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How to Handle Stress When Working from Home
For many of us, working from home is a new concept. We are used to our daily routines and schedules, working in an office with your team, and in-office socializing. Working from home can be a challenging transition, especially during a global pandemic when the world seems to be turned upside down. Now that states are moving into yellow and green phases, companies are deciding whether they will continue remote work or slowly move back into the office. For those of you who find it challenging to work from home, or they are still not accustomed to it, here are a few tips to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Know when to log off
When working in an office, it’s normal to work the average 9-5 and when you leave the office, you commute home and spend your evening with friends, family, or relaxing by yourself. When transitioning to working from home, it’s easy to spend a lot of free time on technology because we have less traveling and social interaction. Instead of our daily commute, we are going from working on our laptops to spending our free time scrolling on our phones or watching a show on TV.
It’s extremely important to give yourself an allotted amount of time per day on devices. Not only is it bad for your eyes but being on technology too long can increase levels of stress and anxiety. Although it may seem ideal to scroll through Instagram after a long day of work, it’s important to find a hobby or keep yourself preoccupied with something that isn’t a device. Whether that’s reading a book or taking a walk, less screen time will help reduce your levels of stress and anxiety.
Schedule it in
It can feel off-putting when you no longer have a daily routine when working from home. One of the best ways to feel positive and productive is to create a daily or weekly schedule for yourself to create a sense of control in this foreign time. Plan out your days, before and after your workday, to be sure you are doing what needs to get done. Even if it’s doing the laundry or calling a friend, it can be easy to lose track of time while in quarantine. Planning out your days will help increase your sense of productivity and reduce stress surrounding uncertainty.
For those who have roommates or live with their family, working from home can feel overwhelming. You no longer have a space dedicated to work, but you have all of your other housemates at home with you which can cause distractions and increase levels of stress when wanting to be productive. After work hours it can be just as difficult to relax because you still have priorities like taking care of your children, going grocery shopping, or spending time with roommates. It can feel impossible to have time dedicated to yourself.
It may feel weird at first but add time to your weekly or daily schedule for self-care. Self-care can be doing a facemask and painting your nails or watching your weekly show on Wednesday nights; it can be whatever makes you feel good and relaxed. Scheduling “me time” into your schedule gives you something to look forward to and it ensures you are taking the necessary time for yourself.
Learning to practice gratitude and becoming more mindful can feel strange if you’ve never practiced it before, but the benefits outweigh that feeling. Once, twice, or as many times a day as you like stop what you are doing and notice at that moment why you are grateful. Whether you’re showing gratitude for having a job, being healthy, or having a safe environment to be quarantined in, this can help change your mindset and reduce the anxiety you may be experiencing.