How to stay on top of your mental health during covid-19

Published by WitWork Team on May 9, 2020

Working remotely used to be how employers encouraged their team, allowing for a refreshing change of scene to boost productivity. With 60% of the UAE’s workforce working remotely each week, employers reported that this flexibility helped them retain top talent and keep productivity up.


Given these findings, it’s rational to assume that the “new normal” of working from home would help maintain employee morale. But the result of this unprecedented change may lead to a concerning future, post-lockdown.


Your house is a home first, an office second

The BBC has called the global lockdown “the world’s biggest psychological experiment”, predicting that it will lead to stress-related absenteeism and a secondary epidemic of burnouts. As idyllic as your office being a short walk from your bedroom may sound, WFH’s hidden downsides lie in boundaries being dissolved and employees feeling the pressure to be available 24/7. Some employees haven’t been addressing the reality of the lockdown, and are skimming over the stress to seem like the “perfect employee”.

Combat burnout by prioritizing work-life balance. Unplug after work with a mindfulness exercise. You can freestyle with this, it could be anything from 10 minutes of deep breathing on your balcony to playing with your cat. The key is to clear your mind of work-related thoughts, and embrace the evening.


Humans are social creatures

Our hyper busy lives and toppling schedules, pre-pandemic, coined a new term – JOMO or Joy of Missing Out. JOMO allowed people to cancel social plans at the last minute, or ignore social events, in exchange for some well-deserved “me time”. After social isolation became the new norm, a steep lack of social interaction has led to people feeling a deep sense of loneliness.

Zoom fatigue is real so catching up doesn’t always need to involve an hour-long video call. Anything from emailing an old friend, catching up with a former colleague on WhatsApp, or a quick check in over Zoom with your family will remind you that you’re not in this alone.


Routine is the adult’s pacifier


The Guardian gathered a sailor and a submariner’s thoughts on isolation, and both relied heavily on routine. During times of uncertainty, a routine is calming, creating a sense of security and stability. Set yourself a routine for the workweek and mix things up at the weekend. Routines, especially when punctuated with exercise, help alleviate overthinking and boost sleep quality. Occupy yourself with activities that make you feel like there isn’t enough time, this will send you springing out of bed every morning.


Tackle homeschooling like the Addams family did


Your children are beacons of imagination and wonder. As stressful as this time is, you can help them create memories that will last a lifetime by adopting an optimistic perspective. The Addams family homeschooled their children, teaching them about octopuses and life’s charming whimsies.


Create a dedicated homeschooling section for your children, as I advised doing for yourself in a previous article. Keep their interest piqued with home experiments, their competitive spirit burning with family game nights, and their sense of wonder activated with free online courses.


Be wary of dodging stress as suppressing thoughts during the day leads to insomnia. Dedicate 15 minutes each day to pondering the situation, allowing those thoughts to run wild, to maintain your mental health.


WitWork – anytime, anywhere

WitWork, one of the UAE’s leading flexible working solutions, has over 40 venues across the country. With remote working spaces in the UAE’s leading cafes, restaurants, and hotels – it provides remote workers with everything they need to get a productive day’s work done. WitWork offers clients effortless charging stations, free coffee, exclusive discounts on F&B, a chance to network naturally with fellow remote workers, and engaging workshops.

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