Remote Work Mental Health Guide

Remote Work Mental Health Guide

In Brief: This guide contains a simple set of steps you can take when working remotely to promote good mental health as well as a list of resources to help you take care of your mental health in any circumstances.

The Covid-19 pandemic triggered a remote work exodus from offices around the country but this has had an impact on many workers’ mental health.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, nearly a third of those working remotely don’t feel their employer provides enough support for mental health issues and nearly 40% are afraid to take time off to deal with mental health problems.

That’s why we developed this guide to taking care of mental health while working from home and it’s about more than taking care of your work-life balance too.


Three Key Strategies For Taking Care Of Your Mental Health During Remote Work

There are three things people do during remote work which can have a substantial impact on their mental health and even lead to burnout.

To prevent burnout, anxiety, and other problems we need to stop doing these things:

  1. Stop celebrating long work hours when working from home. The CEO of Gitlab, a company built on remote work, confirms this in a call with his teams. He says; “There’s individual freedom, and there’s peer pressure. As a company, we should take a lot of care that there’s no peer pressure to work long hours.” This is vital. Employees enjoying their job is great, but feeling compelled to constantly give more of yourself when you’re struggling with the day-to-day can lead to depression, anxiety, and burnout.
  2. Stop thinking that rest and time off are a bad idea. In the book Time Off by John Fitch, he argues that we should all spend more time resting and that much of the best of our thinking and creativity emerges when we are not working.
  3. Stop putting all your emphasis on “work ethic” and learn to balance it with “rest ethic”. Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith gave a TED talk on the reasons we’re always tired and what to do about it. She says that we need 7 types of rest to maintain our mental health and stay connected with the world around us and this applies as much to remote employees working from home as it does to anyone in an office. She says we all need time off where we truly unplug from work each month, that employees must take care of themselves by taking a long break ideally out in fresh air each day and that our morning and evening routines should focus on self-care and help us stay connected to things that matter besides work.

When we take care of these three aspects of remote working life, we are free to enjoy benefits that can boost our mental health such as:

  • A more flexible schedule to manage our personal lives in
  • Less commuting, so less stress and more mental resources for other things
  • A boost in productivity due to fewer interruptions from other employees and managers
  • The ability to reduce your chances of catching diseases like Covid-19 by being separated from other employees
  • The ability to choose hours that support your productivity and happiness

Our Top Resources For Mental Health

We also have a ton of helpful resources that can help you deal with any mental health issues that you encounter and the majority are free or low cost.


Direct Online Resources


Health Unlocked

This is a social network designed for supporting health problems rather than general chit-chat. They say it can help you take control of your health and find support and guidance with almost any issue.

Check it out here.


Turn2Me

This is a support group that provides help with depression, stress, anxiety, etc. It is free but you do need to book a session to participate.

Check it out here.


Mental Health America

A non-profit organization based in the wider community that specifically offers tools to help you get assistance with mental illness.

Check it out here.


Bliss

A self-guided but completely free resource that provides therapy for people struggling with depression.

Check it out here.


Mental Health.Gov

This is a full government guide to all government resources for dealing with a wide range of mental health issues. It’s very useful.

Check it out here.


7 Cups

This resource provides 24/7 access to free chats with listeners who are all volunteers. You can also pay to access a monthly counseling program that connects you with a licensed therapist.

Check it out here.


Emergency Resources

If things are simply getting too much, you are not alone and there are resources you can access quickly.


Samaritans USA

This organization provides volunteer hotlines for those dealing with suicidal thoughts as well as community outreach and education programs to improve public understanding of mental health issues.

Check it out here.


ReachOut

This is a smartphone app that offers discussions and support from people who have walked a mile in your shoes and it’s a strictly no-stigma place.

Check it out here.


988 Lifeline (was The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline)

This offers 24/7 support to anyone who needs it in a crisis.

Check it out here.


IM Alive

This crisis network provides support from 100% trained and certified mental health volunteers. They want you to know that they CAN help you get through this.

Check it out here.


One Last Thing – Sleep, Diet, And Exercise

It is also important to know that the three key factors in stress and burnout whether you work from home or keep an office schedule are sleep, diet, and exercise.

You need roughly 8 hours of sleep a night and without it, you will start to feel more stress and this can have a significant impact on your mind and even trigger anxiety and depression.

The UK’s Mental Heath Foundation stresses that improving your diet and the way you eat can significantly reduce stress and mental issues.

And the Mayo Clinic says there is a proven link between regular exercise and reduced levels of depression and anxiety.

So try to create room in your work-from-home schedule to allow for good sleep, diet and exercise.


Final NOTES

Working from home can create an environment in which you thrive, but it can also, for many people, lead to unpleasant feelings of isolation and have a genuinely negative impact on mental health.

We hope that our guide helps to free you and any colleagues in the same boat from some or all of this kind of stress and helps you manage working from home in a positive and fulfilling way.

Share your love
Morgan Graff
Morgan Graff
Articles: 128

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *