Are you working from home for the first time? More and more jobs have moved to an entirely remote workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic, so many workers are reaping the benefits of work-from-home jobs.
While working from home is great for establishing a work/life balance, it also comes with downsides. Some people find that working from home can trigger anxiety or depression.
We’re here to talk about some of the most common red flags that remote workers notice when it comes to their mental health. Read on to learn more.
Withdrawing From Friends and Family
One of the first red flags that you can notice when you’re working from home is the urge to withdraw from social interaction.
It’s normal to feel a bit antisocial when you’re doing a work-from-home job. After all, you have to adjust to no longer interacting with customers or coworkers face-to-face.
If you’re feeling mentally well, it’s easy to combat this feeling by socializing. You’ll make an effort to get out into the world and meet up with friends and family members. You may even push yourself to work at co-working spaces or cafes.
If you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, however, it isn’t that easy. It’s likely that you won’t bother to make that extra effort to socialize. This will lead you into complete isolation, especially if you live alone (which will further perpetuate anxiety and depression).
Skipping Sick Days
When you don’t feel well on a day that you’re supposed to be working, what do you do?
If you work in an in-person setting, you’ll likely try to call out, right? This is what sick days are for. As long as you have a reasonable employer, you’re able to stay at home to recover so you don’t get anyone else sick.
But what if you’re a remote worker? Why bother taking sick days if you’re already at home? This mentality is harmful.
If you find yourself skipping sick days, it could be a sign of depression and anxiety. You might be using work to escape from outside stressors, even though you don’t feel well enough to continue.
It also shows that you have an unhealthy attachment to productivity. “Hustle culture” promotes overworking even while people are sick. This productivity attachment is a sign of anxiety.
Not Setting Boundaries for Yourself
Speaking of not overworking yourself and avoiding toxic productivity, if you’re not setting boundaries, it’s a sign that you’re on your way to depression and anxiety due to remote work.
What do boundaries look like when it comes to work?
You need to establish a strong work/life balance. IIn a physical workplace, it’s far easier to finish your workday as soon as you walk out the door. When you’re a remote worker, however, you never walk out the door.
You need to figure out how to turn off “work mode” in your brain or you’ll find yourself feeling anxious when you aren’t working. Work becomes too ingrained into your “normal” life.
You may find yourself answering emails from bed, constantly checking your work platform outside of your work hours, or forgoing activities that you enjoy in favor of doing more work even when you don’t have to.
One of the hardest things about working from home is separating “work life” and “home life.” It’s crucial for your mental health to establish this balance.
Feeling “Burnt Out” After Work Is Over
It’s normal to need to sit back and relax after a long day “at work,” but if you’re routinely finding yourself burnt out after your workday is done, it might be a sign of depression.
After work, what do you do? Are you able to engage in other hobbies or activities, or do you find yourself laying down and staring into space until it’s time for you to take care of responsibilities?
Do you lay on the couch and scroll through social media while time passes?
If this sounds familiar, you might be overloading yourself with work even though you’re working from home. You never truly “relax” when the day is over. Instead, you shut down.
See what happens if you try to force yourself to do something else after work. Even if it’s as simple as taking a walk or reading a book, it can make a difference. If you find yourself unable to do anything, it might be time to seek help from a mental health professional.
Poor Emotional Regulation
Emotional dysregulation is a common red flag of anxiety and depression regardless of whether or not you’re currently working from home.
Again, it’s normal to feel worn out after a day of work. If that exhaustion is causing you to lash out or feel irritable, however, it’s a sign that there’s an underlying problem.
It means that you’re letting work influence your “normal life” too much.
Sleep disruption is a huge red flag for anxiety and depression when you’re working from home.
When you associate work with home, you may find it hard to relax when you’re supposed to be sleeping. This is especially true if you don’t have a designated workspace and instead have to work from your bedroom (or worse, your bed).
This makes it impossible to shut off “work mode” when you’re trying to sleep.
The constant anxiety around receiving emails or answering notifications can also get in the way of your sleep. If you choose to respond to the emails and notifications, you’ll keep yourself awake with the blue light from your devices.
Poor sleep can cause anxiety and depression, so this problem feeds into itself.
Work-From-Home Jobs: Is Your Triggering Anxiety and Depression?
Remote work is a dream for many people, but work-from-home jobs come with their own downsides. If you’ve noticed any of these red flags, it might be time to take a step back and reassess your situation.
You can improve your mental health while working from home, and you don’t have to do it alone. At Apex Recovery in San Diego, our mental health professionals want to help you get your life back on track. Contact us today to start your healing process.