Most of us have been at home for a few weeks and routines are setting in, but we know how the uncertainty of it all can be tough. Becoming a full-time homeschool parents is tough. Getting no separation between work and home is tough. We hear you, we see you and we are all in this together. Let’s make sure that your mental health is being put at the top of your priority list while working from home.

1. Check in with your coworkers. No one understands the pressures of your position like the rest of your team. Make sure to check in on those who seem like they might be struggling. Whether that is a quick email or a Zoom coffee date, those weekly check ins could make all the difference for some. Try to make a point of doing a personal check-in in with at least one coworker per week.

2. Soak up that Vitamin D. The weather is finally changing and we are getting more warm, sunny days. Make sure to get outside, even for a quick walk around the block or a driveway chat with a neighbour (six feet away of course!). Vitamin D is a natural mood booster and is linked to an increase in focus and a decrease in both depression and anxiety.

3. Unplug. Most of us are overconsuming media in a big way right now. The daily Dr. Hinshaw updates, the positivity messages, the reviews of businesses, the endless news articles that both uplift us and terrify us. This can start to really impact your concentration and productivity! Make sure to block off some time every day where you completely unplug. No mindless scrolling, no news, no overstimulation. Your eyes, and your mind, will thank you.

4. Take up a new hobby. We have seen people take up reading, running, drawing, macramé, journaling, yoga and dance. Trying something new challenges you in different ways and getting invested in something can really help to connect and reduce stress. Not sure what to try? See what your friends and team members are up to for inspiration – maybe you can start a zoom crochet or book club!

5. Stick to that routine. This is going to be such an important part of sustaining this new way of working. Getting the whole family into a groove that works is going to allow you to compartmentalize your day. Get up at the same time, get ready for the day, eat at proper times and schedule some “you time”. Whatever your routine is, try to stick to it!

The University remains committed to its people and we continue to value and foster the wellbeing of people. If you need support, the University’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) service, a confidential resource, is provided to assist faculty, staff and family members in their work and personal lives. Support services are available also by calling Homewood Health at 1-888-713-8623 (24 hours).