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Coping with isolation/Working from home

  • As many of us adjust to working remotely, it is extremely important to be mindful of the effects a new work environment can have on one’s mental health.
  • Here are some tips and tools to help you work from home in a healthy way.

Stay Connected

  • The largest hurdle to face when working from home is a feeling of isolation.
  • Extended periods of time alone, especially when you’re not used to it, can leave you feeling anxious, uneasy and lonely.
  • These feelings can be compounded by our current circumstances.
    • Make a point of speaking with at least one person on your team each day
    • Take time to connect with co-workers on a personal level, the same way you would if you were at the office — those extra moments go a long way.
    • Try to enable your computer/phone camera while in online meetings, so you can see familiar faces. Using tools such as Zoom enable you to connect with co-workers with messaging, audio or video calls, which are easier and more efficient and personable than sending emails.

Structure your Routine

  • Staying on top of getting ready in the morning helps you start your day refreshed and gets you into a more productive mindset — it also prepares you for any unexpected video calls!
  • Many people who work from home advise to set daily goals, eat at regular times, get consistent sleep, and most important, to separate work time from home time.
    • During office hours, try to stay in your work mindset, but allow yourself to take breaks and enjoy the perks of being at home by catching up on small household tasks.
  • It can also be helpful to create a physical separation from your workday and personal life.
    • Instead of a commute, try taking a short walk around the block at the beginning and end of your workday to signal that separation.

Keep Moving

  • Exercising can significantly lower anxiety levels, and boost serotonin — and there are plenty of ways to exercise at home.
    • From simple stretching throughout the day, to morning exercises with free apps like Daily Workouts and Seven – 7 Minute Workout you can get your energy flowing and feel refreshed without leaving the house.
  • Spending time in nature is also sometimes referred to as ‘ecotherapy’ because it has been linked to lower blood pressure and stress hormones.
    • During off-hours, take some time to visit a local park or drive to a favorite hiking destination to take in the outdoors and get some fresh air, while keeping your distance from others.

Switch Off at the End of the Day

  • Working from home can often blur the line between home and work life which makes it hard to disconnect from work-related tasks at the end of the day.
    • Be sure to make a clean break from your email and work phone after work hours and enjoy more leisurely activities.
    • It is also a good idea to discuss the boundaries of work and personal time with your leader and team.
  • With ever-changing news and social media updates, it may also be helpful to reach for a mindfulness app rather than your Facebook or Instagram app.
  • Some helpful and easy to use apps include:

Reach Out to your Support Systems

  • Healthy relationships with family, friends and loved ones are vital to your own mental well-being during this time.
  • Be sure to check in with them on a regular basis, just as you would with your colleagues.
  • The University of Regina remains committed to supporting you whether on or off campus.
  • If you require additional mental health support, please use your free Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) by calling Homewood Health at 1-800-663-1142.
  • Their services are available by phone, by video or online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Additional Information