As COVID-19 spreads across the country, more people who can work from home are being asked to do so out of precaution. 

The workplace is an important component of maintaining positive mental health, according to Jessica Pirro, the executive director of Crisis Services.

For many people it is one of the major hubs of socialization outside of the home, purpose, social identity, regular activity and provides structure to their day, according to the World Health Organization’s mental health and work: Impact, issues, and good practices report.

“Remote work is an important piece in addressing this situation, but it’s also — from a mental health perspective — can be a challenge,” Pirro said. “It’s going to be important if people are going in a remote setting for weeks at a time, that they do think about other ways to socialize.” 

Below are some key things that Pirro suggests to keep mental health when working from home:

  • Stick to a routine with lunch breaks and structure hours. 

  • Eat healthy, nutritional foods. Diet can help with depression, anxiety and more.

  • Check-in with your coworkers through texting, phone calls or video calls. 

  • Socialize safely with friends and family through social distancing. Check out the tip sheet by The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on how to do this effectively.

  • Exercise safely through solo workouts like running, or yoga videos online. 

  • Creating playlists for music you like, downloading audiobooks, or implementing other ways of self-care into your daily routine. 

  • Families should plan how to navigate work and watching children or organizing structured activities while in meetings, or conference calls. For ways to talk to your children about COVID 19, visit this link.

“This is an opportunity to really plan your self-care before remote access gets implemented and to think about how that’s going to be for you each day,” Pirro said. 

Crisis Services operates a 24-hour, 7-day hotline at 716-834-3131 or visit their website at