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Laarni Canoy10/18/22 12:00 AM4 min read

WFH: Mental Health in the Remote Work Era

As we wrap up the third year of the pandemic, we can expect mental health to continue to be a top priority and important part of the public conversation.

Lately, we have seen Olympic athletes, celebrities, and other public figures come forward about their well-being to help reduce the stigma. Here at Enervee, we want to do our part in fostering  mental health conversations, growth, and understanding. We sat down with a few of our team members who are advocates for mental well being.

What does mental health mean to you?

Veronica, Legal Projects Manager

Veronica: Mental health is accepting where you are in your life at any given point in time. It is accepting that it’s ok to not always be ok and actively working on areas of opportunity. We don’t have to have it all together all the time and that is perfectly fine.

Jillian: I’ve learned through my own life and experiences that taking care of it is completely necessary and just as important as taking care of physical health. I’m neurodivergent, so I’ve had to discover what taking care of my mental health looks like for me personally and I’ve also experienced major depression in the past. I feel like my experiences have taught me not only to take care of myself, but have also taught me empathy and how to listen to others. 

Would you like to share your own experience?

Nearly 61% of adults have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lifetimes, according to the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) study. Around 1 in 6 adults endure four or more traumatic events during childhood, with women and people from minority communities facing a greater risk.

Jillian, Senior Software Engineer

Jillian: Because I have to learn to understand it better in order to learn how to care for myself. My mental health is something I've neglected in the past, and I learned the consequences of that first hand. I don't mind sharing my story, I try to talk about it regularly as a form of healing. I grew up in an environment that was not friendly to me, I had an abusive family. In addition to that I had to travel a very long road to self acceptance that involved a lot of self hatred along the way, and I had to teach myself how to love myself a little. I always felt like I was different growing up, and I didn't understand why.

Veronica: At the age of 20 I lost my first friend to suicide followed by my best friend a few years later. Six months after the loss of my best friend, my brother also took his own life.  Losing family and friends to suicide is unexplainable to the heart. You learn to live with the pain but never quite fill the void. The light these individuals radiated has never been replaced. If only they understood the world was a much better place with them in it than without. Each struggled with mental health issues and none reached out for help (like so many others). 

How do you take care of your mental health in a remote / work from home setting? 

Remote work is consistently touted as the best way for workers to feel mentally and physically well. But the reality is more complicated. One survey showed 81% of under-35s feared loneliness from long-term work from home, and studies have shown heightened levels of stress and anxiety among younger workers since the shift to remote work. 

Veronica: I try to set healthy boundaries for myself.  For example, I don’t check emails on the weekends, don’t respond to Slack messages after hours (unless it’s an emergency), don’t work on the weekends, and generally try to keep my work and personal life as separate as possible.  I also workout and get active outdoors quite a bit.

Jillian: I try to put the following best practices in play:

  1. I meditate or do yoga in the morning before I begin my workday. I treat it like a “must appear” meeting I have with myself
  2. I set timers to remind me to get up and walk around a little bit during the day
  3. I try to go outside for 30 minutes in the middle of the day to get some sunshine. Vitamin D deficiency can cause depression

Share your best practice for mental wellness

Jillian: Practicing mindfulness, helping other people when I can, and promoting an atmosphere of openness and being genuine and professional with others.

Veronica:  Talk about it. As a society, we need to normalize not being ok and talking about it. Mental health is an issue near to my heart because the inability to reach out  for support has resulted in numerous losses in my life. No one is ever truly alone and we need to start getting really comfortable with discussing the uncomfortable.

The results of APA’s 2022 Work and Well-being Survey reveal that 71% of workers believe their employer is more concerned about the mental health of employees now than in the past. This new focus is highly valued by employees, with 81% of individuals saying they will be looking for workplaces that support mental health when they seek future job opportunities.

If you are looking for a great opportunity to grow your career while maintaining your overall well-being, consider joining Enervee. Check out opportunities HERE

Read more on World Mental Health Day 2022 HERE