Work-from-home burnout is quickly becoming the next societal health crisis. As the pandemic drags on, many remote workers are reporting feeling drained. Although remote work appears to offer more flexibility and better work-life balance, that’s not always the case. It can be far too easy to replace the stresses of the office with overwork, anxiety, and an inability to disconnect. If you suspect you’re at risk of burnout, here are some solutions and suggestions for managing work-from-home burnout.
Set personal boundaries
Anything that you can do to create structure and boundaries for your work and to separate your professional time from your personal time will really help. So, for some people, that is creating a daily commute for themselves, like getting dressed and going for a walk and making a coffee and going into the home office. For other people, it’s just a psychological separation, like in between work and personal time reading a chapter of a book that has nothing to do with work or doing a mindfulness activity or something like that.
Being inside all the time can be surprisingly draining. And the more we’re inside, the less inclined we may be to go outdoors. Plan regular time outside every day. Go for a walk, sit in your backyard, eat lunch outside. Even a few minutes can restore your spirits.
Take a day off here and there
While your ideal chunk of time off from the job may be a week or a two-week getaway somewhere far away, the fact of the matter is that taking a three- or four-day weekend sometimes even does the trick. Prevent burnout by taking mini-trips or mini-vacations, or, there’s always the good old ‘staycation’ where you can stick around your city or region and try things you typically don’t have time to do. The first step is taking dedicated days off, and raising your spirits while you look forward to time off of any kind.
Stop working on weekends
Do whatever you can to finish your work during the week, if that’s what is expected of you. When you work from home, the physical and mental separation between work and life, and life and work, can get really blurred. If you slide into your desk chair on a Sunday afternoon and you wind up checking work emails and answering clients, remember that you’re also putting yourself in a place where people will expect you to continually answer on weekends. Break the cycle by leaving weekends for “you time,” if that fits within the demands of your career and job requirements.
Find time to work out
Working out every day gets your body to do something other than sit in your home office and work, take calls and attend meetings over Zoom. It should be something you make time for and feel good about, and eventually, you’ll tell yourself that you have to work out or your day is not complete. The worst feeling would be feeling burned out by work and by being ‘stuck at home,’ and not moving your body at all.
Though these few “solutions” to avoiding (or curing) burnout may sound easy, it takes intentional thought to integrate these practices into your daily work-from-home lives. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. If you can relate with the “burnout” mentality, make the decision right now to take the necessary steps and precautions to improve your work-from-home lifestyle and mental wellbeing.
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