Working from home has been a huge part of my life while battling my mental illness. It seems like a dream job on the surface, but there are many challenges that come with it. A huge part of obtaining success in it is support from friends and family.
Here are some ways you can support a loved one who is struggling
Honor Their Work Hours
One of the ways many try to be successful is setting work hours. However, one of the problems with this is people feel since they are working from home, they are always available. Calling them for favors, trying to schedule things during these hours and other disruptions are going to do more harm than good.
If they don’t have set work hours, and you call and ask what they are doing, please be respectful when they say they have to get work done.
Treat It Like a Real Job
Remember that non-traditional jobs are still jobs. They need to get their work done to get paid, just like you do. Sometimes reminding and encouraging them to get their work done before anything else can make a huge difference.
Don’t tell them they need to get another job. This is a real job to them where they are trying to be successful. It’s important to treat it like it’s any other jobs.
Respect the Shifts
Some people work during the day. Others work at night. This is part of being able to make your own schedule. But this can also mean they sleep during the day because of staying up late.
Treating this situation like any other night shift job is extremely important. If a person worked nights in a hospital, you would let them sleep. Do the same for someone who works from home.
Offer to Relieve Distractions
One of the biggest challenges of working from home is separating work and home. Those who work at home are often expected to keep up with household chores. If you live with the person, it can be helpful to offer to take care of them–even for a day.
This helps them focus and limits distractions.
Listen to Them
In the end, it’s about listening. Recognize when they are frustrated. Sometimes they may need a day off, and that is also important. Sometimes they just need a little encouragement or someone to talk to.
If they struggle with anxiety, it may make them extremely anxious just trying to get things done. Just listen to what they need for support, and, in the end, just love them.
Jessica is a writer, artist and visionary. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Southern Illinois University and runs an entertainment publication called The Southern Skyscraper. She is author of I Am Driven Crazy, an anthology of poetry that takes you through her personal experiences dealing with love, loss and mental illness. She enjoys a good cup of coffee, a good book or movie, and good conversation. Still battling her own mental illness, she spends much of her time learning how to help herself and others. Jessica has binge eating disorder, borderline personality disorder, and bipolar disorder. She has also experienced trauma, including domestic violence. She seeks to live a happy, healthy life through treatment and striving every day.