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How to protect your mental health while working from home

Self-isolation is something most of us are unfamiliar with, so when our working conditions change drastically for the unforeseeable future, it's a shock to the system. 

Yes, the first week may be exciting. Longer sleep ins and a casual appearance, but it's not long before this wears off. This is where it's most important that you remain positive, calm and stress-free through this challenging situation. Not sure how to approach it? We've collected the best tips out there for you. 

Routine is your friend
Keep that alarm set. Get into the habit of working out before you log on. Dedicate a set time each day for lunch where you step away from technology. And most importantly, know that when you log off each day, you are done. It's easy when working from home to do 14 hour days, but this is a sure-fire way to induce burnout and fatigue - both of which are serious threats to your mental health. 

Take advantage of the down-time
The world is your oyster. Use your lunch breaks and evenings to get into a new book, focus on your mindfulness, or take up an exciting hobby that always interested you but you've never had the time. Perhaps there's a podcast that you've been wanting to listen to, or a skill you're keen to learn. Whatever it is, your priority should be keeping your brain active and enlightened each day. 

Stay connected
Consider technology your friend; it's so important that you take advantage of it and use it to maintain communication. Social interaction is something, as humans, that we are used to on a daily basis, and it's crucial you keep this up. Include videos as part of your daily work calls. Send an email to your relatives. And remember, many of your colleagues and loved ones are likely to be in very similar situations, so they'll likely appreciate you reaching out. 

Ensure you have the right working environment
While working from the dinner table is not ideal, it's also not impossible, and beats slouching over your laptop on the bed. If you can, set up a dedicated space in your home that offers natural light, a window to let fresh air in, along with a seat that supports your posture and a screen that is at the right eye level.

Be open about your feelings
With mass media delivering intense amounts of information minute by minute, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to the news, and make a conscious effort to speak up about your mental health. Share your fears, concerns and stresses with someone you trust, and see how much lighter you feel. 

If you feel like your mental health is suffering, make sure to reach out for support. Further guidance and counselling services can be found from the World Health Organisation and the Mental Health Foundation