Because of the pandemic, vast swathes of the population shifted to remote work.
According to Global Workplace Analytics, nearly 25% of the employed now perform their duties from home, and the trend will only grow in the coming years. This has created lots of opportunities for flexible individuals, but there are many challenges too.
Working remotely may lead to:
- Increased feelings of loneliness and isolation
- The blurring of the line between work and leisure
- Not flexing your social skills enough
- Burnout and loss of purpose in life
In this article, I’ll do my best to address these issues and help you start enjoying the remote work routine.
The 7 Best Ways To Develop Mental Resilience While Working Remotely:
1. Take Back Control Over Your Life
The key to feeling in control of your life while working remotely is to reframe your old in-office routine and change it to create an enjoyable work-from-home system. This means re-introducing all the healthy habits you had before, like going to bed on time, exercising, and eating healthy. Keeping up with these routines will help you build mental resilience and eventually get to a place where working from home is your new normal. By following a daily routine, you internalize the locus of control that will serve as a guiding mechanism for a consistently happy remote work life.
2. How Do You Define Resilience?
Resilience is innate in all of us, and it’s the invisible force that allows you to adapt to major life-altering events or trauma such as illness, the death of a loved one, or an accident. No matter how hard you try to guide the trajectory of your life, you’ll have to face the inevitable vicissitudes of life. But thanks to evolution, you’re psychologically able to weather these storms and come out on top as a stronger, more mature human being. Stressful events, such as your life being completely uprooted by a pandemic, don’t mean that the rest of your life will be just as unpredictable. Accepting the reality of the situation and taking small, active steps to adapt to this new lifestyle will build your resilience and empower you to make choices that put your well-being first along the way. Many remote workers feel imprisoned in this new reality, but there’s a way out, and it comes from within.
3. Set Up A Special Corner You’ll Dedicate Only To Work
Now that the lines between home and work are indistinguishable, it’s tricky to set boundaries and take care of your mental health. Section off a space of your home and dedicate it only to work. If you’re short on space, log off your laptop and put it somewhere out of sight at a specific time. This will help your mind understand that it’s time for rest and help your brain switch off from work mode. You can also visit BetterHelp to learn more about setting healthy boundaries and navigating other stressful life changes.
4. Complete One Task At A Time
So many people confidently say that they’re experts at multitasking and don’t realize that overwhelming yourself with too many tasks can cut down your productivity by 25%. It also means your results will be half-baked, as compared to dedicating 100% of your energy to one task until it’s complete. This practice of single-tasking will help you conserve energy, avoid mental fatigue, and ensure you’re doing the best job you can. To avoid distractions, put your phone in flight mode, and use apps like RescueTime or Freedom. They will block distracting websites for a specific period and allow you to get the job done on time.
5. Give Yourself Mental Space For Self-Care
You will not get anything done if you’re concisely stressed out and feeling depleted. It’s prevalent for remote workers to get caught up in work that they forget to take care of themselves. Because of that, they end up suffering the debilitating effects of burnout. Carve out time in your schedule for the most important person in your life, you! Prioritize getting your eight hours of sleep and eating a nutritious diet full of protein and fiber. Factor in some daily movement, whether it’s a thirty-minute walk or a relaxing yoga session, to release those feel-good endorphins.
Other self-care tips for remote workers include:
- Drinking a relaxing tea in the evening (chamomile is your top pick).
- Taking a long bath or a hot shower after your workday (you’ve earned it).
- Take supplements that will help you stay balanced (magnesium, Omega-3s, and ashwagandha are great).
- Take a longer break in the middle of the workday to get some natural light in your eyes.
- Scheduling a massage or physiotherapy session occasionally.
- Stretching your body to avoid cramps and back pain.
- Investing in high-quality work-from-home equipment (desk, chair, keyboard, and mouse especially).
6. Spend Time Outside
When we all had to go outside and commute to work, it was a hassle. But now we contend with a digital commute consisting of getting out of bed, which has its challenges. Being indoors all day can take a toll on your mental health. Hence, it’s advisable to go outside, breathe in the fresh air, and disconnect from technology, even if for a few minutes. Although, this could be difficult during the cold months and you find yourself getting hit by the winter blues. One of the best ways to keep you on track with your daily walks is to plan them the day before. During the colder months, the cold fresh air can still do wonders for your mental state. Just don’t forget to bundle up well. Once you get into the habit, you’ll start loving the process and wonder why you were stressed about work.
7. Invest In A Comfortable Workspace
Working in bed or on the couch is fun occasionally, but sometimes you need the right equipment to get you into the headspace to be productive at work. Get yourself a small desk and chair, or perhaps some chair cushions to make sitting long hours at work more bearable. Alternatively, get a standing desk to help you get the blood flowing more regularly if it’s within your budget. Whatever you do, invest in making your workspace more conducive to working instead of being vulnerable to distractions or discomfort. This will pay off tremendously in the long run.
Becoming resilient is all about embracing the daily challenges that come with remote work. Yes, there will be crises and negative feelings. But it’s crucial to understand that it’s all a part of a process and that life isn’t only about work. Don’t get chained to your laptop and start living a normal, socially rich life. Say yes to social engagements, and log off at a specific time each day. Go live your life. You only have one. Next up, you may want to explore a guide on how to avoid burnout.
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