There is also a growing movement towards taking emotional self-care seriously. Just like you would manage your body, it’s important to take care of your mental health and make sure that you are not struggling too hard or compromising your wellbeing for minor gains at work.
The challenge with taking care of your emotional wellbeing is that there is no clear path on how you should do it. This leaves many people confused about whether they are doing enough or are even making progress at all.
Staying on top of your mental health should be a fundamental part of your approach to remote work.
As you will see below, there are many different aspects of emotional wellbeing that you can focus on. Some of these don’t require any action from your side while others might have a more lasting impact if done consistently.
What is important to recognize is that not all emotional self-care activities need to be complex. Sometimes it’s good enough just knowing what matters and being honest with yourself whether or not you are actually doing something about it.
1. Socialize with your coworkers
Socializing is an obvious way to make sure that you don’t feel socially isolated at work. Many teams have weekly or bi-weekly social activities where they go out together and get to know each other better outside of the office such as a trip to your favourite local bar, or simply going for coffee nearby.
But for coworkers who are working remotely, socializing might be a bit more challenging. You can certainly still organize social activities to take place at the office, or make plans to meet up in person on an irregular schedule. But it’s important to recognize that not everybody will be able to make those engagements and you should not assume that your remote coworkers are feeling the same way about work as you are just because they don’t voice their concerns.
Some companies are turning to a hybrid work model, only requiring employees to come into work a few days a week for necessary in-person events such as meetings, training, or social events. Use this as an opportunity to talk about interests outside of work, and simply get to know each other for who you are.
2. Make sure you take breaks
Taking breaks is a very simple way to ensure that you are not burning out from work. While it might seem like taking regular breaks wouldn’t do much for your emotional wellbeing, doing otherwise could have serious casualties on the quality of your work and on your overall mood.
Often times when we feel stressed or overwhelmed, it’s easy to convince ourselves that extra time and effort will eventually solve the problem. This can be true in some cases but if you are consistently having problems with productivity, then this could be a sign that you need more manageable work.
Taking small breaks at a regular interval can help you reduce the amount of time that you feel tired, stressed, or overwhelmed when working.
Ideas for short breaks include things like going for a walk, exercising at the gym, reading a book, or just doing absolutely nothing at all.
3. Recognize when you are about to burnout
Burnout is a very real risk when you are working remotely and it’s important that you recognize the signs of it if you want to avoid it. If you have been consistently struggling with motivation, productivity, or lack of engagement then this is a clear sign that something needs to change. You might need more help with your work so that it doesn’t pile up on your plate, or maybe there are other problems in your life outside of work that are interfering with your ability to focus on quality work during regular business hours.
If there is one thing you can do right away which will greatly increase the chances of avoiding burnout, it’s to be honest with yourself about what you need.
4. Make time to exercise and eat healthy
While this might not seem like a big deal, regular exercise has a pretty big impact on our emotional wellbeing. When you exercise on a regular basis, you release endorphins which make you feel happier in general throughout the day. You also get more energy overall which helps with productivity and stress reduction when tackling tasks at hand.
5. Cultivate a greater sense of self-awareness
This is probably the most challenging aspect of emotional wellbeing when it comes to remote work. It’s extremely easy to fall into unhealthy habits and pretend like you don’t need help, even if deep down inside you know that some changes might need to be made.
6. Reduce the number of meetings you have
Despite its many advantages, remote work tends to overload people with unnecessary meetings. It is very easy to fall into the habit of scheduling meetings because you are communicating with others regularly and this comes naturally. But remember that meetings are not your only method of communication. You can easily use digital internal office chatting tools to talk about key issues, and then take a longer meeting time to do a deeper dive into how you can solve problems together.
7. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
This is one thing that most people tend to overlook when working remotely because they fall into the trap of thinking that they can just “power through” their work and catch up on sleep later. However, this is a very dangerous habit to get into because it increases your chances of burnout exponentially.
Being able to sleep well at night has a big impact on how you feel the next day, which in turn greatly impacts your productivity and quality of work output when working remotely.
Sleeping well also gives you energy for the rest of the day, regardless of whether or not you are working from home or in an office building. If you want to be productive throughout the day, then make sure that you actively schedule time for sleep so that you don’t fall behind.
8. Let people know that you are working remotely
One of the most common problems people face when working remotely is the fact that they get easily distracted. Make sure to let your friends and family know about how you work so they can help stop these kinds of distractions before they happen. You could also consider getting an accountability partner to help keep yourself honest so that you don’t fall behind on your goals.
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