For many folks, up until a couple months ago “remote” was an adjective used to describe with far-off places, not your work environment. Indeed, when searched, among the first definitions include “distant” and “disconnected” as part of the term’s meaning. Such words are taking on all new levels of significance as many of us weather months trapped at home. While some people are naturally well-adjusted to remote work, those who are not are beginning to feels the effects.
Back in 2017, before Covid-19 had become a part of our daily reality, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions reported that 41% of remote workers experienced elevated stress-levels when compared to their office-working counterparts. Stress, when suffered for a prolonged period, can drive depression for a range of reasons, including disruption of healthy habits, downward guilt spirals, estranged relationships, and now the paradox of feeling bad for having work (and struggling to attend to it) when many lack this privilege.
If you feel us, don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Five Strategies for Fighting Depression from Home
1. Go for a walk
If you a wave of anxiety led you to Google this article, stop and go for a walk before reading further. Just 10 minutes of brisk movement has been shown to improve mood and significantly improve health. If walking in public stresses you out at the moment, open up a space in your home and try a simple floor routine.
2. Make a daily schedule
We all know how easy it is to lose track of time when away from the office. Often, glancing at the clock and seeing the time sends a bolt of anxiety into our gut. How is it already noon? is a familiar thought. Save yourself such experiences by spending a short time making a daily schedule each morning.
As woo-woo as it may sound, the benefits of meditating for even 5 minutes daily are proven. Just as you need not complicate your workout for it to be effective, you need not complicate your mediation practice. Find a simple tutorial online and get started—there’s really nothing more to it.
4. Set Goals
Much like making a schedule, setting goals can assist in keeping you on track, thereby reducing productivity-related anxiety. Post your goals in a visible spot and ensure they’re S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, actionanable, and time-bound) to avoid them inadvertently compounding stress.
5. Call a Friend
Isolation is of the most difficult feelings this new normal is introducing into our world. Even before the Covid-19, experts spoke of a loneliness epidemic in the US; with social distancing measures predicted to be around for the foreseeable future, things are set to get worse. Luckily, simple acts like calling a friend even just exchanging voice messages help in profound ways. Try it out. In all likelihood, your friends need to hear from you and much as you from them.
Unfortunately, depression cannot always be dealt with by adopting simple, new habits. Often, some combination of talk-therapy and anti-depressant medication is needed and even then, there are treatment-resistant varieties. Luckily, reliable research has shown such innovative treatments as ketamine infusions to be extraordinarily effective where others have failed. If you’ve tried a range of treatment plans and found little success, consider giving us a call. We’d love to talk about how best to support your mental health now and into the future.