Even before the pandemic hit, working from home has become an option for many workplaces. The added flexibility of working from home can help individuals manage their personal and professional time. However, working from home can also affect one’s mental health, and individuals should also take care of it while juggling other activities at home. And they prioritize it by doing these working from home mental health best practices.

1. Set Up a Working Space

illustration of person working

This setup can be tricky if you have a roommate or live in a studio apartment. But it’s still doable. You can use a small nook of your apartment to use for work. Or use the dining table to get some work done. If you can, keep a distance from your bed to your working area. It’s not only with people you can set boundaries but where you work as well.

And if you have ample space, dedicate one part of your living space for working. This conditions you to have a working space and sleeping space. This can help you focus and get more work done.

2. Stick to Set Working Hours

Remember this: even if you’re working from home, it doesn’t mean you’re available to do work at all hours.

If possible, establish your working hours. For example, if you work a regular eight-hour job, stick to the eight hours. However, if you’re a freelancer and have no set hours, why not consider having a dedicated number of hours to work on specific projects? With this in mind, you have time to work on your other projects, hobbies, or other responsibilities at home without the constraint of working all day.

3. Set Aside Time to Move

illustration of women stretching

Even for 10 minutes, give your body time to move and get the blood flowing. Exercise has shown multiple benefits not only in your overall physical fitness, but it can also reduce stress and increase efficiency and performance levels at work.

You can make a workout happen, even in a cramped space. There are quiet and small-space workouts to break a sweat.  And it doesn’t even have to be working out. You can walk or dance around your apartment. But if you don’t like working indoors, why not do a quick walk around the block or park to keep the blood flowing.

4. Eat Healthy Meals and Stay Hydrated

Give your body some more love by eating nutritious food. If you’re on a budget and cannot buy ingredients to make a healthy meal, Healthline says you can do the following:

  • Make meal plans
  • Prepare large portions and eat the leftovers
  • Find affordable meat alternatives
  • Don’t buy processed food
  • Buy veggies and fruits

Oh, also, make sure you drink plenty of water during the workday. Staying hydrated during work helps you think and increases your energy levels. What is the recommended water intake during the day? Mayo Clinic says you should drink around 11.5 to 15.5 cups a day.

5. Get Enough Sleep

illustration of someone sleeping

Aside from spending time working on your hobbies and other leisurely activities, sleep is another working from home mental health best practice to do. You shouldn’t skimp on sleep. It can affect your work performance and how you’ll think during the day. The recommended hours of sleep at night is 7 hours, at least. And if you can, hop in bed as early as possible to wake up and finish your tasks.

And part of getting enough sleep is reducing your device usage. Try winding down an hour or two before your bedtime to help you relax.

6. Do Relaxing Activities During Your Break

Although many individuals may find working from home more convenient, some have reported feeling even more stressed out and lonely.

For example, you may live with your family members, friends, roommates, or have little children at home. This can contribute to the distractions you would have while working. If that’s the case, set aside time for yourself and relax just for a couple of minutes. Use your breaks to do relaxing activities, such as napping or playing games to keep your mind off work for a couple of minutes.

Another relaxing activity to try is meditation. You can do this for at least five minutes a day. In fact, a regular meditation practice can help you manage stress, make you even patient, AND keeps you grounded in the present moment.

Instead of using your phone during your break, why not use a coloring book to relax your eyes from staring at the screen for too long. This can also be another activity you could try with other people at home. Or you could have a coloring book all to yourself and have fun with it during your break. It’s one working from home mental health best practice to consider.

7. Converse with Others

illustration of 2 people

Social activities can also be good for your mental health. This means you should try talking to others while working too. There’s no need to pour energy into talking with people you might not be comfortable with. Simply talking with friends or loved ones online can boost your mood and help you feel lighter.

8. Clean Your Space Regularly

Having a messy space can become a distraction or could become a minor stressor. Cleaning your space regularly can help you focus on the tasks at hand. Plus, it can enhance your mood. Try cleaning your space at the start of the day. But you can also do it at the end of the day to save yourself the trouble the next day.

9. Write Thoughts in a Journal

illustration of artist

Journaling is a working from home mental health best practice you should try, especially if you have a lot of thoughts and want to decrease stress and the feelings of anxiety or depression. Having a journal can help you understand yourself better. You’ll know why you might feel anxious about a certain task. Or what’s your thought process as to why you might feel things during the day.

Aside from that, why not add what you’re grateful for in your journaling? This will help you appreciate the people around you and what they did for you during the day.

10. Limit The Use of Social Media

Since we’re at home, we’re free to browse on social media however we like. However, being on social media all the time can get distracting. You don’t want to spend too much time on social media, which could have detrimental effects on you in the long run. Lessen your social media usage by muting those apps OR selecting the “Do not Disturb” option on your phone to keep yourself focused during the work day.

Final Thoughts

Added distractions and stressors while working from home can affect your mental health. And if you recognize that you’re not doing great mentally while working from home, the best practices above can help you get by during the day. Remember, your mental health matters while you’re working. And taking care of and prioritizing yourself will do wonders for your mental health.