Things That Matter

Working From Home Can Impact Your Mental Health, Here’s How To Stay Sane And Healthy

A recent survey shows that thirty-five percent of workers who telecommute said their mental health had deteriorated as a result of doing so amid the coronavirus lockdown. As someone who has gone from working in a social, fun-filled, compassionate office space, I can consider myself part of that 35%.

Although working from home (for those privileged enough to do so) is a necessity for our safety and that of the community – it definitely presents some unique challenges.

Yes, the benefits are many: avoiding transit problems and the stress of commuting; sidestepping office politics; adopting a flexible schedule that allows for chores and errands to be incorporated into the work day; more time with family and pets; and a break on keeping up a business wardrobe and other appearance-related expenses.

But there’s a dark side. It’s an arrangement that fosters isolation and disconnection, two conditions that feed the greedy depression monster.

Here are some excellent tips for taking care of your mental health during these unprecedented times.

Break up your workday

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Some common challenges when working from home during the pandemic is the lack of stimulation and connection to people you used to see regularly. This can become a bit confusing, so it’s great to try to break up the schedule.

One of the best tips for working from home that I’ve discovered is breaking up the work day with movement. This can be a quick burst of movement (like jumping jacks, or lifting kettle bells) or some lower impact movement like a walk. I’m also a huge fan of taking a mid-afternoon break (longer than your typical 30-minute lunch break) to go on a long walk or run errands.

Get a routine and stick to it

Routine is essential, and it’s even more important when structure is missing.

Sticking to a routine does not mean that you have to abide by the old standard 9-5 office hours, and only take downtime in the evening. It simply means that you have a system for waking up on time, getting ready, feeling confident and getting your work done in a timely manner. 

When you do this regularly enough, it will feel more natural over time, and you won’t have to think about it so much. For me, this has meant taking my dogs out on a walk to get a coffee in the morning and then coming home and getting to work – it’s like creating my own little commute.

Stay connected

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Remember to keep up with friends and family, even if that can only be done through a Zoom or FaceTime call. Text someone you care about, and when restrictions are lifted in your area, try to make plans as regularly as you feel comfortable.

Connection is key, and it can be challenging when you don’t leave your home for long stretches of time.

It’s also helpful to join platforms of people doing similar work as you and interacting with them throughout the day. Or you can join an online book club or participate in volunteer work – having this sort of obligation will go a long way in helping you show up when you don’t feel great.

Incorporate wellness activities into your day

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One of the biggest perks of working from home is that you get to do things you might not be able to if you’re in an office all day.

I’ve been doing 20 minute walks around my neighborhood while listening to music. This moves the energy in the body and allow us to to have a shift in consciousness, which is so important when you’ve been isolated in front of a computer screen.

Another way to experience new energy in the body is to pause from work, find a comfortable place to sit, and then do deep belly breaths. This involves taking one deep breath in, and then focus on the exhale. You’ll notice your shoulders will relax, and your body will feel lighter.

Learn how to detach

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It’s so important when working from home that you keep your work and personal lives and actual physical areas totally separate. For many, it may not be possible to create an actual separate office space but you can create workspaces outside of your most “lived in” spaces. That’s what matters most.

There is a risk that working hours will get longer if the boundaries between work and personal life become blurred. It is necessary to establish a rigid system in which work can be carried out in a planned manner, such as by setting working hours and the timing of contact with supervisors.

No matter what you do, remember that working from home is yet another “new normal” to get used to — and the sooner you adapt to what makes you most productive, healthy, and mentally well, the better.

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Gloria Estefan Reveals She Contemplated Suicide In Her Teens In Episode of ‘Red Table Talk: The Estefans’

Things That Matter

Gloria Estefan Reveals She Contemplated Suicide In Her Teens In Episode of ‘Red Table Talk: The Estefans’

Photo: Lars Niki/Getty Images

In an emotional “Red Table Talk: The Estefans” episode, Gloria Estefan opened up about a particularly dark time in her life.

In the special episode dedicated to mental health, Estefan revealed to her daughter, Emily and her niece, Lili, that she once contemplated suicide as a teenager.

“I’ve always felt very good in my own skin, except when I was fifteen, and my dad had already spent a year at home and I was taking care of him. And he was heading downhill fast,” she explained on RTT.

Photo: Red Table Talk: The Estefans/ Facebook Watch

Estefan went on to describe how her mental health crisis was largely due to her father’s declining emotional state and physical health after he returned from fighting in the Vietnam War.

“Even though my father survived the Vietnam War, he still became a casualty of combat,” she said. “His exposure to ‘Agent Orange’–a poison used for warfare–resulted in his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.”

According to Estefan, being a teenaged girl having to take care of her sick father took a deep emotional toll on her.

“He lost his ability to speak, he couldn’t walk, he would stand up to try to go to the bathroom and he would fall and he would soil himself,” she said. “I would have to bathe him. He would be crying, embarrassed. And trying to make me feel better. That’s what would kill me.”

She also explained that she didn’t want to burden her loved ones with her painful feelings. “I didn’t want to tell my mother that I was starting to feel cracks in my armor. I didn’t want to tell my grandmother because I didn’t want to worry her,” she said.

Estefan was visibly emotional as she told her daughter and niece that she even had specific fantasies about taking her own life–which is one of the major warning signs of a suicidal person.

“I knew where [my father’s] gun was and I started having desperation thoughts,” she said. “I remember going to the place thinking, okay the gun is there, but what if instead I hang myself because that might be bloody? I had even picked out the tree that I might do it on.” Her daughter Lili looked distressed as Estefan recounted this painful time in her life.

Estefan says what “got her through” her suicidal episode was “thinking of other people that she loved” and how they would react to living without her. “I took myself through the whole process [of what would happen afterward],” she said. “I think it helped, for me, to imagine what life was going to be like forever for the people that I loved.”

After she got through this dark emotional period, Estefan said she got her life back by “focusing on school” and eventually meeting her husband, Emilio, which also helped bring her out of her depression.

The powerful episode aired on Wednesday and includes special guests Karla Souza and Lele Pons who also talk about their mental health battles. You can watch it on Facebook Watch here.

If you or someone you love is depressed or contemplating suicide, please don’t hesitate to call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) at any time for support.

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Women Are Opening Up On How To Address Postpartum Depression During The Lockdown

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Women Are Opening Up On How To Address Postpartum Depression During The Lockdown

ABC

At some time or another everyone struggles with their mental health. These days, with the world in lockdown and so many of our human interactions limited, things can feel at best bleak and at worst a complete nightmare. This truth can be doubly true for women who are in the throes of a postpartum.

New mothers are facing a different type of difficulty when it comes to the after-effects of giving birth. Postpartum or postnatal depression affects one out of every 10 new mothers. According to the PANDAS (Pre and Post-Natal Depression Advice and Support organization, during the first week of the pandemic, there was a 75% increase in calls to its helpline, underlining the fact that new mothers need support more than ever.

We asked women for advice on how to cope with Postnatal depression and found some enlightening answers. Check them out below!

“We must be more open to being supportive instead of telling us things like “querías niños no??”. ” This is what u signed up for”. I never received the support from family and when shit finally hit the fan I was judged for my extreme actions. My attempts and self harm were seen as attention seeking.” –flor___venenosa

“This is so cultural. I am so sorry you went through this. It’s no wonder we don’t seek help, we are ridiculed for it.”- mrs_tori_rose@flor___venenosa 

“I think I had PPD when I talked to my mom about it she brushed it off and til this when she brings it up in front of others saying, “I thought she didn’t love her daughter. She kept crying and saying how hard it was. It’s not hard I really thought you didn’t want your daughter.” It is so hurtful every time she makes those comments and really makes me angry. Because it’s not that I didn’t love my baby I was having a hard time adjusting to motherhood. I need to figure out a way to tell to stop saying or making those comments because they aren’t helpful. For me it lasted for about a year. It got better as time went on. I was scared to talk to my doctor about it and was never on medication or anything.” –poncigue

“Did you know even when women finally speak up and say I THINK I HAVE POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION THAT THERES IS NO REAL HELP? You can google all you want and call all the hotlines you want but if you don’t have insurance- you are getting much help.” –90dayfrump

“I did after my daughter was born. I couldn’t figure out why I was so angry & sad when it should’ve been one of the happiest times in my life. This lasted for about a year & half for me.” –dee_mahree

“It would have been so helpful to have known this. My first year of motherhood was so challenging; I had no idea how depressed I was until I went to therapy.” –gg_luv

“I had PPD after my three pregnancies. During the third one I also had perinatal depression which is even less talked about. Like a lot of mental health issues I think it’s hard for people to understand especially when you are expected to be happy all the time because you have a bebé.” –piraguadeframbuesa

“I can believe this because I had postpartum depression with my first pregnancy for 9 months.” –mjtobeone

“Generational healing together.” –cynthiarey_jefa

“More post like this please!”- stephreyesfig

“I was just talking about this last night on how I didn’t get any help from anyone around me I still had to do everything! And I would forget to eat! To feed my new born baby I was detached and I would scream and I hit my 3yr old and still crying right now because my family still tries to throw it in my face that I was a bad mom! I said with people like you around me yes now I regret not leaving when I could I probably would of been better off for my kids and especially for my self I hardly smile now, I’m bitter, I try to make things better but I can’t take back what I did.” –ambelly11212

“I think I had both.” –claudia_renee@rrsls10 

“do you follow this page? If not, you should.. and get yourself highlighted here!” –nicleff@lescarbajalxo 

“*nuestro poder*” – florycantoacademy@fiercebymitu

“I ‘m still surprise on how I made so much profit after seeing many people complains of being scammed this is just amazing am still shocked thanks.” –investor_with_johnw22

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