How to look after your mental health working from home – Guest blog

A guest blog by Christine Urry, Senior Finance Officer and First Aider

During these unprecedented times many of us may be worried or anxious, or concerned about our finances, our health or those close to us. Added to this is the fact many of us are now working from home, a situation we might not be used to and one that was made very quickly.

Research has found that remote workers are more likely to experience high stress levels than office workers: emails can be misinterpreted, IT issues, loneliness, work bleeds into family life and remote workers often clock more hours.

Because of this remote workers can be prone to bouts of poor mental health so, as a First Aider at Doro, I wanted to share a few tips and suggestions with you.

Now more than ever it is important to maintain a healthy state of mind, not just during working hours but in your own time too.

  • Make sure you switch off the laptop at the end of the day, try to remove it and any paperwork from view to allow your mind to switch off.
  • Make sure you do activities you enjoy to elevate your mood, If you feel yourself becoming anxious or bored try switching to exercise (Joe Wicks is very popular), reading (Waterstones have a great list), listening to podcasts, creative pursuits like jigsaws or something intellectual like wordsearches. Here’s a list of the best movies on Netflix. As Doro employees we also get a free movie each month from Rakuten as part of PerkBox. The Virtual Pub Quiz has become very popular and is a great way to unwind. If you are a fan of the theatre, Time Out has a great list of free streaming shows that you might never have got to see otherwise.
  • Also take this time to catch up with friends and family. Of course you can use the telephone, but there are also great apps that are free such as Whatsapp, Facetime and Zoom.  It’s important that we stay in touch with people but also that it’s not just a touch-base focus on the coronavirus. Try to talk about something else.
  • If you suffer acute moments of panic or anxiety, practicing breathing techniques can help, as can talking about your emotions, its likely the person you speak to is feeling the same way. After all everyone has been affected by this, you are not alone. There are some great apps like Headspace and Calm.

Try to look for the benefits rather than the negatives of being at home:

  • Less time commuting.
  • Reading that book you’ve had for ages or watching a series you haven’t had time for before.
  • Spending less money on going out, save it for something you’ve always wanted to do or buy, or donate to a good cause.
  • Catch up on overdue DIY projects.
  • Think about what else you can do during this period to develop yourself.
    • Or learn another language
    • Do something to keep yourself cognitively active. You might never get this kind of window to learn something again.

I really hope this helps and I have given you some useful ideas and I wish you all the very best, Christine.