Tips For Mental Well-Being Whilst Working From Home
In this busy world of ours, and especially during these difficult times, the mind is constantly pulled from pillar to post, scattering our thoughts and emotions and leaving us feeling stressed, highly-strung and at times quite anxious.
Most of us don’t have time to relax. But it is essential for our wellbeing to take a few minutes each day to cultivate mental spaciousness and achieve a positive mind-body balance.
Deep breathing can alter your mental state, balancing your emotions and decreasing hyperactivity throughout the brain and help to relieve stress. This technique is universal and can be done no matter where you are, how much time you have, or what position you’re in (sitting or standing).
Clear your head and focus on your breath. Breathe in through your nose and out slowly through your mouth, counting to three. Relax your entire body as you inhale and exhale. Close your eyes to relax and concentrate on letting your thoughts be still. Let go of your to-do list in favour of spending a minute or two peacefully breathing deeply in and out. Simply let thoughts rise and fall of their own accord and be at one with your breath.
Breathing is a part of the energy that fuels yourself and the world around you. Let it naturally relax with you.
Either way, all you have to do is be still and focus on your breath for just a one minute or two.
If you enjoyed two minutes of this mind-calming exercise, why not try three or four?
Keeping in touch with others
Keep in touch with friends, family and others by phone and online. It’s reassuring to know at this time that it can be easy to communicate even from far away. Remember talking and sharing your feelings with someone who understands can be a massive relief and release.
Pay attention to what you eat
When working from home, it’s easy to let food become a blur. Maybe you skipped breakfast, have leftovers for lunch, and are snacking in between and a readymade meal for dinner. When we eat too much or too little, it can negatively affect how productive we are. Just take your lunch break to eat lunch.
Don’t look at your phone, don’t think about work, and don’t read any emails!
Using your lunch break to relax and eat lunch helps recharge you and gives you an energy boost. Checking out for a moment will only help improve your focus once you’re back at work.
What does your week in food look like? Keep a journal with notes on the food you ate throughout the week and how it made you feel along with your actions.
- Did you skip a meal?
- Is there a pattern of the time of day you skip a meal?
- Did you multitask while eating?
- What time of the day did you eat?
It is just as important to be in tune with your thoughts as it is being aware of your physical body.
Whether you work on a computer or are on your feet all day, take a break and stretch do one of the Movement to Music.
Pay special attention to the parts of your body that ache or feel tight, so that way you can continue to care for yourself after returning to your desk.
Just as breathing forces you to let go and concentrate on inhaling and exhaling, mindful listening allows you to listen without judgement.
If you’re about to phone a client, your manager or taking a meeting via Skype, put away any distractions, and focus on the person. Give them your undivided attention. Listen carefully, ask questions, use body language to communicate if via Skype and be aware of the tone of your voice, and take notes to show them you are here and invested in the conversation.
During difficult conversations, see if it’s possible to listen to what the other person is saying, rather than just stewing in frustration. “Rather than approaching that conversation as an opportunity to change someone’s mind, see if you can create the habit of trying to understand,” says Dan Harris, the author of “10 Percent Happier. “You’ll feel better, and the encounter will go better.”
Create a daily gratitude or accomplishment Journal
Create a journal with two columns — one for your accomplishments and another for things you’re grateful for — and keep it at your work desk. Add one item in each column every day. These don’t have to be ostentatious achievements either. These could be that you remember to make a parcel arrived earlier than expected, you took time out lunch, you meditate this morning or even did ten minute of Movement to music.
By the end of the week, the pages of the journal should be full of extraordinary ordinary things that you might have forgotten about otherwise. Now you’re mindful of their presence and thankful for how much they contribute to your life.
Little and often
To aid in using these simple tips, try scheduling in time for each activity. As you begin to build healthy habits, you’ll notice a greater sense of inner peace and enhanced productivity.
Throughout this page, I have mentioned meditation. Here is Headspace definition of meditation and shared the link to their guided meditation, by Andy Puddicombe.
What is meditation?
Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, a new person, or even better person. It’s about training in awareness and getting health sense of perspective. You’re not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings. You’re learning to observe them without Judgement. And eventually, you may start to better understand them as well.