Due to various lockdowns over the last two years, many people have had to work from home or rely on furlough payments for long periods of time. For some, this has allowed them much more freedom and flexibility, and enabled them to spend more time with their families. But for others, the difficulty in separating home life from work life has led to mental health difficulties.
One of the factors contributing to an increase in mental health difficulties is isolation. Naturally, it is much more difficult to feel connected to others when you don’t see them every day, and this can quickly take its toll. Many people have reported feeling insecure and stressed when they don’t have proper human interaction at work, which can then lead to more serious mental health issues. Other features of working from home include greater job insecurity, a loss of control, and an altered sleep schedule, all of which can have a large impact on one’s mental wellbeing.
Certain groups, according to studies undertaken since the beginning of the pandemic, appear to be more vulnerable to mental health difficulties. Women and mothers in particular reported greatly increased levels of stress when beginning to work from home, as well as those with less experience in working in general and those with weaker interpersonal relationships. These groups are particularly affected because they often have other responsibilities to take care of outside work, which naturally creates more stress.
However, these difficulties can be alleviated at home. Making sure that you have time to exercise after work can have a huge positive impact on your mental health, as can following a healthy diet and drinking enough water. Taking a short walk immediately before and after work can mirror the mental impact of a commute, and create a separation between one’s work and home lives. As well as this, arranging to see friends and family according to current coronavirus guidelines can help you to feel much less isolated, and create a support network for you.