Manage Anxiety Working From Home

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What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal emotion that everyone experiences from time to time, that is typically accompanied by worried thoughts. However, for some people, anxiety can become overwhelming, leading to physical symptoms such as sweating, dizziness, and difficulty sleeping. These feelings can feel difficult to manage on their own without professional help.   

At its most basic level, anxiety is the body’s response to stress. When a person perceives danger or feels out of control, the body responds by releasing stress hormones hormones including cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream. This triggers certain physical and psychological reactions including increased heart rate, restlessness, difficulty concentrating and muscle tension.

Workplace Anxiety

Anxiety can present differently depending on the situation and individual. Commonly reported signs include racing thoughts, intense worry or fear of something bad happening; avoidance behaviors; panic attacks; difficulty breathing; intrusive memories or flashbacks of traumatic events; sleep disturbances; agitation; irritability; nausea or vomiting; chest pain; trembling; and headaches.   

When anxiety affects daily functioning, it can be considered an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders are disabling and can impact every area of a person’s life. They require professional help through talk therapy or medications (or both) to be effectively managed.   

Anxiety can feel particularly difficult to manage when working from home due to the lack of requirement to leave the house. Reduced social interaction coupled with increased pressure on productivity levels and being more accessible than ever before due to technology, can exacerbate this. It is important for employers to recognise this potential issue among their staff and implement strategies for supporting employees with anxiety working from home.   

Isolation and Anxiety

Isolation can have a huge impact on mental health, and anxiety can often increase in people who are isolated. 

Isolation has a direct impact on our brains, as it eliminates social cues that we use to interact with others. This reduces our brain’s ability to evaluate situations which can lead to an increase in feelings of stress and anxiety. Studies have found that spending too much time alone can cause physical changes in the brain; such as reductions in grey matter density, which are associated with experiencing depression and anxiety. Isolation has also been linked with cognitive impairments including reduced cognitive flexibility, difficulty concentrating and making decisions more slowly.   

To manage emotions such as anxiety when working from home, it is important to keep regular contact with your colleagues or friends. This could be through online video conferencing tools like Zoom or Skype or even just social media messaging. Working online via webcam at the same time can also increase the sense of being in company.  Additionally, structure and routine during the work day grounds you to the present moment, rather than worrying about what might happen.   

Finally, make sure you take regular breaks throughout the day so that you’re not overwhelmed by long periods of isolated work time. Taking walks outside or doing any kind of light exercise during these breaks can be particularly helpful in managing symptoms of anxiousness while isolating at home.   

Overall, remember that feeling anxious working from home is normal but it doesn’t need to be overwhelming if you take steps towards managing your emotions effectively such as maintaining contact with friends/colleagues, having structure during your day and taking regular breaks for yourself.  

The Importance of Routine and Structure for Anxiety

Routine is an important contributor to good mental health, providing stability and predictability in our lives that help us to feel secure. When our schedule is erratic or disorganised, it can lead to feelings of chaos and confusion which feed into our overall anxiety levels. Conversely, when we stick to a routine on a daily basis, it allows us to take back control over our environment and proactively work towards managing our anxiety levels.   

Structuring your day should be tailored specifically to you so that it fits within your individual needs – think about what activities you enjoy or find calming, how much time you have available for working each day, your energy levels and any other commitments in your life. Consider what works best for you – maybe structure breaks at regular intervals throughout the day or plan specific activities such as exercise or reading during these times.   

It might also be beneficial to set yourself achievable goals each day – something small that you know you can do, this will give you a sense of accomplishment when it’s done and provide motivation as well as helping with productivity. Rewarding yourself after completing tasks may also help keep up your motivation levels throughout the day.   

Establishing certain rituals or habits that become part of your routine may also be useful – this could include stretching exercises before starting work, rolling out routines tasks at the same time each day (e.g., answering emails) or even making sure you make time for socialising with friends or family (even if just virtually). Even something as small as having breakfast at the same time each morning can help create consistency within your day-to-day life which can ultimately help keep anxiety manageable whilst working from home. 

Gaining Work-Life Separation Working from Home

Working from home comes with certain advantages such as flexibility and a more comfortable environment, however it can also lead to feelings of anxiety and difficulty managing work-life balance. To prevent feeling overwhelmed and stressed, it is important to create boundaries between your professional and personal responsibilities. Gaining work-life separation while working from home can be tricky but there are a few practices that you can implement to make the process easier.   

To begin, it’s important to establish a routine, one that includes both work tasks and leisure activities. This will help distinguish when you are “at work” and when you are not so that you don’t feel guilty about taking breaks or doing something other than work-related tasks during your day.   

It is also important to set aside some form of physical space for yourself at home which is dedicated solely to work. This could be in the form of an office or desk area where all of your equipment is stored and where you go to get into “work mode”. This designated space should be kept separate from personal items to maintain a distinction between professional life and personal life. It can also be beneficial to dress up in professional attire while within this space; this may help further convince your mind that you are actually “at work” rather than just sitting at home on the sofa!   

Finally, it is important to take care of yourself by engaging in self-care activities daily such as going for walks, stretching exercises, or reading books during breaks. Increasing activities outside of work will help to prevent work from feeling all-encompassing, particularly when you are working from home.   

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Connecting with Colleagues when Working from Home

Connecting with colleagues is important for mental health and wellbeing, as it helps to build relationships, provides support and reduces isolation.   

There are many tools and strategies available to help you stay connected to your coworkers while working from home. Here are some tips on how to maintain relationships while working remotely:  

  1. Use Video Chatting Technology – Video chatting technology like Zoom, Skype, Facetime or Google Hangouts allows you to stay connected with your team face-to-face. This can help you break up the monotony of remote work, establish rapport between team members and create a sense of community. Video conferences are also great for collaborative projects such as brainstorming sessions or team meetings.  
  2. Schedule Regular Check-Ins – Making time for regular check-ins with your colleagues is important when working away from the office. Scheduling these check-ins ensures that everyone stays on the same page and has an opportunity to discuss their tasks and progress with one another. Even if these virtual meetups are brief they can have a big impact on morale.  
  3. Promote Open Communication – Encouraging open communication among colleagues is key when working from home. Creating channels for peer support such as a private chat room or virtual suggestion box will allow everyone’s voice to be heard in a safe space free of judgement or criticism.  
  4. Make Time For Socialisation – It’s important that teams make time for socialisation outside of work tasks when working remotely so that teams don’t become too task-focused or lose sight of each other as people in the process of getting things done. Setting aside some time for casual conversations about hobbies or interests during video calls can go a long way towards building relationships.  

Physical Activity for Anxiety

Physical activity is a great way of managing anxiety when working from home. Regular exercise can help reduce both mental and physical fatigue, improve concentration, and increase self-esteem and mood. It can also help to reduce stress levels and encourage more restful sleep.  

The goal should be to find an activity that you enjoy as much as possible. That could be something as simple as going for a walk around the neighbourhood or joining a local fitness class or running club. Exercise can also be incorporated into your daily routine by taking regular breaks throughout the day to stretch or do some light exercises.   

Yoga is an excellent form of exercise for reducing anxiety levels. Incorporating breathing techniques with physical postures can help calm the mind and release stress from the body, which in turn reduces feelings of panic and anxiety. If you’re not sure where to start, there are plenty of online tutorials available that will guide you through each step until you become more confident in your practice.   

Tai Chi is another popular form of exercise for reducing anxiety at home. This art combines slow, controlled movements with breath work and meditation techniques. It helps promote relaxation while still providing physical benefits such as improved balance, coordination, posture, and strength.   

It’s important to remember that consistency is key when it comes to exercising regularly to manage your anxiety at home – so try to make it part of your daily routine if possible! With this in mind, don’t be afraid to experiment with different forms of exercise until you find what works best for you – even if it means breaking up longer workouts into smaller chunks throughout the day or even doing shorter sessions multiple times per week!  

Sunlight for Mental Health and Wellbeing

Staying at home can be a blessing for some, but for others it can cause feelings of anxiety and depression. It is important to be proactive in looking after your mental health and wellbeing. One of the best and easiest ways to do this is with exposure to natural light and sunshine.   

Sunlight has been scientifically proven to positively impact mental health and emotional wellbeing. When exposed to natural sunlight, our bodies produce Vitamin D, which is an essential nutrient for maintaining mood balance. Sunlight also stimulates the production of serotonin – a key hormone involved in regulating our moods – which helps us fight against feelings of sadness or low energy.   

In addition, natural light helps regulate our body’s circadian rhythm, which affects alertness during the day and sleep patterns at night – both vital components of healthy mental health. For those who work from home, it’s important to remember that even if you can’t go outside regularly due to circumstances such as bad weather, simply opening your curtains or blinds during the day can make a world of difference in terms of improving your mental state over time.   

Finally, being exposed to sunlight has been linked to improved focus and concentration levels – both critical components of productive working from home environments. Taking regular breaks throughout the day specifically focused on getting out in the sun for 10-15 minutes can help reset focus levels when feeling overwhelmed or stressed out by work tasks. Getting outside doesn’t just benefit your physical health either; it promotes creative problem solving abilities by stimulating different parts of your brain associated with creative thinking.   

Whilst working from home can lead to or exacerbate anxiety, with small changes such as those outlined above, you can positively impact your mental health and wellbeing.   

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