Manage Your Mental Health When Working From Home
by Mr Ko Teik Yen
Much of the stress of working from home stems from the way we focus our attention. Attention is a scarce resource in today’s economy. When our home space becomes our office space, we may find our attention being pulled in different directions by the demands of home and office.
Consequently, we may neglect to give attention to the most important person in our life – our self. This can lead to burnout, anxiety and depression.
Here are some ways you can focus your attention and help you work from home in a way that is productive and honours your mental health:
I. Establish Physical boundary
Have a 'Don't disturb’ or ‘Work Zone' at home. A dedicated workspace is crucial to your productivity and focus. Even if it’s just a seat at the kitchen table or a small desk in a corner of your living room. Make sure that your family members understand and respect this area.
II. Establish a routine
Following a routine is crucial when you’re working from home or you will find yourself distracted, procrastinating or over scheduled with household chores. Set a routine. Wake up at a regular time each day. Shower and get dressed as if you are going to the office. This will not only help you to shift to an 'at work' mindset but it also helps indicate to your family you are now 'at work'. (And no, you can’t put a load of laundry in between conference calls!)
III. Practice self-care
When tending to the needs of home and work, we tend to forget to take care of ourselves. This may lead to short tempers, sleeping issues and difficulty concentrating. This has a detrimental effect on our productivity and well-being. If not managed, it can easily lead burnout, anxiety and depression.
Make yourself a priority. Carve out time each day for exercise, meditation or other self-care practices. It doesn’t have take a long time. Even 15 minutes goes a long way. Take the time to disconnect from others and reconnect to yourself. This can help you to feel refreshed and motivated, and prevent you from being overwhelmed by the demands of work and home.
IV. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness can help you to improve your focus and think clearly. Listen to my podcast on being mindful during the coronavirus.
Ko Teik Yen is accredited Mindfulness Teacher to teach the UK Breathworks Mindfulness for Health and Mindfulness for Stress courses. He is also trained in the teaching of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) as well as certified to teach Mindfulness.b (Mindfulness in School Project, MiSP).