How do you maintain good remote work mental health during enhanced community quarantine?
Are you restricted from leaving your home? Are you asked by your company to work remotely for the time being?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then you’re probably under what is called enhanced community quarantine. You are probably also doing remote work for your company.
Remote work is when you are doing the same job that you’ve been doing in the office. Only this time, you’re doing it from the safety and comfort of your home.
While remote work is great for many, those who are not used to it find it very challenging. One of the challenges people face with this setup is their remote work mental health.
To understand what remote work mental health is, there are a few other things for you to first understand. What exactly is a community quarantine?
Why is it necessary? How does an enhanced community quarantine affect a person’s mental wellbeing?
Let’s answer these questions first.
What is a community quarantine?
Pandemics rarely happen, but when they do, people everywhere end up following strict mandates by their government. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the common mandate that governments initiate is the enhanced community quarantine.
From China, where it all began, to Italy, Spain, the US, and the Philippines, this lockdown-like situation is put in place. This is to stop the spread of the virus.
Along with the order of a community, quarantine comes the order to find alternative ways for people to continue doing their work. Where applicable, companies in the Philippines are asked to give their employees the option to work from home.
This is called remote work. It is necessary to keep people employed while still following the government’s order for everyone to stay at home.
A community quarantine is ordered for one main reason—to contain the virus. It has been said that if you stop the virus from moving from one person to another, you help “flatten the curve”.
Flattening the curve means to lower the infection rate enough to allow health facilities to cope with the disease. Staying at home does this since people don’t move around and the virus stops jumping from one person to another.
How an enhanced community quarantine affects mental health
A community quarantine is good for stopping the pandemic in its tracks. It was used to contain SARS in 2003 and is now seen as a good solution for the Sars-Cov2 virus. However, it’s an altogether different story for those who have to stay at home.
Along with remote work and the community, quarantine comes the challenge of keeping yourself sane. Remote work mental health should not be ignored since it can become a problem for some people.
Freelancers are used to working from home, but for those used to working in an office setting, it is a new challenge. Along with the need to adjust to the new work, setting is the challenge of staying put. Looking at the same four walls for a long period of time is not easy to do, after all.
According to the CDC, this outbreak not only poses a serious health threat to everyone physically. The uncertainty of the situation and the fear that it brings can also affect you and your mental health.
As a result, to maintain good remote work mental health, you need to find things to do to stop you from dwelling on the situation.
How to take care of your mental health in an enhanced community quarantine
Keeping sane while working from home is not as easy as it sounds. Coupled with the boredom of staying home 24/7 is the fear and uncertainty that comes with the situation. Add to this the possibility of a community quarantine stretching on for longer when needed, and you’re likely to go batty.
To keep from going insane, you have to look after yourself and do something to avoid the repercussions of staying put for a long time. For good remote work mental health, here are some tips that you can follow:
Maintain a routine
When you went to work in an office, you had a routine that you followed from Monday to Friday. You got up, took a shower, got dressed, prepped your work stuff, and drove to work. You can continue with this routine sans the driving to the work part. This can be a challenge however if you have children underfoot.
To help you handle this, you should also set a routine for them. This way, you have a set structure for the week for both you and your kids. It not only helps promote good remote work mental health but also keeps the kids out of your hair so you can do your work.
The community quarantine is designed to keep you away from other people physically. But this shouldn’t stop you from connecting with those you care about. A community quarantine shouldn’t erode relationships.
Thankfully, there are a lot of ways for you to stay connected with others. There are video chatting options, the usual phone calls, and even emails that can be used to stay in touch with others.
You can also interact with friends and family on social media. You can chat, share images of your quarantine days, and even reminisce about the past on these platforms. You can also make plans for when the quarantine is over. All of these can be done to help promote good remote work mental health.
Try to be as active as you can.
Exercise and staying active are also encouraged. No matter how little space you have at home, there are exercises and activities you can do to stay physically fit and healthy. Being sedentary and inactivity also has an impact on your mental health.
For good remote work mental health, look for workouts that you can do in a confined space. Some ideas include dancing, yoga, Pilates, and Zumba. Schedule this to have 30 to 1-hour worth of physical activity daily.
This enhanced community quarantine is a necessary evil that everyone has to live with. While it can drive people crazy, staying at home can save lives. During this time, remote work is actually a blessing.
However, whether you work remotely or not, learning how to maintain good remote work mental health is a must.