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Avoiding depression while working remotely

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One of the biggest complaints of first-time remote workers is the lack of delineation between work time and personal time. The feeling of being on a hamster wheel.

There could be multiple causes for it. Underlying mental health conditions, or the person is an extrovert and now they have to cope with working from their home with little to no contact with the outside world — this can be tormenting for extroverts like myself.

But most of the times, the hamster-wheel feeling is caused by something way less important or impactful, that can be dealt with if you have a bit of discipline.

It's a matter of context. Of creating the right context for the type of activity you want to perform.

What's the first thing you need if you want to exercise? It's probably not the gym, or the gym membership... it's the gym clothes.

The cheapest advice I follow on a day-to-day basis, especially when I have to work from home and can't go to a coffeeshop or to my office, is to change into work clothes.

People live under the false impression that working from home means working in your pyjamas. It is possible, and you can do it if you feel like it, or if you had to — such as a meeting you have to attend immediately and don't have time to change.

Putting on work clothes puts you in a different mindset. You will be less prone to mix your chores with your work and thus, you'll be less exposed to the hamster-wheel effect. And it will also improve your focus, since your brain now knows, through multiple channels, that you are at work and have to get your tasks done.

So change into work clothes! It's the cheapest way to avoid depression. And don't forget to insert a short stretching routine, or some exercise such as doing 5 push-ups, or 10 squats, in-between work sessions.

Getting the blood flowing to other areas of your body besides your brain is essential fi you want to continue working like a normal person.

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