Are the lockdown restrictions for Covid-19 starting to take their toll on your health and wellbeing?
Remote working for such an extended period in this way, particularly when we’re not used to it, can cause a strain on our body and minds, so it’s important to look after yourself properly.
Here is some wellness advice to help keep you balanced and rested while working remotely.
In terms of wellbeing and stress management, exercise remains one of the most positive habits you can do for yourself. When you exercise, your body releases a number of chemicals that make you feel good, including endorphins.
These chemicals boost your mood and alleviate stress. When you exercise regularly, your body is able to cope with stress and anxiety better over the long term.
If you’re able to, find a green open space nearby and go for a gentle jog. If you’re new to exercise, don’t overexert yourself — take it slowly and gradually increase your activity over time.
If there are no green spaces nearby, look online for free workouts such as those by the Body Coach. There are several that are tailored specifically to beginners or people of a certain age, and all the activities can be completed in your own home without extra equipment.
For many remote workers, one of the main reasons for stress is simply not knowing what's going on. With conflicting reports coming from all quarters, the fear of not knowing can cause considerable mental distress.
This is exacerbated by remote working, as we lack the interaction from friends or colleagues who could reassure us.
Consequently, it’s worth keeping yourself up-to-date on developments from trusted sources such as the World Health Organization or The Independent Pharmacy which offers easy-to-understand and medically-informed coronavirus advice geared towards the average consumer.
Forewarned is forearmed, as they say, and getting the facts from trusted resources is a great way to stay calm and in control whilst remote working.
With the working world in disarray and virtually all of us cooped up indoors, there is greater pressure on us to feel productive. Social media is replete with people baking bread, starting projects, doing DIY, and so on.
As such, it can be easy to fall into the trap of working yourself to the bone to stay ahead. But this attitude is not sustainable. In the short-term, it leaves you exhausted. In the long-term, it can cause significant emotional stress.
Consequently, it’s crucial that you set realistic expectations when you’re remote working. Don’t work weekends, and avoid working longer than your contracted hours if possible.
Employers should take steps to implement this from the top-down too. Discourage employees from discussing work issues outside of their usual working hours, and encourage staff to take their full lunch break.
It might seem like an obvious point, but it’s crucial when you’re working from home to stay in touch with people. In the office, our usual interactions with our colleagues give us a chance to speak to someone face-to-face.
But during the lockdown, we might go days or even weeks without speaking to someone. This can dramatically impact our wellness and increase our sense of isolation. Make it a priority to schedule phone or video calls with friends, colleagues, and family as much as possible.
Employers, managers, and team leaders play an especially important role here. Ensure each team sets aside 10 minutes every day to check in with their colleagues. Even if it’s just outlining what they’ve got on their to-do list that day; it gives people a chance to interact.
The tips above are just a few simple ways you can stay well whilst remote working. If you are struggling, speak to your HR team for advice and support to help you better adjust to working from home.