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Working from home seems like a dream to people who are sitting in their offices listening to their coworker’s music blaring through their headphones or smelling another’s stinky lunch fresh out of the microwave. There are many joys that come from working from home, and that’s why it is becoming increasingly popular.
Even though it is a wonderful thing to be able to work from home when you combine that with mental health issues like anxiety or depression, you can find that there are a few trouble spots there that you need to be aware of. These will not make it impossible for you to work from home, so don’t get scared. It is just important that you understand the challenges so you can work to overcome them.
Talking to a therapist may benefit isolation and depression
People who are depressed often isolate themselves from the people around them who care most. This isolation seems like it will give them some peace, but in actuality, isolation makes a person very lonely.
Loneliness feeds the depression more. When you’re working from home, it makes it much easier to isolate from the people you care for. If you are prone to depression and working from home, take the time to have a check-in buddy or accountability partner who will keep an eye out for you.
Your accountability partner can let you know when you have spent too much time in the house and encourage you to get up, get out and do something. If that still isn’t enough, consider talking to a therapist if you don’t already. They can give you other suggestions and advice that may help you out.
Lack of boundaries between “home” time and “work” time
We know that life requires balance, and work-home balance is a big problem for many of us. In the case of our mental health, we can pour ourselves into our work to avoid our home issues, or pour ourselves in into our home life to avoid work issues. Working all of the time is completely unhealthy for us, and can distract us from the time we need to spend resting and recharging.
Those lines become even more blurred when your office is right in your house. It is really important to establish strong boundaries between office time and home time. Keep a regular schedule, and commit to your work hours. If you are done for the day at 5, stand firm in that and do not work, even when it seems like you need the extra time to get it done.
Managing your mental health means making time for self-care, a task that becomes impossible when you are constantly working. When you are home, be home; when you are at work, be at work.
Ordinary entrepreneur stresses
Many of the people we know who work from home are entrepreneurs, and they are working with nobody but themselves. That creates an extremely stressful environment where people are completely self-reliant, and tired, and overworked. This is really rotten stuff for our mental health.
To counteract it, incorporate some sort of stress management techniques into your day, whether it is a touch of meditation or a simple walk. All of these things can contribute to a less stressful environment. The last thing we want is additional stress, especially right in our homes.
Being stressed out is one thing, being stressed in your home is another thing entirely! We need to examine our relationship with our work and monitor our boundaries carefully to ensure we are not creating a toxic work environment for ourselves right in our homes.
Monitor your mental health carefully, be certain to socialize, and find an activity to help reduce your stress level. When you do that, you are well on your way to reducing the stress that working from home can bring.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.