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From Burnout to Balance: Tips for Nurturing Mental Health While Working from Home

The COVID-19 pandemic forced many companies to switch to remote work, making working from home a popular trend. While flexibility is a significant advantage of working remotely, it can have adverse effects on mental health if not appropriately managed. Research by Buffer shows that 20% of remote workers struggle with loneliness, 18% dealing with communication challenges, and 17% with not being able to unplug from work.

As we continue to adapt to new ways of working, it’s crucial to take care of our mental health. This article discusses seven tips for nurturing mental health while working from home.

Set Boundaries

When working from home, it’s easy for work hours and personal time to blend, leading to exhaustion and burnout. Establishing clear boundaries between work and personal life is vital for nurturing mental health. It’s essential to define a fixed schedule and work in a designated workspace away from distractions. Use guidelines for personal time, such as family time, me-time, and socializing time.

Setting boundaries is a two-way street – your employer needs to respect your boundaries. Bosses must communicate clearly with employees about their expectations and ensure they respect their employees’ schedules.

Take Breaks and Move

Breaks are essential for recharging and avoiding burnout. In traditional office settings, people naturally take breaks to stretch their legs, take coffee breaks or have lunch. Similarly, it’s vital to take regular breaks when working from home, as it helps rejuvenate and refocus.

Taking breaks doesn’t necessarily mean disconnecting entirely from work. It can be as simple as getting away from your computer, taking a walk, or doing a quick workout. Moving frequently throughout the day can boost productivity, creativity, and improve mental health.

Strive for Connection

One of the downsides of working from home is isolation. When working alone for long periods, loneliness can set in, leading to depression and anxiety. Strive to connect with colleagues via online collaboration tools like Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams. Socializing virtually, even if it’s just a few minutes of chat per day, can help avoid feeling isolated.

Connect with friends and family, too, through social media, phone calls, or texting. Create strong connections to avoid feeling lonely, which can negatively impact your mental health.

Set up a Workspace

Creating a designated workspace for work can significantly impact your mental well-being. Choose a spot with plenty of lighting away from distractions like TV or noisy places. Make sure your workspace has enough space to keep you alert and focused.

Comfort is essential when setting up a workspace. Get a comfortable chair and desk to maintain good posture and avoid spine and back problems. Set up your workspace in a well-organized environment with picked items to improve your mood and productivity levels.

Maintain Structure

Structure helps create consistency and predictability that benefits mental wellness. Sticking to daily rituals, such as waking up and taking a shower at a certain time, scheduling coffee breaks and lunch, and logging off at a given time, can give you a sense of routine and reduce anxiety.

Maintaining a routine helps you better manage your time and workload, improve productivity, and work-life balance.

Prioritize Self-Care

Taking care of your mental and physical well-being is an integral part of working from home. Regular exercise, yoga, and meditation can improve mental and physical health. Exercise is essential in releasing stress, and practicing yoga and meditation can enhance mood, reduce anxiety, and improve focus.

Maintaining healthy eating habits is critical to physical and emotional satisfaction, and getting enough sleep is essential for mental health. Taking care of your mental health includes taking time for hobbies, interests, or passions that make you feel fulfilled and happy.

Build a Support System

Working from home can be overwhelming, but having a support system makes a significant difference. Talking with friends and family about how you feel can offer some perspective and support. Suppose you have no one to talk to, finding online communities or support groups related to your interests or job can also help.

When building a support system, it’s essential to create relationships that foster growth and offer positive support networks.

Focus on Nutrition

Nutrition is an essential factor that contributes to overall health, including mental health. Working from home often leads to an unhealthy sedentary lifestyle that involves irregular meal times and can cause elevated stress levels.

To maintain stable mental health, it’s advisable to introduce healthy, well-balanced diets. This includes drinking sufficient amounts of water, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Avoid meals that are processed or high in sugar, as they can lead to mood swings and lethargy.

Create a Daily Routine

One of the most vital factors that contribute to mental wellness while working from home is establishing a daily routine. Many people find it overwhelming to work and manage their households simultaneously, leading to burnout.

To achieve mental wellness, create a daily routine that aligns with work and life balance. Designate specific hours for work and household management, and schedule breaks for relaxation and leisure.

Take Time for Hobbies and Interests

Spending time on hobbies and interests is beneficial to mental health. Engaging in an activity you enjoy generates positive vibes and reduces stress levels.

To maintain mental wellness, identify your hobbies and interests and make time for them during your free time. For instance, you can dedicate time for gardening, painting, hiking, or any other activity that brings you joy.

Practice Gratitude and Positive Thinking

Practicing gratitude and positive thinking is an excellent way to improve mental wellness. Whenever you experience a negative thought, make an effort to replace it with a positive thought. Focusing on the good in your life boosts your mental health and helps you cope with challenges.

Conversely, practicing gratitude involves appreciating the small things in your life. It can be something as simple as having a warm meal or having a good laugh with friends. Practicing gratitude helps you shift your perspective to a more positive one, mitigating feelings of anxiety or depression.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness involves being fully present and engaged in the present moment. It’s one of the most effective ways to reduce anxiety, stress and improve mood.

To practice mindfulness, sit in a comfortable position and focus on your breathing. Observe the physical sensation of breathing, distracting thoughts, and feelings that may arise. Acknowledge these thoughts, let them go, and refocus on your breathing.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is essential for mental wellness while working from home. Regular exercise promotes mental and physical health, improves mood, and reduces stress and anxiety.

To achieve mental wellness, introduce regular exercise into your daily routine. It can be something as simple as taking a morning jog, taking a yoga class, or cycling. Follow guidelines from your country’s health department to remain active safely and effectively.

Take Time for Socialization

Maintaining social connections is essential for overall health and wellbeing. Social isolation is a leading cause of depression and anxiety, particularly among people working remotely.

To maintain mental wellness, dedicate time to socialize with friends and family via phone calls, video conferences, or self-distanced visits. Join virtual communities, attend socializing events or volunteer in social activities in your community.

Limit Screen Time

While technology has made it easier to interact with others remotely, excessive screen time can lead to mental health problems. Excessive use of electronic devices can lead to feelings of irritability, fatigue, and a lack of sleep, increasing the risk of depression and anxiety.

To promote mental health, limit screen time outside working hours, and take breaks from electronic devices during the day. Instead, opt for other activities such as reading, listening to music or taking a walk.

Seek Professional Help

If you experience persisting mental health symptoms, such as anxiety or depression, seek professional help. Professional help can provide the resources necessary to identify and manage psychological issues.

Psychologists or mental health counselors are professionals who specialize in treating mental health issues. Many employers offer mental health benefits to employees, such as virtual counseling sessions.

Practice Self-Compassion

It’s essential to practice self-compassion while working from home. Self-compassion involves treating oneself kindly and understanding one’s limitations.

To achieve mental wellness, avoid being too hard on yourself and take time to appreciate your efforts. Be accountable for your progress, set achievable goals and milestones, and forgive yourself for setbacks.


While working from home presents unique challenges to mental wellness, taking certain steps can mitigate these hurdles. They include setting clear boundaries, staying active, prioritizing self-care, creating a daily routine, practicing gratitude, and seeking help from professionals.

Maintaining robust physical health through exercising, managing stress levels, and getting enough sleep should be a top priority. For those experiencing stress or anxiety, find ways to cope, like finding a hobby, meditating, or engaging in self-care.

Remember to take the time to invest in activities that bring you joy and fulfillment. Ultimately, keep in mind that mental wellness is a journey and not a destination. Take steps towards your wellness every day, and the results will show with time.

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