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WFH In 2021: 4 Practical Strategies For Maintaining Mental Wellbeing

BY: Laura May • Digital Editor at Just Another Magazine

While there are many benefits to working from home, a lot of people will find it quite lonely and struggle to stay connected with their colleagues. With no commute each morning, and less engagement throughout the day, it’s all too easy to lose motivation and start feeling isolated. We take a look at four practical strategies for maintaining mental wellbeing as you’re working from home.

Maintain a boundary between work and home

Even though you’re not physically leaving your house each day to travel to the office, it’s still important to establish and maintain a clear distinction between work and home life.

If you’ve let your working day creep into the evenings, get back into a regular routine—start at the same time each morning and set yourself a cut-off point for the evenings. Don’t get drawn into working longer hours to try and get more done, you’ll end up unmotivated and less productive and risk burnout.

Give yourself a clear working environment that’s uncluttered and allows you to focus on work. If you don’t have space to work in another room, then make sure to close your work down in the evenings, and put it away so you don’t get tempted to check those emails late at night.

Keeping a clear boundary between your working day and your own time is crucial when working remotely. It helps you to stay focused and on task during the day but ensures you have a good work-life balance where you can relax in the evenings and focus on other important things.

Eat well and exercise regularly Eating a healthy, balanced diet and exercising regularly is crucial to maintaining your physical and mental wellbeing. It’s easy to feel tempted by treats when you’re feeling a bit low, but a poor diet can leave you feeling more sluggish and unmotivated, which has a further impact on your mental health.

Avoid snacking throughout the day, or at least try and replace crisps and sweets with healthier snacks. Try to cook homemade meals from scratch as often as possible—making big batches of food over the weekend can help you to resist the temptation to order in if you end up working late.

Eating well, getting enough fruit, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals, is going to make you feel better about yourself and will help you to stay focused while you’re working because you are providing your body with the fuel it needs. If your cooking skills aren’t great, try signing up for an online cooking class like America’s Test Kitchen to learn to cook healthier meals. They offer a range of classes for all abilities that are really easy to follow.

Exercise is another great way to boost your energy and your mental wellbeing. Try getting up a bit earlier each day and fitting in a short home workout before you start work, or do an online class straight after you finish in the evening. Just half an hour of exercise a few times a week can really make a difference.

Get outside during the day

As tempting as it is to wrap up on the sofa during your lunch break with a bowl of soup and your favorite TV show on, try going for a walk outside instead. Or as we head into spring, take a stroll before you start work for the day or in the evenings when you are done working.

Not only will you benefit from a bit of exercise, but getting out during the daytime is going to help your mental health as well. It’s good to have a proper break from sitting down in front of a screen, and it’ll help you to stay motivated and focused for the afternoon.

Try to ensure you’re also getting enough light into your home office, open up the curtains, and turn on the lights on darker days. You could also consider investing in a SAD lamp if you’re finding your mood is lower during the winter. SAD lamps provide a very bright light that’s supposed to imitate sunlight, which can help encourage your brain to increase serotonin levels and improve your mood.

Talk to friends and family

It’s easy to end up feeling isolated and lonely when you’re working from home, especially if you live on your own. Video meetings, emails, and Slack messages really aren’t the same as face-to-face contact with other people, and the social aspect of work often drops off if everyone is remote.

Consider connecting with friends and family in the evenings and on weekends—even if you can’t meet up in person it’s important to stay connected with people and maintain personal relationships.

Arrange a video call with a few friends or family once or twice a week, or play online games with them so that you can catch up and think about something other than work. Make it a regular thing to have a virtual Friday after-work happy hour with a couple of colleagues or friends to help you switch off at the end of the week. It helps your overall mental wellbeing to have things like this to look forward to and keep you engaged with others.

To avoid feeling isolated and unmotivated while working from home this year, follow these four strategies to improve your mental wellbeing and stay focused.

Laura May
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR Laura May // Digital Editor • Just another magazine
Laura May is Digital Editor at Just Another Magazine. We write about beauty, fashion, lifestyle, relationships, travel, trends, and anything else that matters to you. Name throwing you off? Don’t take it too seriously—we intend to stand out from the crowd.