The pandemic has changed the way we live our lives. Our regular daily schedules have been turned upside down, and our homes have become our worlds. It’s the place where we work, eat, go to school, exercise, socialize, and vacation.
If you’re able to work from home, I’m sure you’re grateful! But still, it can be challenging. You may find it difficult to separate your work life from your home life. Since the workday no longer ends when you leave the office, it often seems to extend throughout the day and evening, and you may feel like you’re expected to work at all hours. Everything kind of blurs together, making it difficult to unplug and truly relax.
Feeling like you’re on-call all the time coupled with the stress of the pandemic can lead to exhaustion and ultimately, burnout. Signs of burnout include such things as forgetting to complete tasks, missing deadlines, feeling depressed, feeling pessimistic about work, sleeping poorly, and feeling fatigued all the time.
If you’re experiencing work-from-home burnout, you’re certainly not alone! And there are steps that you can take to make things better. Here are a few things to try:
- Communicate with your boss regularly – Build a relationship with your boss. Make sure he or she knows what you’re working on, how your projects are going, and if you’ve encountered any roadblocks. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, be honest about it. If your workload is simply too heavy to manage, talk to your manager about prioritizing your work, and then focus on the most important items.
- Create a schedule – Decide what time you’re going to get up every morning, and establish a morning routine that prepares you for the day. (That might involve taking a nice hot shower, cuddling with your cat while drinking coffee, or taking a brisk walk.) Also, decide what hours you’re going to work. Schedule regular breaks during the day, and during those breaks you should step away from your computer, stretch, rest your eyes, and get some fresh air. Finally, choose a time when you’re officially “off the clock” each day, and stick to it. Talk to your boss about your proposed schedule, and make sure he or she knows when you’ll be online and when you won’t.
- Take control – A lot of things are out of your control right now, and that can make you feel helpless. To combat that feeling, try to take control of the things you can. For instance, you could make an effort to eat regularly, and try to eat healthy meals and snacks. Another thing that you can control is your bedtime. Try to create a nighttime routine that will help you to relax, unwind, and get a good night’s sleep.
- Take some time for yourself – Once you’re done with work for the day, take the time to do things that you truly enjoy. Play that new video game. Take a hike in the woods. Work on the hobby that you’re passionate about. Play with your pet. Do the things that distract you from work and bring you joy.
- Reach out to other people – Make sure to talk to friends and family regularly. Give them a call, if you’re unable to meet in person. It will help you to combat the feelings of loneliness that you might be experiencing, and make everything a little easier.
Yurcaba, J. (n.d.). Work-from-home burnout is real – here’s how to recover. The Muse. Retrieved from: https://www.themuse.com/advice/work-from-home-burnout-coronavirus-pandemic