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The past year has been tough on all of us as we continue to progress through the COVID-19 pandemic. In the blink of an eye, our entire lives changed, and we had to find new ways to achieve even the simplest of tasks. Seeing friends and extended family members became dangerous. Going into the office was suddenly unsafe. And washing hands, sanitizing objects, and wearing masks became a frequent must in public places.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and now more than ever, it is important to recognize our own needs. Mental Health Awareness Month was first recognized in 1949 to increase the importance of wellness and self-care. Over the past two decades, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and other administrations underthe U.S. Department of Health have continued to spread the message of a healthy mindset and educate the public about the stigma that surrounds mental health.
Taking time to focus on your mental health is not selfish; it is a necessity. It is so important that LinkedIn announced that the company will allow all employees worldwide one paid week off to prevent burnout.
With many people still working remotely and feeling isolated, it is still imperative to remember to keep your mental health in check and take a step back if you need to. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and isolated working remotely, here are some ways you can prevent burnout without impacting your productivity.
Plan your workday
Sitting at a computer in your house for eight hours of the day can be taxing on the body. Your eyes begin to strain, and burnout easily settles in more often than at the office. Before COVID-19, many employees found comfort in the workplace environment because it was easy to interact and collaborate with colleagues.
One of the best ways to make your day easier is to plan out what you want to get done and set daily and weekly goals for yourself. Having a set plan will keep you from searching for things to keep you busy. Also, try setting a timer to switch in between tasks to prevent burnout. Choose the right amount of time depending on what you have scheduled and break in increments that give you enough time to switch in between them.
Another way to prevent burnout is to take short 10-15 minute breaks throughout your day, especially after you’ve already cycled through everything on your work “to-do” list. Accomplishing everything on your agenda all at once with no breaks puts a lot of strain on yourself. Sometimes, you just need to stand up for a few minutes and take your eyes off the computer screen. Don’t feel ashamed for taking a minute away from your work.
Working remotely gives people the opportunity to do things that you can’t typically do at the office, like work out. Sometimes, tending to your physical health can also benefit your mental health and one of the best ways is exercising.
Take 30 minutes to an hour of your workday and get your body moving. With the help of technology, it is very easy to find workout routines in the palm of your hands without leaving your house. YouTube offers a variety of free yoga routines from Lululemon Yoga,Rachel Gulotta Fitness,Alo Yoga, and Yoga with Briohny.All you need to take part in these programs is a yoga mat that is available through Amazon or your local sporting goods store.
If you’re looking to get out of the home office, take your workout to a local park or take a stroll around your neighborhood. According toLumino Health, when people interact with nature, it can put them in a more positive mood and decrease anxiety levels.Researchsays that the ideal amount of time to spend outside is two hours a week and can be stretched out over time.
Being active is a great way to break up your workday and refresh your brain so you can get back into the correct mindset when you return to your desk.
For more ideas on how to stay active while working remotely, check out some of these tips from halfhalftravel.com.
Don’t be afraid to seek help
If you’re struggling and are having trouble finding solutions, try talking to a professional. There is nothing shameful about seeking help when you need it.
According to theAmerican Psychological Association,about 75% of people who see a mental health professional (therapist, psychiatrist, or psychologist) experience some benefits from their experience. These benefits can include improving your communication skills, helping you feel empowered, developing a new perspective on your life, and learning how to make better decisions. Sessions encourage casual, open, and honest conversations about the struggles you’re dealing with and offer ways to learn how to cope, manage, and overcome them.
Therapy is the perfect way to get advice and learn to cope with your feelings and is covered by many insurance plans. If you’re unsure about what options are available to you, talk to your employer or healthcare provider. Also, do some research of your own to find the perfect support that fits your needs.
If you’re on the fence about talking to a mental health professional, check out Forbes’“11 Reasons to Give Talk Therapy a Try.”
There is a difference between pushing yourself to do your best and pushing yourself over the edge at your job. You should always strive to present your best work, but it is just as important to be realistic and understand your limits. Don’t be afraid to ask your supervisor for help.
Your mental health is important and by budgeting your time, keeping your body moving, and asking for help when you need it, you will feel more refreshed, focused, confident, and ready to meet those deadlines.
Check out other posts from our blog on the topic of mental health in the workplace:
If you or someone you know is in need of help, don’t hesitate to call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit their website to learn more and find more information about the resources available.
May 4, 2021