April 12, 2021, 10:43 a.m.
As our lives have changed over the past year of being in a pandemic, so have our working routines. For the majority of the UK population, we have all been under instruction to keep the nation safe by working from home. This has had a significant impact on our work / life balance, especially with the mix of having little opportunity to get outside to socialise and have fun.
Although the shift in our working lives has made a huge contribution to the nations effort of reducing the effects of the pandemic, it has had a negative impact on our work / life balance and mental health. In the blog post below, our team have highlighted guidance on how you can maintain a healthy working routine, to ensure you're giving yourself a break from the stress and demands of work - to take care of your mental wellbeing.
Firstly, it is important to recognise the signs of having an unhealthy work / life balance. These could include:
- You stop prioritising your bodies needs, This could include staying hydrated, fed and having enough sleep.
- You've began to recognise symptoms of some mental health problems, like Anxiety or Depression.
- You have no boundaries between working and your home life. It may feel like they've mixed into one.
- You spend little time doing things you enjoy, and you're finding it hard to separate yourself from working.
Working from home can make it extremely hard for you to determine a difference between being at home and relaxing or having fun, compared to being at work and meeting your daily demands. This is often because we now associate our home environment with a working environment. Below are a few tips to help you build a boundary for working, so you can create a balance between the two...
One of the most effective things you can do is create a physical boundary from work and home. Although you may still be working from your home, you could dedicate a separate work environment to use as your office. You should then follow your usual routine and only be in this place during working hours.
Leading on from this, sticking to your usual working routine is a key part to separating work from normal life.
- Stick to your usual working hours if possible, including your lunch break and home time.
- If you do need to work out-of-hours, make sure this work is completed from your dedicated work space.
- Try not to check Emails or answer calls in the location that you normally associate with relaxing or winding down in.
- Prioritise your health. If possible, go outside and exercise on a break or before/after work. This will help you clear your head and give yourself a time-out.
- Finally, although it seems hard. Set yourself a realistic time that you need to stop working and make sure you stick to it!
If you're still struggling to find a healthy work / life balance, and you feel it is effecting your mental health. Do not hesitate to contact our Mental Wellbeing First Aiders, or alternatively any Mental Health professional.You may also be able to speak openly with your employer about how you're feeling.