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One Year Later: Still Working from Home

It is hard to believe it has been one year since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is fair to say this past year has been incredibly difficult for so many individuals. Many people have faced financial concerns, relational issues, and even mental health problems. For many professionals across the world, they transitioned into a work from home environment and are still working in that environment. If you are one of those individuals that is still working from home, I am sure you have established a routine and maybe you even have begun to enjoy the work from home life. If you are still working from home, but it has been a struggle for you and for your mental health, I wanted to provide some different tips.

– Establish a routine, if you haven’t already. As I mentioned above, I am sure many individuals who are working from home have already established a routine, but after a year of working from home maybe that routine has changed or has been lost. It is really important for individuals to have a routine as it can create a sense of purpose and organization which improves overall mental health.

– Do your best to not mix work life and home life. I know this is a lot easier said than done, especially when you are literally working from your home, but if you can, try and separate the two. Have a work area if possible and whenever work is done, put all of your work things away and focus on non-work-related things.

– Leave your home at times. Try and get out of your home at certain times, just to mix up your scenery. Whether it is when you are working (maybe working from a coffee shop) or when you are not working (going to the grocery store or grabbing a coffee with a friend), it is beneficial for our mental well-being to have a change of scenery and pace.

– Exercise. We all know how important physical exercise is, but it is not the easiest thing to do when you are at home all day, every day. Try and find some sort of exercise routine that you enjoy doing. If the weather is nice, try and go on a walk or run outside. Ultimately, it is so important you find some sort of physical exercise that you enjoy.

– Stay socially connected. This is so important! I have found for myself that if I don’t take the time to stay socially connected to my friends and family, then I begin to struggle with my overall mental health. Social connections are buffers to feelings of isolation and anxiety, so it is so important to stay connected. Whether it is seeing friends and family in-person or facetiming them, it is crucial to keep communicating with your loved ones.

– Reach out for help if you are having a hard time.  If you are struggling with tough thoughts, please know there is help available. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or you can text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. There are resources available. You do not have to struggle alone.

This past year has been unlike any other and we all have experienced difficulties that we never saw coming. For many individuals, one year ago they began working from home and assumed they would be back in the office after a few weeks. That obviously did not happen, and a few weeks turned into a few months, and now has turned into a full year that many people have been working from home. If working from home has been difficult on your mental health, try some of the tips I mentioned above and ultimately know there is always help available and you are not alone.

Katie Zimmerman, Project Coordinator for The Kim Foundation

Katie Zimmerman joined The Kim Foundation in June 2019. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies and Sociology from Central College in Pella, Iowa. During her time in college, she volunteered at many non-profit organizations and took multiple sociology classes which focused on mental health. Katie’s role at The Kim Foundation includes running the social media accounts, assisting in the Youth Advisory Council, and providing mental health awareness and education to the community through A Voice for Hope and Healing presentations.