When you’re working from home, it sometimes starts to feel like you’re always on the clock. The division between your work life and home life can start to get blurry.

You no longer leave your work at the office at the end of the day. Your home is your office. And your work is always just a few steps away.

I know you’re probably very thankful to be able to work from home. And you’re probably working longer and harder than you used to. You want to do a good job and be productive while working from a distance.

But it’s also important to look after your mental health. And that’s why taking breaks is so essential. According to psychologist Jen Hartstein, people need to take breaks in order to feel rejuvenated, energized, and engaged.

Before you started working from home, you most likely took breaks during your workday. You might have enjoyed a little downtime when commuting to and from the office. You probably spent some time each day chatting with your coworkers or taking the occasional coffee break. And you were probably more likely to use your vacation days.

Now we’re no longer doing these things. And this can be detrimental to our mental and physical health.

It is possible, however, to turn things around! Hartstein recommends that we make the effort to consciously incorporate breaks into our day by doing the following:

  • Take advantage of the time that you previously used to commute to work – If you used to spend 20-30 minutes getting to and from work every day, use that time to do something for yourself. Read a newspaper, listen to an interesting podcast, or take a walk. It will help you to gear yourself up at the beginning of the workday, and unwind at the end of it.
  • Schedule break times – Just because you’re working from home, you don’t need to feel guilty about taking an occasional break. It’s good and healthy for you to step away from your computer now and then. Taking short breaks throughout the day will help to keep you focused and energized.
  • Use your vacation days – You might not have anywhere to go for vacation. But having a “staycation” at home can be really relaxing and rewarding! Try to plan fun activities. Get involved in a hobby that you haven’t had time for, try cooking an elaborate meal, or watch an old movie that you’ve always loved. The time off will rejuvenate you, and help you to be more engaged and productive when you return to work.

Cosgrove, J. (2020, August 3). A psychologist explains why people shouldn’t feel guilty taking time off from work during the pandemic. Yahoo Life. Retrieved from: https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/why-taking-time-off-work-vacation-201532675.html