or have that precious alone time, if that’s how you celebrate) for your mental health.
Facing mental health problems is one heck of a ride. But we can all do our parts to make our well-being in tip-top shape. So with the 9 ways above, I hope you can get your remote working goals with your happiness in check. Cheers!