Most of us are now working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While this may seem convenient on a typical day, Work From Home (WFH) on a crisis can make us feel uneasy. The spike of confirmed cases every day, the fear that you or your loved ones from getting the virus, and the difficulty of work and life balance can be a perfect recipe for burnout.
According to Jasleen Chhatwal M.D. of Sierra Tucson Treatment Center, “Burnout can occur when any individual is exposed to prolonged and often excessive stress.” He added that “It’s an internal crisis manifested by a lack of control and efficacy in our external world.”
The World Health Organization declared burnout as a disease. We must learn how to cope up with it since it might be possible that we will be working remotely for several months until this is over. To get you started, here are some tips on how to combat WFH burnout.
Plan Your Schedule The Night Before
Set a routine and stick to it. A 9-to-5 routine may be impossible during these times as some cannot function well, unlike on a regular working day. Before going to bed, strategize on how you will divide your tasks for the following day. Also, schedule what time you will begin and end your work. A daily routine will help you stay on track and prevent you from getting sidetracked.
Maintain Home And Work Boundaries
According to a research paper made by Blake Ashforth of Arizona State University, people create ways to detach work from home roles via “boundary-crossing activities.” Try to maintain these boundaries, even working from home, to put your mind to work. Examples to start your day include:
- Take a shower and get dressed
- Walk or jog around in replacement of your commute
- Make coffee while writing your to-do list
WFH can eat much of your time, and you will forget everything around you. Setting boundaries create reminders when you move from your “work you” to “home you.”
Prioritize The Most Important Work
Stacks of deliverables and tasks are overwhelming, but not all of those are important. Worse, it can be counterproductive. People who multitask when working from home have a higher risk of burnout than working in an office.
In planning your day, look over your tasks and organize them based on urgency or priority. You may also need to be less distracted when you’re working on something important. Silent your phone or close the door of your room so you can focus more. Minimize your workspace so that you don’t feel cramped up and too stressed.
Self-care becomes rampant and vital to maintain your physical as well as mental health. These aren’t regular times; don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Your world does not revolve around your work, so give yourself a break.
Here are some ways to practice self-care during a lockdown:
- Cook and eat healthy foods. We need enough nutrition on our bodies to keep us alert and active throughout the day.
- Get regular sleep. The recommended sleeping time is 8-10 hours.
- Read a book.
- Exercise regularly to keep your blood flowing through your body. Exercising lessens your anxiety, as well.
- Watch a feel-good movie or any movie on your bucket list.
- Meditate now and then. Deep breathing can help you calm down and regain your focus.
WFH isolates you from socializing with your friends and loved ones. When you feel like you’re going to burst, reach out to them. Ask them how they are feeling right now and what they’re up to these days.
Being stuck in isolation can be anxious or depressing – it won’t hurt to slide into their messages to say “Hi.” Who knows, they may need someone to vent out their emotions about what’s happening today.
Most companies have adjusted to the work-from-home set up to adapt to the quarantine rules. But since it is new for both the employers and employees, it gets tricky to draw the line between the two. When the lines are blurry between work and home, it may cause problems and eventually lead to burnout.
Companies shifted to the WFH set up to keep you healthy physically, but don’t forget that you need to take care of your mental health as well.