The creative industries (or any industries for that matter) are often laced with many hurdles; the need to be switched on at all times, coming up with original, creative ideas that journalists are looking for all while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. But how can we keep our mental health in check?
The coronavirus pandemic changed the professional services industry in more ways than one, particularly in regards to home working. Working remotely has its benefits - zero commuting time and flexible working, but it means that we can sometimes feel isolated, or not have the same healthy work-life balance that working in an office would offer. Fortunately, more employers are now prioritising mental health, ensuring their employees have the tools needed to work, but also the support procedures available, should they need them. Examples of these may be wellness days, access to a well-being service, or simply having an open dialogue about mental well-being. In fact, Mind state that companies that prioritise mental well-being outperform those who don’t by 10%!
We stated before how regular breaks are essential for success, but it’s not just taking 10 minutes away from your desk that will help you, but actively taking time for yourself will benefit you in the long run. Being a four-day employer allows our Rebootians to have an extra day off per week to recharge, and do things for themselves that they may not have been able to do during the week. Keep on reading to find out what some of the team do with their Fridays off!
Not only this but when possible, consider taking some time off to take holiday or visit family. Research has shown that taking extended breaks can recharge, prevent burnout and boost your fitness as well as allow you to visit new places, and may even allow you to come up with some creative ideas.
Often, working remotely means that we only see our colleagues for a limited amount of time as opposed to working together in an office. This means that it is difficult to know we are coping from behind a screen, and the isolation that can sometimes occur from working remotely can mean some people are having issues that others do not know about.
Fortunately, there are ways to tackle this. If possible, consult a member of staff that you feel comfortable talking to and explain how you are feeling. Ask your line manager to set up regular check-in meetings - having regular opportunities to check in with them and let them know how about progress or any issues being faced not only alerts them but also keeps an open dialogue surrounding mental wellbeing. Having a transparent culture and open dialogue around the importance of mental wellbeing is vital for employee success.
It is of course important to be getting enough exercise, and the links between exercise and greater mental health speak for themselves. But the important thing is to move about - if you can. This doesn’t have to mean going on long-distance runs, or getting a gym membership - it could be as simple as scheduling regular breaks to get a drink, or playing with a pet. As working from home would be considered a sedentary lifestyle, we need to implement exercise into our daily routine, to keep our blood flowing as well as our heart and mind healthy.
Utilising the Pomodoro Technique: This technique involves setting a timer for a specified period of time, followed by a short break, multiple times per day. Implementing the Pomodoro Technique into our day can allow us to actively schedule breaks, allowing us to switch off for a short time, or get up to exercise, hereby forcing ourselves to not follow sedentary behaviours. Furthermore, science has shown that this technique can work wonders for our motivation, decision-making and effects towards managing distractions, some of which are common for those of us working a remote lifestyle.
Investing in a sit/standing desk: You’ve probably heard about these - adjustable desks that allow us to work whilst sitting and/or standing up. Not only does working whilst standing ease back pain, but studies have shown that working whilst standing can shed more calories compared to sitting, and also make us more productive. Alternatively, if possible, you can stack your laptop on some books in order to stand up.
Schedule 10 minutes to workout: If time allows, find ways to work out during your work hours that don’t involve sacrificing most of your lunch break. Solutions such as the 7-minute workout help get some exercise into our day, all while being free and can be done from home, effectively. Scientists have shown that some level of high-intensity exercise can produce molecular changes within muscles comparable to riding several hours on a bike, or strength training. You could also wear your workout clothes whilst working, to incentivise yourself to workout too.
Both mental and physical well-being is vital to ensure we are mentally healthy. Ensuring there are support procedures in place not only re-assures employees but can encourage us to work better knowing we are never too far away from help, should we need it. By following some of the above tips, we hope that optimum mental and physical well-being is more of a priority coming away from the pandemic.