Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of working professionals across the US (and around the world) have been struggling to adapt to life under lockdown. On the one hand, there has been a physical transition as we adjust to the new reality of working from home regularly. On the other hand, the last few months have also posed some major psychological challenges. Many of the best parts of working life that were previously taken for granted (such as working near our colleagues) are no longer available – at least for the time being.
What are some of the best ways to look after your own mental health during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis?
Three Tips for Looking After Your Mental Health During the COVID-19 Crisis
Working alone and remotely (as many of us have been forced to start doing) during the COVID-19 pandemic can exact a serious psychological toll if we’re not careful. One recent study, for example, found that long-term remote work can leave individuals feeling shunned, isolated, and alone.
Thankfully, there are some simple practices that we can integrate into our daily lives to stave off anxiety, depression, and feelings of isolation while working remotely. Here are three that we recommend:
- Stick to a regular routine. Research has demonstrated that daily routines are integral to the maintenance of mental health. Until you return to your employer’s brick-and-mortar office building, it can go a long way to start practicing simple routines like waking up at the same time each day, making your bed, and sitting down at your desk to start work at the same time every morning.
- Stay in touch with family and friends. After months of diligently adhering to strict social distancing measures, it can be all too easy to become closed off to all communication with the outside world. Since the quarantine began, many of us have gone through periods of days (or weeks) without having a sincere and open conversation with a loved one. This is a pattern of behavior that can have serious mental side effects in the short-term and long-term. Human beings are social animals, and it’s crucial for us to stay in touch with friends and family during these long days of isolation. In light of that, try to prioritize picking up the phone and calling a loved one as often as you can. Chances are, they’ll be just as eager to talk as you are.
- Make an effort to limit your screen time each day. These are strange times we’re living in, and the internet has an uncanny ability to amplify the strangeness around us. Of course, we all need the internet to keep up with the news, enjoy some occasional entertainment, and stay in touch with our friends, family members, and colleagues. But an excessive amount of viewing, clicking, and scrolling can have serious mental health consequences. Psychological afflictions like depression, anxiety, and addiction (just to name a few) have all been shown to be exacerbated in some cases by the overindulgence of online media. As life under lockdown continues, make sure that you’re aware of the connection between the internet and mental health. You may even want to start imposing limits on daily screen time for yourself.
For more tips about how to balance your use of the internet with your mental health, check out this article.
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