Keeping the work routine while working from home may be key to maintaining mental health

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– For many people, commuting to work can be the worst part of the day. For others, however, commuting may have been a ritual that was critical for their mental health and work-life balance.

“Even working remotely, it’s encouraged that you get up and you start your day as if you were going into the office,” Burrell Health psychologist Crystal Beckham said.

Dr. Beckham said establishing routine and transitional periods can be helpful.

“Whatever your typical routines were, you try to bring as much of that in as possible,” Beckham said. “And sometimes we have to be creative. ‘For now I’m at work, and for now I’m not at work.'”

Owner of the Virtual Savvy, Abbey Ashley, said having a designated workspace is key.

For most people, that isn’t an entire office,” Ashley said. “A lot of us weren’t planning to work from home, so we don’t have a home office.”

She said this could mean setting up a small table.

“I worked from this tiny desk in my bedroom for years,” Ashley said.

Ashley teaches people how to work from home for a living.

“So, to use the skills they already have to support other small business owners in a virtual capacity.”

She encourages people who are struggling with remote work to try the Pomodoro technique.

“You write down your to-do list, and then you’re just going to focus on one task for 25 minutes,” Ashley said. “Once you’re done with it, you can sit back and have a 5-minute break, and then you go onto your next task for 25 minutes.”

The goal is to complete four Pomodoros, and then you can take a longer 15-30 minute break.

Ashley encourages using your breaks as opportunities to step outside and get some fresh air.

Five other tips from Ashley on how to work from home include:

  1. Have a designated workspace
  2. Communicate your schedule and plan ahead
  3. Try out the Pomodoro technique 
  4. Go out and take a walk during your work breaks

And her final piece of advice: allow yourself some grace.

For more resources and to learn more about Ashley’s business, click here.

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