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Working from Home – A Guide to Self-Care

Julia Montgomery

Middle aged woman sitting at a table reading using a tablet computer, holding a cup, front viewMany people are working from home to practice social distancing in attempt to follow recommendations from the CDC to flatten the curve of COVID-19. Some of you may be used to working from home, but for others, this may be uncharted territory. When transitioning to work from home, you may have a home office you’ve been waiting to use or maybe you live in a small space with other people. Whatever your situation is, it’s normal to feel stressed when your routine changes.  Here are some helpful tips on creating structure and maintaining mental wellness while working from home:

  1. Set a schedule

Try to continue with your normal schedule. Set an alarm to wake up at your normal time and plan to work your normal schedule. If you normally work 8-5, try to stick to that. In the hours that you don’t work, have your typical “me time”!

  1. Take breaks!

When you’re at home, time passes quickly and it’s easy to keep working rather than take breaks. While this may be the case, challenge yourself to take needed breaks as you normally would while at the office.

  1. Set up your office

If you don’t already have a home office, you will have to find a space to set one up. Think about the space in which you set it up. If your work is stressful, maybe consider setting up your office in a space you don’t typically spend a lot of time (i.e. not your bedroom!). In many cases, if your space is small and limited, you may not have much option as to where you set up your office but the next tip cover how to manage stress caused by this.

  1. Create an “end of the day work ritual” that signals your day is over!

Come up with a behavior or activity you can do each day at the end of your workday. You could do mental imagery of putting your “work” in a box and closing the lid, you can imagine yourself driving away from the office in your car, or you could even just say “I am done with work today” and remove yourself from your home office. These rituals will help you separate your work from your home. This will be especially important if you live in a small space to prevent work from seeping into your home life!

  1. Take care of yourself!

It’s easy to roll out of bed and forget about the daily acts of living we do before going to work each day. Encourage yourself to shower, get dressed, and practice good hygiene even if you aren’t seeing others. Change out of your PJ’s, put on daytime clothing, and change back into PJ’s at night.

  1. Get Active (if you can)

While exercise is not necessarily part of working from home, exercise is scientifically proven to help us cope with stress. Try taking a walk outside, a homework out video, or stretching!

If you or a love one is wanting to speak with a licensed therapist, please considering reaching out to Summit Counseling Center to schedule an appointment by calling 678-893-5300. The Summit has licensed therapist who are certified TeleMental Health Counseling providers and can provide video counseling sessions to meet your needs at this time.

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