If you work remotely, you may experience unique challenges that lead to stress, anxiety and burnout. And at 6 Degrees, we are committed to finding ways to improve mind and body wellness. Our guest writer is Eleanor Wyatt, founder of RemoteWorkWellness.org. Eleanor shares three ways you can confront these challenges head-on that can make working remotely an easier experience.
Number One: Establish a Support Network
Because working from home can generate a feeling of loneliness, creating and maintaining a support network is key to wellness. While a support network can refer to groups that are beneficial for those with specific challenges such as substance abuse or mood disorders, it can also mean your friends and family who help you manage stress and keep you sane.
Socializing is critical to mental health, as humans are an inherently social species that thrives when interacting with others. The feel-good brain chemical dopamine is a natural tension reliever released when we socialize. Verywell Mind notes that without a healthy support network, coping with pressure can be vastly more difficult.
If you feel you lack strong connections, it might seem like a daunting task to find some. Making new friends isn’t always easy, especially as an adult. There are, however, ways to improve your social network, such as having a willingness to make the first move when forming relationships and meeting people through volunteering.
Number Two: Make Self-Care a Habit
LifeWorks explains that self-care is a broad term that encompasses any activity that promotes wellbeing. The concept is distinctly different from something like care from a professional in that it generally refers to everyday habits. It can be broken down into smaller subcategories, such as physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
More specifically, physical wellbeing might refer to eating nutritiously, getting quality sleep, and taking the time to get out and enjoy life outside of work. Emotional well-being could mean practicing self-compassion, keeping a gratitude journal, or ridding your home of any negative imbalance by decluttering and organizing. Spiritual well-being may include meditation, volunteering or connecting with nature. Self-care can cover much more than these examples.
Since you’re spending much more time at home during the workday, consider sprucing up your home office to create a more positive and productive environment. Invest in some ergonomic office furniture, add some personal decorations and plants, and make sure your supplies are well stocked.
Number Three: Take Up an Exercise Routine
Exercise is a proven way to reduce stress and anxiety as well as prevent burnout. Regular exercise — which equates to about 150 minutes each week or 30 minutes a day for five days per week — can have profound health benefits.
If exercising doesn’t sound like any fun to you, consider a fitness tracker so your results are measurable. Also sometimes called an activity tracker, this gadget monitors the effects of activity on your body. It can measure items such as your heart rate, the quality of your sleep and how far you’ve walked or ran. This data can be sent to your computer or smartphone for you to analyze at your convenience.
Working from home can be distinctly difficult, but it doesn’t have to be so bad that you’re overwhelmed with negative emotions. With a little awareness of those challenges and the understanding of how to combat them, you can work remotely and still stay happy and healthy.