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Staying Emotionally Well While Working at Home

Su Hallam, Charity Manager at Shaw Mind, has shared her top tips for maintaining good emotional health while working from home.                           

With more than 25 years’ experience in the mental health and wellbeing sector, Su suggests:

  • Maintain a morning routine to include at least; a shower, your breakfast and getting dressed (even if it’s just into your jogging bottoms and a comfy t-shirt)

  • Ensure you are comfortable if you’re attempting to work from home. Dining furniture ergonomically is designed very differently to office furniture. Do you best with what you have available. Those with a home office – we are envious of you right now!

  • Find a nice view, because staring over the top of your computer to a solid wall is not very inspiring. If you aren’t able to look out over a lakeside landscape (we wish!) then look into the room, out of the window or find a picture, flowers or plants to surround your new work environment to soften the space and make you smile!

  • Take a break from the news, social media and texts from your mum. It can be tempting to check your different social media platforms constantly but this can distract you from your work and lead to you feeling overwhelmed by new and emerging information.

  • Remember your personality and your particular needs. If you are an extrovert or a people person, suddenly finding yourself working from your spare room alone, will feel very strange and at times lonely. Resolve this by arrange team catch ups regularly and go outside for your calls if possible. Share the outside world with

your colleagues – anyone who’s cooped up at home will appreciate a reminder of the world outside.

  • If you’re an introvert, communicate your needs clearly to your new lockdown buddies. If you can’t work in shifts, suggest calls are taken away from the table if you’re all working in the same space. And take regular breaks, go for a walk, take some time in another room to yourself. Do what you need to make the new situation work for you all.

  • Remember, its ok to do things differently, these are exceptional circumstances. Although we are all trying to continue as usual, please allow yourself some space to get used to feeling comfortable with the new reality. And give yourself a break if you suddenly start to struggle a few weeks in. It’s just you trying to figure this whole thing out.

  • Stay hydrated. Get the good glasses, cups and mugs out of the cupboard, If ever you deserved to drink from them on a daily basis – it’s now!

  • Enjoy your favourite snacks. If you’re working alone there is nobody to offend with your boiled eggs, anchovies and pickled onions at the moment, so enjoy this new snack freedom.

  • Ensure your find some time for fresh air and exercise, providing you with time away from the screen. Aim for at least two breaks a day where you’re not looking at your computer of phone screen. Go and pop the kettle on and sing along to the radio while you’re there.

  • Use your saved commuting time for something for you, something you would ordinarily struggle to squeeze into your day like an extra chapter of your book, ten minutes of yoga, watching the birds in your garden with a cup of coffee – it’s up to you.

    If you feel that you would benefit from a chat with Su or one of our volunteers during the coming days or weeks then please get in touch via help@shawmind.org. Alternatively, to join our online community search ‘Breathe – In It Together’ on Facebook and become a member of our open group, sharing positive stories, supporting one another and keeping things upbeat.