The last year has meant big changes for all of us, many of which we were thrown into with little time to prepare or think about how a new way of life might impact our mental wellbeing.
Working in the IT industry from home can be particularly isolating, with many roles requiring little contact with your colleagues. It’s safe to say that you’re not alone if you’ve felt the effects of the last year. Working from home looks like it’s set to be the new normal, so with this in mind, how can you ensure you take care of your mental health when spending so much time alone indoors?
Here are 10 ways to improve your mental wellbeing when working from home…
- Create a Routine
One of the most important steps towards creating healthy habits when working from home is to set a daily routine. It can be all too easy to roll from your bed to your desk, or even grab your laptop and get back into bed, but this will create a lack of structure that will quickly impact your overall wellbeing.
Create a daily routine and stick to it. Get up at the same time every day, have breakfast and take a shower. Sit down at a desk or table, schedule lunch breaks, and a time to finish work. All of this will help keep you focused, and that focus will filter out into other aspects of your life too.
- Welcome in Sunlight
Getting your daily dose of vitamin D is essential to both your physical and mental health. People without enough vitamin D are known to have weaker immune systems, and without access to natural light daily, you will find you feel sleepy and low. Open up the curtains as soon as you get up. Position your desk by a window if you can, and take at least 30 minutes out in the fresh air daily.
- Book in Video Calls
It’s all too easy to get into a habit of working on email only, especially as you may have done this in the office - there was no need to video call or pick up the phone, as you saw your colleagues in person every day. While it might not always be necessary, try to include a few video meetings in your daily each week so that you see a friendly face and have some human contact, albeit a digital version.
- Eat Well
Diet can play a huge role in how we feel day-to-day. Think about a time when you may have let things slide for a while, skipping meals, eating mostly processed foods, drinking too many fizzy drinks etc. All of this can make you feel seriously rubbish. Not only do you feel sluggish and unmotivated, you also start to feel differently about yourself too, with your self esteem and confidence taking a hit when you’re not taking proper care of yourself.
Make a healthy habit to have three meals a day and a snack or two. Each meal should include carbs, protein and fats, and lots of fruit and/or veg. Getting your daily intake of two litres of water a day can really make a difference to how you feel too.
- Do One Kind Thing for Yourself Daily
Whether you do the same thing every day, or you switch things up, schedule in some time to do something nice for yourself. This could be simply taking a walk, allowing yourself a long hot shower and using your favourite products, taking 15 minutes out with a cup of tea and a book, there are loads of ways in which you can give yourself a little boost during the day.
- Create a Dedicated Workspace
While not all of us have the option of creating a home office, it is important to have somewhere in your home that you ‘go to work’ from every day. Ideally this is a space you can shut the door on at the end of the day, or if not, a space that’s separate from where you rest, such as your kitchen instead of your bedroom. Having a dedicated work space will help you get into ‘work mode’ each day, and back out of it when it’s time to relax.
- Get Dressed Everyday
One habit many of us fall into when working from home is allowing ourselves to stay in our pyjamas until lunch time, if not all day long. Not only will getting showered and dressed each day generally make you feel better, it will also help you get you in the right frame of mind for the working day ahead, helping you to be more productive, and generally feeling better about yourself.
- Set Working Hours
The lines between work and home life can easily be blurred when working from home, and before you know it you’re working past midnight and struggling to get up in the morning. By setting daily working hours you can bring structure to your life, and will know when to shut off and step away from work for the day.
- Take Daily Exercise
Just half an hour of exercise a day can boost endorphins which will help improve your mood, alertness and overall well being. In addition, taking regular exercise can boost your immune system and is vital to your health. At IT Games Club, we encourage you to get involved in sport and active hobbies, offering daily motivation and incentives to get you moving more.
- Try Yoga and Meditation
If you’re struggling to get your mind off of work, a great way to encourage your mind to shut off is by using yoga or meditation. These practices will help you gain better control over your thoughts, and can be useful tools in all aspects of life.
There are many steps you can take to ensure you’re looking after your mental health while working from home. Try incorporating some of the above into your daily life - many of the steps don’t cost a penny and simply require a little conscious effort and commitment, and will make a huge difference to how you feel day-to-day and long term.
IT Games Club is supported by a growing number of global IT companies, and aims to bring sport and fitness to the forefront of the IT industry. Challenging and motivating the industry to get fitter and healthier. If you are a senior IT professional who would like motivation and free entry into events around the world, then join up today, membership is free (and always will be). As we grow we will be opening up membership to a wider audience in the industry and across more sports and pastimes. www.itgames.club