Dr. Mac Powell Discusses How to Stay Sane When You Work from Home
by Mashum Mollah How to Guides 18 February 2020
An increasing number of us work from home, and while that can have lots of advantages, it can also make us feel lonely and isolated. Isolation can have an impact on productivity, and over more extended periods, it can have a significant effect on overall mental health. In this article, Dr. Mac Powell sets out some tips to stay sane, combating loneliness, and remaining productive when you work alone.
How to Stay Sane When You Work from Home:
Work a Regular Schedule
Your position may involve set hours and breaks, but if you are allowed to work independently and at your own pace, setting and sticking to a regular schedule is very important. Working from home often comes without routine and structure, which can leave your mind and body confused and tired at inopportune times. Just because you don’t have to punch a clock doesn’t mean that you should fall into irregular work and sleep patterns. If your schedule requires that you set an alarm, do so. It is critical to your success and well-being that you establish a routine and stick to it. Give yourself time to wake up, eat, clean up, and get dressed before you start your day. Building routines and habits can help keep you grounded.
Give Your Work Space Some Background Sound
Some ambient sound in your workspace helps in several ways. You will feel less isolated by having comfortable background sounds, and the right kind of sounds act as white noise to block out distracting sounds from neighbors or traffic. Be creative when setting up background sounds. Try different types of music, old movies, or television shows that are familiar but won’t be distracting. Give your mind something comfortable and relaxing to listen to, and your mood and productivity will benefit.
The natural assumption when you start working from home is that you will have lots of extra time to exercise that you didn’t have before. While that is true, you should think about the additional exercise you need because you can stay sane at home to work. You are losing the natural activity you get walking around the office. Now that you can stay sane at home, you need to consider a regular exercise routine as well as ways to make up for the loss of movement you would have when working at an office. As always, the key is to schedule set times to exercise and to stick to the schedule.
Establish a Dedicated Workspace
It is critical to set up a workspace at home that is entirely separate from your home living space, even if it is part of your living room or bedroom. You should never work in bed, in the kitchen while cooking or eating, or on the couch in front of the TV. Keep work, home life, and leisure separated for the sake of each part of your life and your mental health.