These days, most of us are working from home. This can be great at times: getting to spend more time with family or pets, cutting down travel time and of course, the dress code (who needs pants, right?).
But when you work at home, it can be easy for the boundaries you’ve established to maintain your work-life balance and overall wellness to become blurred. According to the State Of Remote Work 2019 Report, one in five people who work from home struggle to unplug from their duties, and issues such as isolation, depression and anxiety are serious concerns.
Mental health experts such as Garen Staglin speculate that shifting to remote work due to social distancing procedures — without outlets outside the home — may cause a startling deterioration of mental health.
Now, more than ever, it is vital for us to take care of our mental health and take time off if needed to prevent burnout. But, when you’re the one in charge of your schedule, it can feel impossible to justify taking a mental health day.
Here’s three tips to help you take a mental health day from home:
How to ask
Procedures for taking a mental health day are the same as in your normal workplace: you can tell your boss you need a mental health day or, if you’re worried about stigma, simply take a sick day. You are under no obligation to discuss any mental health conditions, though they will probably be more understanding in times like these. If you need a medical certificate, you can easily get this at a pharmacy or local GP (you can make a Telehealth appointment so you don’t even have to leave the house).
Make a separate space
Experts suggest establishing a separate work zone — preferably not in the same room you sleep in — is essential. This makes it easier to enforce separation between work and home; leaving the area where you spend your working hours allows you to fully separate from work when taking a mental health day.
Spend the day focusing on you
Although you may not be able to go out, try to spend some time outside — even a short walk to the shop is better than nothing. Mindfulness exercises like mediation can also be really helpful or you can try a home workout. Though, as a general rule, you should try to take a break from technology, you can spend the day doing whatever self-care rituals help you to relax and feel more positive.