MHAW: Loneliness at Work

Published: 13 May 2022 to 31 December 2098

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week’s 2022 theme of ‘loneliness’, we wanted to address experiencing loneliness at work and how you may be able to overcome it long term.

As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, more people than ever are now working with flexible working contracts. Spending more time working from home and new locations that may impact an individual’s mental wellbeing.

Pay attention to your routine

Take a moment to reflect on what your ‘normal day at the office’ looks like. If you find you’re not taking adequate breaks, not speaking to anyone for a chat, or even popping to the bathroom enough, it’s time to implement ways to help you change this.

Find ways of implementing new activities into your routine that help you get into and out of ‘work mode’. Whether that’s booking a 5:30pm gym class to ensure you log off on time, or walking the dog each morning before you start, it’s important to ensure you’re protecting your wellbeing by not going over your hours frequently.

Engage in activities that help you wind down and switch off. Mindfulness activities such as breathing exercises and meditation can be really helpful here.

Connection is key

Everyone needs connection in their life to feel mentally well. Ensure you’re raising any issues to your manager where appropriate as they will be able to help you find solutions.

If you feel disconnected from your teammates, bring this up and discuss how you can implement more frequent team meeting video calls, for example. And when it’s safe to do so, arrange face-to-face days to re-establish that team connection.

Working at home with children

Days working at home when you have children around can be tough. Some days will be better than others, some of the routines shared by other people might work for you, they might not. Don’t be hard on yourself and focus on finding what works best for you.

Our colleague, Jen Roberts, suggests finding something that brings you joy that you can implement into your daily routine. For her, she found that planning dinner together and ensuring a positive family meal was shared at the end of the day really helped her to unwind after balancing so many things during the day.

Take each hour as it comes and most importantly, it’s important to remember that you’re doing a great job.

To learn more about how to ensure working from home is working for you, read NHS Better Health’s Top Tips to Tackle Working from Home.

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