With the onset of the Covid-19 global pandemic, our lives have changed completely. The work from home concept, thought to be a relief on some occasions, is now an everyday affair.  Although remote working has been in practice for many years, the forced work-from-home during the pandemic is challenging with every family member being at home. Although you cherish some perks of work from home, such as no commute, more time with family, it can give you a feeling of depression and anxiety, and you may experience work from home stress.

Ways to deal with depression while working from home

While your organization must be trying to make your work-from-home experience employee-friendly, many of you may be walking a tightrope while balancing your kids’ demands, managing your daily chores, and working from home at the same time. In addition to this, reduced interaction and support from colleagues impact your psychological well-being. Unclear boundaries between work and home and extended work time result in high stress. This often builds up to give you anxiety and depression.

Our wellness experts at Wellness Forever are here to ease your work-from-home stress. Here are a few tips to help you deal work from home anxiety and work from home depression:

  • Set a timeline for work:

A steady schedule followed strictly is the backbone of stress-free working. Set up a schedule for home and work responsibilities. Decide separate timelines for your family, domestic responsibilities, and a dedicated time for work. Remember to have breakfast and meals on time. As you set up a time to begin your work, likewise have a finish time for the day’s work. Shut your laptop and phone after your working time is over, and more important, shut your mind off the work. Now focus it only on home activities. Remember, adhering to the timeline is as important as setting it.

  • Stay hydrated:

Drinking water is scientifically proven to be associated with lowered risk of anxiety and depression. At the office, you may make trips to the watercooler or have a water bottle with you. While you work from home, not having a water bottle handy may dehydrate you. Remember, staying hydrated facilitates the delivery of nutrients to the brain, removes toxins from the body, and improves brain function. With an alert mind, you tend to keep away anxiety and depression. Keep water at easy reach and sip on it as you carry out your work. Also, avoid excessive consumption of caffeinated drinks.

  • Limit screen time:

Regular screen breaks are necessary while you are glued to the screen. During work at the office, commute time, physical meetings, coffee breaks, watercooler chats, lunch breaks are natural screen breaks. However, as you work from home, these breaks reduce, causing eye strain and fatigue. Do these simple things to limit screen time:

  • Choose a phone call to explain than a video call. Video calls strain your eyes and add stress.
  •  Limit your video meeting time.
  •  Move away from the screen. Stretch your legs, go to the kitchen for water.
  • Take ‘tech time off’.
  • Practice yoga every day. It helps you feel lighter.
  • Refresh your surroundings:

While you work from home, have a designated workplace. Avoid working in the bedroom. Get dressed. Avoid sitting in pyjamas; this gives you a fresh start to the day and creates a positive mindset. Refresh your surroundings to refresh your mood, and this will relieve anxiety and depression. Refresh your surroundings while working from home as follows:

  • Remove unnecessary things from the table and declutter the work area. Have trays or baskets to hold essential work-related items.
  • Arrange all necessary items properly for easy reach.
  • Let natural light come into the room.
  • Grow plants around you:

Being in front of the screen for an entire day as you work from home is stressful. Continuous viewing on the digital screen, virtual meetings, endless phone calls increase anxiety. Studies have shown that indoor plants reduce physiological and psychological stress. Surround your workplace at home with some greenery. It will give you comfort, soothe you and help in managing stress while working from home. While you spend around 85% of your time working from home, you almost lose the connection with nature. Indoor plants give you a positive effect and elevate the mood.

  • Gift yourself small moments of joy:

Feeling depressed working from home is a new health condition now. It is not normal for us as we are forced to follow the work from home culture. Don’t stress out and get exhausted while you finish the project on its deadline. You also need moments of joy; be kind to yourself. Give yourself small moments of joy in doing relaxing activities. You can use the commute time for some joyful activities. This will reduce the depressing moments. You may do the following:

  • Take a walk outside.
  •  Meditate and try relaxation techniques.
  •  Do some light stretching workouts at home.
  •  Water the plants.
  •  Listen to your favourite music.
  • Look for healthy snacks to munch on.
  • Follow the flowtime technique:

The Flowtime technique is an effective way of doing your work in an uninterrupted flow. It is based on the following steps:

  • Divide your workday into small segments.
  • Work on one segment at a time.
  • Take a break when you feel it is necessary.
  • Repeat.

Flowtime technique is ‘unitasking’, where you pick one task and focus entirely on it. If you are losing focus, take a break. If you know the time required to complete a particular task, set an alarm that tells you when to stop. Flowtime technique increases your productivity by giving a personalized approach to complete the work without getting stressed. Short breaks refresh your mind and allow you to focus better.

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