With mass remote working and a period of extreme change, it may not surprise you that nearly half of UK workers surveyed(49%) say that their mental health has declined since working from home (Qualtrics). At Lavish, we know that there is no quick fix for the current situation, and when a spa day, massage or treatment usually calmed you or gave you something to really look forward to at the weekend, we all need different tactics right now. We’ve created a range of ideas to pass on to an employee, a friend or to use yourself at this time.

1. Take a walk or work in your garden

When you exercise, it doesn’t have to mean squat thrusts. A simple walk in the fresh air can help your brain and body, and it will release endorphins that subdue anxiety, increase energy levels and improve mood it just takes around fifteen minutes to get the benefit. Add in some sunshine and you have Vitamin D to boot. If you can work outside safely and within guidelines – perhaps in a private garden area, try it. One study found that employees who work outdoors take 15% less sick days every year.

2. Take a Deep Breath

Surely this is obvious, but deep belly breathing can be so helpful to your mental state. Take a deep breath and try and feel your belly extend and push out. Hold for a few seconds, then gently exhale for longer than the in breath, as if trying to blow out a candle very gently.

Repeat this process 5-10 times and you send a message to your body that you can relax.

3. Use tech to help

Tech has been known as the antheses to calmness, but there are ways to get more from your iPhone than just the latest game or mindless scrolling. You can take up meditations on popular apps like Headspace and Inscape, watch a Ted talk, take a course on Udemy, you can make a checklist that stops your worrying by making tasks manageable, or you can message a friend or a colleague for advice or just a moan.

Research has found that having such interactions can release oxytocin, a hormone that decreases stress and helps form bonds between individuals.

4. Try a self massage

This advice from The Healthy sounded perfect for tired workers who are used to a neck massage!

Every hour, give your body some relief from hunching over your computer at work. Clasp your hands together behind your neck, and apply pressure to each side of your spinal cord with the bottom of your palms. Rub up and down slowly. Then press into the trapezius muscle along the left side of your neck just under the base of your skull using the fingers on your right hand. Tilt your head to the left, then rub in downward motions, working your way to your shoulder. Repeat three times, then switch sides. The front of your neck can also get tight while you work, so finish by stretching it out. Lay your head back to allow the top of your chair to press into your neck, just below the skull, and hold it there for 20 seconds.

However you cope during this time, it is essential to put yourself first and do whatever’s necessary in order to improve your mental health and your mood so you can give more back.

Feeling relaxed and ready to go back to work? Be sure to spread some of the best tips on how to de-stress at work with your co-workers in need!