Working From Home: How to Cope
When COVID-19 hit, the Limehouse team - like everyone else - had to quickly adapt to new ways of working. With far less social interaction and office culture, we found ourselves adjusting to the realities of working from home.
As social distancing measures remained, and we dipped in and out of lockdowns, our new ways of working became the norm for the next 15 months. We realised a common theme in how we all dealt with the situation was a shared love of getting out and about to soak up our beautiful countryside.
So in May 2021, we embraced #nationalwalkingmonth and engaged with Mental Health Awareness week, the focus of which was being more involved with nature. With more normality on the horizon, we’ve kept up our love of walking - easy when the sun in shining, less so when it’s pouring it down.
Here are some of our top tips for taking care of your mental health while working from home:
- Try to stay connected with people. In an effort to replace the lost office banter, one of our team set up a walking and curry group!
- Set yourself boundaries and take care of yourself: are you exceeding your work hours because you’re at home?
- Try to have a dedicated workspace away from where you relax. You don't want to associate your bedroom with work because it'll be harder to switch off.
- Adopt a crafting hobby for lunch time and after hours to decompress (but don't take up obsessive knitting, because you'll get RSI and tennis (knitters) elbow).
- Take on exercise. For our sporty team members, something where you can let your thoughts drift away and be completely focussed on a passion is a great source of relief. It’s also a chance to be more social.
- Working from home can remove the stressful parts of your workday, such as commuting, lack of sleep and not seeing your family very much, so try and enjoy the positives.
- Take breaks, a good way of forcing yourself to take a break is to put a wash on, especially when it's sunny because it also forces you to go outside to hang it on the line.
- Have an hour for yourself in the morning, you don’t want your first thing when you get out of bed to be jumping on a zoom call or planning intense projects. Take an hour to yourself first; read, meditate, have a coffee, go for a walk – something that sets you up for the day. Clearly this is far more plausible for those who don’t have children.
- At lunchtime, try to get out for a walk. It’s amazing how few people manage this and how beneficial a short walk can be for you both mentally and physically. Try to disconnect from your screens.
- Try to eat good food, that just means food that makes you feel good and healthy.
- If you need motivation, write a quote that you find inspiring somewhere you will see it a lot, it might give you a bit of a boost. If you’re stressed, always reach out for help – friends, family, colleagues… there’s always someone who will help you.