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Stress Awareness Month: Stay stress-free whilst working from home

Lois Ransome

By Lois Ransome

On Apr 7, 2020

This year, Stress Awareness Month is more important than ever. Many people are feeling overwhelmed, vulnerable and anxious as Coronavirus impacts every aspect of our daily lives, including how and where we work.

For people used to working in a vibrant office environment 5-days a week, it can be particularly challenging adjusting to home working. As a team, we’re working hard to support each other through this crisis and wanted to share our top tips for reducing stress and managing your mental health whilst working from home.

Create a workspace


Select an area of your home away from distractions where you can create a comfortable workspace. Don’t be tempted to work from your sofa or bed though, as you’ll quickly feel the effects of this on your back! 

By creating a dedicated workspace you can get yourself into the “work” mindset, then switch off when you leave this area at the end of the day.

Stay connected


When you feel isolated it can be difficult to stay proactive and productive. Organise regular Zoom calls with your colleagues. It doesn’t just have to be work-related either, have a virtual-drink together on a Friday afternoon. 

Don’t forget to check in with family and friends out of work too. You may be stuck indoors but you can still connect virtually via WhatsApp, FaceTime and House Party.

Keep a daily routine


Many people are becoming lethargic and demotivated at home. Set a schedule and stick to it so you don’t get distracted. 

Get up each morning, getting showered and dressed like you would if you were going out to work. If you spend all day in your pyjamas you’re just setting yourself up to fail.

Write yourself a todo list so you can physically cross things off when you complete them - marking small achievements can really help keep you motivated. Ensure you reward yourself when you complete tasks too. It may sound trivial, but something as small as making yourself a cuppa in between tasks can help you stay on track. 

Switch off


Take regular breaks. When working from home you may find yourself sat at your desk for longer periods of time than you would in the office, as there's simply less going on - no getting up to go to the photocopier, running to the telephone or going in and out of meeting rooms.

Get up and have a little walk around every now and then. There are also loads of exercises you can do from your desk to keep yourself stretched out and stress-free too, try some shoulder shrugs and neck rotations.

Don’t be tempted to skip your lunch break either, as these refuel breaks are critical to keeping you focused. Eat lunch away from your screen, take advantage of your daily outdoor exercise allowance to go for a walk, or just top up your Vitamin D levels by sitting in the garden.

Practise self-care


When not working make sure you take time to exercise, eat healthily and get into a good sleep routine. These are basic fundamentals of looking after your mental health.

Physical exercise in particular has been proven to help reduce mild symptoms of depression, so take advantage of all the free home workouts that are available online right now. 

Ask for help


If things get too much, then be sure to ask for help. Speak to your colleagues, who will likely be struggling with the same stresses. Ask your Boss or Manager for advice, or if you’re feeling really overwhelmed seek professional help.

Your first port of call should be to telephone your local GP surgery, but if this is not convenient then contact CALM or The Samaritans, who are committed to remaining open throughout the Coronavirus crisis. 

From all the team at Digital Reflow, please stay safe, stay home and don’t forget about your mental health.