“One key thing the pandemic and the resulting work-from-home model have done is blur, and in many cases eliminate, the separation between work and life.” - Forbes
Today, many are still adjusting to “work from home” or “hybrid work” environments. While these changes are helpful in many ways, they come with their own challenges. This Mental Health Awareness Month, we asked our team how they balance working from home and working in the hybrid model.
Compartmentalizing is essential to creating a separation between work and home. It can be helpful to associate a specific place in your home with work to help create a boundary between your workspace and your home space.
“I have been fortunate to have a small office outside the home that I was able to go to during the pandemic. When I do work from home, I try to sit somewhere that I associate with only work. Like the table outside.”
“I will lock myself in a room or work outside to block out the reminders that I'm at home and not in an office environment. However, that also means setting calendar reminders to get up and walk around or grab a snack.”
Maintaining a Routine
Part of the challenge of working from home is maintaining a sense of self. Taking frequent breaks, maintaining a personal routine, and building time to socialize with outside peers are all ways to distinguish between personal time and work time in your day.
“I try and make an effort to get up and go into the office at least a few times a week. Getting ready and walking into a professional setting helps me separate work from home and allows me to socialize with colleagues, which is needed for my mental health! Sometimes, though, working from home and having the flexibility to cook lunch in your own kitchen and sleep a little extra because you don't have to get office-ready makes a huge difference in my stress levels throughout the week.”
“I try to physically separate work and home. I also try to set rigid hours for logging on/off to make sure life/work blend as little as possible!”
Whether it is exercising, socializing, or building in alone time to your busy schedule, self-care and finding joy in activities is essential in maintaining a healthy mindset.
"Focused breathing. Getting in the ocean. Sleep. Those are the things that best help me. When I'm not getting enough sleep, the opposite of self-care happens. When I don't take time to focus on deep breathing, I pay a steep price. When I don't take a minute to get outside (and in my case, jump into the ocean), I don't feel connected to anything, and I start to suffer mentally.”
“I need to sweat it out every day. Movement is medicine for me - yoga, walk, cycle.”
“Going 'off the grid' when I'm away from work. I turn off notifications and make a point of not checking my email when I've scheduled time off. It's essential. During the workweek, I try to always make and eat dinner with my family, spend time outside before and after the workday, and read something in print to get away from constant screen time.”
As we reflect on our team's self-care practices, we encourage everyone to take the time and learn what their mental needs are and discover how these needs are best met.