Over the past one year we have had to significantly and abruptly change many aspects our lives. The most pertinent for most of us has been to work or study from home. Almost one year later there is mixed reactions over the benefits of this arrangement. For some they would love for this to be adopted as the new normal, but for many people this has understandably had many negative effects.
Take for instance JANE, a 36-year-old married woman, who has 3 school going children and is working from home. In Kenya, up until the beginning of this year, schooling was being done online. This means that Jane had to monitor and assist all her children in navigating online schooling. With the pay cuts and hard economic times, she had to let go of the house help and therefore had to carry out the house chores herself. Furthermore, her husband, who works at a hospital could not routinely come home to prevent possible COVID-19 transmission. Jane has had to solely manage all these all while still being expected to deliver the same quality of work at her job. Bob on the other hand is a young bachelor living in a single room and working from home. Although he has fewer competing responsibilities, he has been feeling greatly isolated and lonely. The lack of change of environment and human interaction is affecting him negatively.
From just these two scenarios, many mental health issues that have come up as a result of working from home are highlighted. These include loneliness, feelings of isolation, anxiety, stress and pressure just to mention a few. All these if not rightly managed can lead to depression and other mental health conditions.
Arguably, the main causative factor of the mental health challenges being experienced during this time is reduced human interaction. Being able to simply say “Hi“, listen to a joke from a colleague in the middle of working or just give a colleague a hug when they are feeling low, are some of the things we took for granted before and only now are we realizing how important they are. Furthermore, having liberty to plan ourselves and our time well is proving hectic for many especially with the many distractions that are at home. These leaves us with having to work last minute to beat deadlines. Having a routine is crucial to many peoples productivity levels: to wake up early, shower, dress, have breakfast and leave just in time to beat traffic provides us with structure. With working from home, the structure is completely lost which has an immense negative effect on some people’s enthusiasm. For some, lack of office equipment or reliable internet connectivity and security concerns puts additional pressure on them.
YOU CAN STILL BE CONNECTED…
Although we seek to follow government regulations, including social distancing, we should still check on our loved ones virtually or over the phone. Some of the signs to look out for include lack of enthusiasm, irritability, reducing productivity and alcohol and drug abuse. Interventions that may help alleviate these include maintaining a normal daily schedule, creating boundaries around work, and taking breaks away from the screen or if possible, the house. Whenever possible some work should be delegated or even refused for the sake of protecting our mental health. If all these offer no relief then it is probably time to see a mental health specialist. Many people struggle to find a specialist in this field let alone an affordable one. Our minds are our greatest resource and thus at Ponea we are able to connect you with highly qualified specialists to guard this precious gift. We have curated a psychologist package that will enable you engage deeply with a specialist to help you effectively navigate these challenges. As we are cognizant of the busy lives we live we will take care of the whole process of booking and an option of teleconsultation is even available. For those looking to break the monotony of your house a physical visit is highly recommended and available.
Get in touch with us at +254111013900 and make your booking today.