Working from home sounds like the dream job that you always wanted to have. Sleeping in a little longer because you don’t have to commute to work any more or just feeling comfortable working from your living room at your own pace. It’s everything anybody would want in a job. Over a period of time though, many people who were joyous about working from home start feeling like they are burning out too soon or too often. Does that sound familiar?
While we all love the comfort of our homes and avoiding the hassle of commuting to work, not all of us can handle the change in our routine or absence of a social circle at work. For some of us, routine and rhythm gives comfort.
Adapting to a new lifestyle may not be easy. Being confined to your home, alone, can be difficult. Especially if you have never stayed at home for longer periods. Loneliness affects the mental health of each one of us differently. With the possibility of being indoors getting extended further, the stress levels could be higher.
No human contact
You might be on conference calls all day long or even messaging your colleagues every hour. But that is not that same as having your friends and colleagues physically present next to you. When you are spending most part of the day without physical company, it could affect you greatly. Especially, if you are the kind of person who loves being surrounded by people.
A transactional converation never really brings a sense of connection. Which is why it is important to connect with your colleagues informally. Set aside some time every day, after work, to have an informal unwinding meet Or a well planned virtual team building activity once a week. When you are not talking about work, it helps break the ice. Team spirit cannot be built by discussing work all the time.
Missing your routine?
It could be something as trivial as drinking coffee at the office pantry first thing in the morning before you start your day or stopping at your favourite coffee shop to pick up a quick breakfast before work. What was an every day routine is no longer a part of how your day unfolds. This small change could affect you a lot because you could start feeling like you have lost control of your own life.
When everything feels out of control, a routine makes you feel safe because of the sense of familiarity. If you are not able to stick to your old routine, why not create something new? create small breaks and rituals through the day to transition from one task to another without feeling overworked. Start the day with a breakfast ritual and plan it the night before, when you know how your day is going to start, it brings in an immediate sense of calm.
Revisit your goals
Working from home could mean that you may feel your productivity dropping. You have to remember that although the work that you do is the same, the working conditions are different now. If required, revisit your goals to suit your current work conditions. Keep in mind the gaps in communication and any other technical challenges that may arise because of working from home. Start your day by making a to-do list for the day or for the week. Keeping shorter goals can improve your focus.
Exercise your mind & body
Exercise helps you deal with stress and anxiety better. The adrenaline and cortisol reduces the stress level, while endorphins produced while working out acts as a pain killer and mood elevator.
Work out at home in an open area or at a nearby park if that’s allowed. Being outdoors and breathing in fresh air definitely lifts up the mood.
Stay healthy and eat right
What you feed your body reflects directly on how you feel. Now that you save time on commuting to and from work, use that time to have nutritious meal without rushing. Eating mindfully and on time everyday, also improves your mental health greatly.
Get your “Me time”
Working from home can easily consume most part of your day. Carve some time off for yourself. Do an activity that you like or simply spend some time reading a book. Keep yourself away from screens. Write a gratitude journal or spend time with people who genuinely make you happy.
Anxiety is hard to deal with when you are alone. Especially, during times like now. If it gets overwhelming, reach out to a professional to seek help. It’s easier said than done, however, when it is beyond your control, it’s always good to reach out to someone. Acknowledging that you need help is the hardest step, be brave and reach out. You will see the difference it does once you have shared how you feel to someone else.
Our regular work days tend to be so stressful because of various factors and now with the “new normal”, there is a lot of uncertainity that needs to be dealt with every day. Stop checking news frequently if that adds on to your anxiety. Reach out to friends and family. Get into a routine and do something every day just for yourself.
For employers, organising a fun group session or a Team building program can help reduce the stress of employees from every day work. Visit www.jambarvirtual.com to browse some unique team building activities or check out our mindfulness session that you can organise for your teams, even for the ones that are working remotely.