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Remote Work

The pandemic dramatically shifted the way individuals approach work and productivity. While many offices are returning to in-person or hybrid work, remote work is still very common and appears to be here to stay. If you find yourself working from home more often than you expected, it may be challenging to adjust to your new work environment. Below are some tools and strategies to ensure you maintain your productivity and mental health while working remotely.

Combating Burnout

As remote work has become more widespread, the rates of individuals experiencing burnout have spiked. Increased stress, zoom fatigue, and long hours can leave you feeling drained, unmotivated, and unfocused. Burnout is a challenging consequence of the pandemic but there are some tools you can use to combat it. Focusing on maintaining other elements of your health such as healthy nutrition and regular exercise can help you stay engaged and present throughout your workday. In addition, if you are feeling overwhelmed in your job, consider speaking with your supervisor about how the position may be adjusted for a remote work context.

Job Burnout: How to Spot it and Take Action from the Mayo Clinic.

Combatting Burnout in a Remote Workplace from GitLab

Combatting Burnout to Improve your Mental Health from Hinge Health

Maintaining a Work-Life Balance

When you work where you live it is easy to feel like you are constantly on the clock. Maintaining a regular schedule even when working from home can help to ensure you feel productive throughout the day. Consider finding a space in your home that can be an established “office space,” and only work in that location. Going through a morning routine can also help to shift your mind and body into “work mode.” It is also important to find time to wind down. Setting a strict end-time for your work and establishing clear boundaries for when you cannot be reached can help you maintain a remote work schedule long term. Everyone’s management of their work-life balance is different. Some people find it helpful to integrate work into leisure or social activities such as taking remote meetings outside or virtual/ in person work groups. Others benefit from strict boundaries between their work and outside life, and many fall somewhere in between. Consider trying some of the strategies below and figure out what works best for you.

Remote Work- Life Balance from Owl Labs

How to have a Good Work-Life Balance blog from Better Up

Managing your Work-Life Balance from Mayo Clinic

For Employers

For employees shifting to remote work long-term, it is important to recognize how this structure may impact their mental well-being. Being cognizant of the potential for burnout, increased mental health challenges, and life disruptions as the pandemic continues will help to foster a healthy workplace environment even outside the office. Ensuring employees are engaged with their work and know about the mental health resources that are available to them through your organization can help reduce employee turnover, increase productivity, and improve employee well-being.

What Employers Need to Know About Mental Health  from McLean Hospital

Employee Mental Health and Productivity from Silver Cloud Health

Engaging Remote Work Employees in their Health from the CDC

Virtual Wellness Room

Visit our Virtual Wellness Room for quick, stress relief strategies that can be incorporated into your daily routine, as well as project ideas and activities to do with friends and family.


Does what we eat impact our mood?

Simply put the answer is, YES! Your brain is “on” 24/7 and requires a constant supply of fuel and that fuel comes from the food we eat. Proper nutrition “feeds” our minds to improve cognitive functions and regulate emotions. It is common for mental health challenges to disrupt healthy eating patterns. Depression and anxiety symptoms can often lead to over or under eating. This can lead to tiredness, sluggishness, and a poor relationship with food. Maintaining proper nutrition and healthy eating habits in your daily life can limit the disruption of mental health challenges to your eating and can even help improve mental health. 

It may surprise you just how much our gut health influences our brain. However, a recent explosion of research on the Gut-Brain Axis has demonstrated just how interconnected our nutrition and mental health are. Many mood disorders have links to gastrointestinal problems, and many gastrointestinal diseases are accompanied by comorbid mental illnesses. Maintaining a healthy gut can contribute to the maintenance of a healthy mind. Foods rich in probiotics such as yogurt and sourdough bread can help regulate your gut microbiome. A balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins is also important for maintaining a healthy gut.

Nutrition and how it affects our mental health is especially important during childhood due in part to the rapid growth and brain development that occurs. Important nutrients such as folic acid, Vitamin B6, and choline are necessary for the synthesis of important neurotransmitters during development. In addition to improving mental well-being, establishing good nutrition habits will instill practices that will be beneficial well into adulthood.

Staying hydrated and maintaining healthy eating habits are important for our health and development, but it isn’t always easy. Life gets busy and with the ever-growing convenience of fast food it can be challenging to make time for healthy eating. Meal prepping at the beginning of the week can help ensure you have access to healthy meals during busier times midweek. Prepping breakfast the night before is a particularly valuable tool to make sure you are getting three meals a day even with busy mornings. Beyond this, carrying a water bottle and having a goal for how much water you want to drink each day (typically at least half an ounce for each pound you weigh), can help ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day. For more ideas on how to eat healthy on a busy schedule check out this article from Self

Resources for Everyone

Resources for Children


How does exercise impact our mood?

We know exercise is important for strong bones, muscles and to reduce health risks, but exercise can also help improve our mental health. Exercise can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve mood, and boost self esteem. Exercise can also improve sleep quality, sharpen cognition, and increase energy. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which trigger feelings of happiness and reduce feelings of pain. Exercise also leads to the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine which impact mood and improve one’s ability to self-regulate their emotions. 

Yoga and aerobic exercise such as jogging or biking are particularly beneficial to mental health. The meditative breathing practices of yoga are valuable tools for mindfulness and stress reduction. Aerobic exercise that increases your heart rate has also been shown to reduce stress and has led to significant reductions in anxiety and depression symptoms. Regardless of the type, exercise has been shown to improve mental health and enhance cognitive functioning. Exercise can even strengthen connections between different parts of the brain and increase the size and performance of important brain regions such as the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory consolidation. 

Many people spend the majority of their time sitting at a desk. Because so much of our time is spent in sedation, it is especially important to get moving when possible. Scheduling short workouts into your daily routine can help boost your mood and energy. Even just 30 minutes a day can improve your mental and physical health. Among children, exercise can combat depression and behavioral disorders. Staying physically active can help children have a more positive outlook; manage stress, anxiety and depression; as well as increase self esteem and cognitive skills. While any amount of exercise is helpful, it is recommended children get 60 minutes of exercise a day to fuel their physical and mental healthYou can learn more about the positive impacts of exercise on mental well being by reading Healthline’s article Exercise Benefits Children Physically & Mentally.

Resources for Children

Resources for Everyone

Visit our Get Moving page in our Virtual Wellness Room for additional suggestions.


Anger is an emotional state that can vary in intensity from generic irritation to intense rage.We often think of anger as negative or to be avoided.  But anger, like any emotion, exists to tell us more about our needs, wants and beliefs.  For example, if someone posts something hurtful about a friend on social media, we might feel anger because someone we love and care about is being attacked. In short, we experience anger when we perceive threats – either personally or to those we want to protect. 

While anger can be beneficial, the feeling can often be overwhelming, impeding one’s ability to think rationally. Those in an angry state may experience changes in heart rate and blood pressure and other physical symptoms. These physiological changes can lead to maladaptive responses to anger such as outbursts, aggression, and violence. Learning to manage and control anger can improve your own happiness and your relationship with others. If you find yourself overwhelmed by your anger, consider taking a few deep breaths and recognizing why you may be feeling this way. Naming your feelings is a valuable tool for moving emotions from a high intensity emotional space to a more cognitive space. This allows us to calm the physiological reaction to anger and navigate our anger in a more relaxed way.

If you find yourself becoming angry frequently or not being able to control your anger, consider some strategies to manage your anger. Recognizing warning signs or triggers of anger can help you quell the intensity of the emotion. Healthy lifestyle habits such as eating well and exercising frequently can also ease the intensity of anger. 

In the workplace, the open expression of anger can lead others to feel minimized or even unsafe. Work can often be a stressful environment which can heighten the frequency and intensity of feelings of anger. Anger can also cloud judgment and impair one’s ability to see things from a different perspective. It is important to recognize how your behavior in response to feelings of anger may be affecting others, however anger in response to unfairness or disrespect in the workplace is a normal and valid emotion. Thus, understanding what is leading to this anger can help identify if a greater issue needs to be addressed. 

Memories of traumatic or harmful events can also trigger anger, so it is important to practice self awareness and to identify warning signs which can signal that it may be time to use a coping skill or ask for additional support or intervention. Individuals with prolonged or intense anger may experience negative impacts on their physical, emotional, psychological and social health and well-being.

How do I respond to anger?

  • Remember that anger is a normal experience
  • Identify the root of the anger. In some cases anger may be due to underlying fear or anxiety about a certain event of life circumstance.
  • Express the anger in a healthy way – journaling, talking it out, ripping up a scrap of paper, squeezing a stress ball.
  • Take a break if needed to practice relaxation strategies- bring the mind and body together to help calm and focus.

If you are helping someone else process their anger, remind them of these tools but also remember to set healthy boundaries for yourself. Try phrases like…

  • I can tell you are frustrated, would you like to take some grounding breaths together?
  • You seem upset today and I am wondering what I can do to help you. I am here to listen when you are ready. 
  • I understand that you would be angry over that. How can I support you?
  • I can tell you are upset, but when you speak to me that way I feel hurt.

Resources for Managing Anger

Controlling anger before it controls you from the American Psychological Association

Zero to 60: A teens guide to manage frustration, anger and everyday irritations by Michael A. Tompkins

Managing Workplace Anger from the Harvard Business Review

Tips for Survivors: Coping with Anger from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. .