Feeling like working from home is more exhausting than working a normal or ordinary job? Well, it’s because it is! Since the start of the COVID -19 pandemic five months ago many Americans have had to change their normal working habits and work from home. “According to the new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, the average workday is 48.5 minutes longer than before the pandemic”. This consists of more time on zoom meetings and more time spent working than usual showing that workers are under historically intense pressures. The worst part, working is not all they’re doing, they are also juggling childcare and homeschooling, and not to mention others have to put their lives on the line because they can’t afford to work from home because they have to keep their businesses open to be able to maintain their families. Sounds like they have a lot on their plate, doesn’t it? People are being asked to do so much more than what was expected from them in the past and the buildup pressure can start to take its toll on mental and physical health.
Follow these five simple tips to reduce stress from juggling work and home responsibilities. It is important to create a clear line between the two to be able to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle in this “new normal” we are living in.
1. Step away from what you are doing
Taking a step back from your work is one of the fastest ways to bring stress levels down. You don’t need to spend large amounts of time away from what you are doing, just a few minutes may do the trick, so you can re-center and refocus. Go outside and breath fresh air, meditate for 15 minutes or just check social media for a couple of minutes, anything to help you shift your focus to something else.
2. Move around
Movement is a great antidote to stress. It’s important to incorporate body movements in your workday to help from feeling sore or physically exhausted. A couple of minutes of exercise can do the trick to help reduce the feelings of stress and frustration. Walk a few laps around the house, play with your pets, do a yoga routine, dance, really anything that works for you! The key is to move.
3. Change your surroundings
In the times we are living we can’t always leave our house, but you can change your surroundings. Go outside to work or sit by an open window. If going outside is not possible for you, then change rooms, create a new working area that gives you a new sense of self and helps you focus on something different.
4. Do something joyful that marks the end of the workday
Create a ritual of some sort to perform at the end of the workday to signal your brain that the working portion of the day is done, and you can shift back to your personal life. This can be drinking tea, changing into your pajamas, or just sitting on the couch and putting on your favorite show or series. The key is to find your source of pleasure. Do it every day at the end of your workday and always remind yourself that you are doing your best.
5. Practice saying “no”
You may think that always saying yes and being available all the time will make your boss value your work more. We are demonstrating our ability to cope by showing our employers that we are capable of so much more, and that is amazing! But it’s a vicious cycle and the reality is it’s not healthy. As humans, we need to take a break every now and then. Even if it’s just for an hour, your mental and physical health will thank you for it.