If you are one of the thousands of people whose jobs have moved back home with them, you may be wondering how permanent remote workers do it all without losing their minds. Working from home can be its own kind of stressful, especially when you also have kids calling into school remotely and a partner or roommate keeping up the 9-to-5 across the kitchen table. The good news is that there are several tactics you can use to reduce or eliminate stress and anxiety while working from home.
Create a Work Space Separate from Your Living Space
One of the hardest parts about working from home is that there are no lines between your home and your job anymore. So much for clocking out and leaving work at work! The solution: carve out a corner to serve as your own private office. Although it may not seem very private, especially if you live in a small apartment, this is a vital first step to preserving your sanity and protecting the sanctity of your home.
If you can't imagine where you would possibly set up an office in your home right now, surf the internet for ideas. (Set a timer first!) People have gotten very creative with closets, basements, enclosed porches, and room dividers. There is sure to be some idea that you could implement at home. Pro tip: Noise-canceling headphones do wonders for making you feel like you're in your own private space when you're "at work."
Set Boundaries for Yourself
Sometimes when you work from home, people think you're available to get coffee, walk their dog for them, etc. Make it known that when you're at work, you're at work, no matter where your workplace may be.
When you work from home, it can be tempting to do housework while you're waiting for your computer to update, etc. If you can throw a load of laundry in before work, change it at lunch, and fold it when you're done for the day, fine, but don't go overboard. Just think: "If I were at the office right now, would I be washing these dishes? Mopping the floor?" If the answer is no, then don't try to do it during your workday.
It can be easy to eat mindlessly when you're working from home. Combined with sitting in front of a computer all day, you can see why this would be detrimental to your health. To avoid falling into this trap, pack your lunch ahead of time, just as you would if you were headed to the office. Keep some healthy snacks (and plenty of water) at your desk to avoid raiding the kitchen every time you feel the urge to nibble. Chewing gum also helps.
Get On a Realistic Schedule
No one likes to feel rushed, but being too lax with your schedule can also backfire on you. If you tend to procrastinate, creating a written daily schedule and then sticking to it is vital. When you work out, when and for how long you will work each day, be sure to schedule breaks and lunch periods. Working too long without a break lowers your productivity and may put you in a foul mood. Don't take the chance.
If you have the luxury of setting your own schedule, be realistic about how much you can accomplish in a specific timeframe. For example, don't plan to work early in the morning if you're a night owl, even if you think that will work out the best with the rest of your family's schedule. On the other hand, don't try to cram too much activity into a short work period. Instead, pace yourself.
Speaking of the whole family's schedule, it's a good idea to get together every morning to discuss who needs to do what and when. If the adults in the home need quiet time to make calls or attend remote events, everyone should know about it ahead of time. On the other hand, if any children at home need help or access to certain resources at a specific time of day, it's best to lay it all out in advance. The more organized everyone is, the smoother the day will go.
Call Friends or Family for Support
You can't take every call during work hours, but that doesn't mean you should cut off friends and family. Seek out ways to connect, both for your own mental and emotional well-being, and to ask for help when you need it. Don't forget that doing things for others can also increase your feelings of well-being and ease anxiety. Don't hesitate to accept assistance, but don't be the one who only calls when you need something, either. Reach out to see how you can support your friends and family members, and we'll all get through this together.
Try Meditation & Exercise Regularly
Mindfulness may seem like a new, millennial-inspired concept, but it goes way back. Although you may not have the time or inclination to start an in-depth meditation practice, you can practice mindfulness, and specifically mindful breathing, anytime and reap the rewards.
Don't knock yourself out at the gym; if you haven't been working out regularly, start small; if you're already active, add some weight training or train for a specific event. If you're sitting in front of a desk all day, try some specific exercises to counteract the back and neck problems you may be encountering. Try to get up and move for at least two minutes of every hour. Set a timer, drink a lot of water (trust us, that will make you get up a lot), or use a fitness tracker that reminds you to move when you've been sitting for a long time.
For more tips on reducing anxiety and stress in your life, turn to Brillia's five pillars. While you're at it, find out more about how Brillia works without side-effects to give you the extra support you need to face this new chapter in your life.