More people are working from home than ever and it has presented some unique challenges. While you may have used to dread your morning commute or counted the hours until you could get back to your pajamas, working from home has its downsides. From the difficulties of finding a work/life balance to the distractions posed by pets, kids, and chores, working from home can take a toll on anyone.
Fortunately, managing the stress associated with the new work-from-home movement isn’t hard, so long as you have the right tools. Here are 5 things you should try if you’re looking to tackle your work-from-home woes.
1. Get Enough Sleep
If you’re experiencing stress, often one of the first areas of our lives to suffer is our quality of sleep. The fact is, not getting enough sleep will only add to your stress — even if you’re sleeping less in hopes of carving out time to get more done. Failing to get enough quality sleep every night can also contribute to a myriad of health issues, like weight gain, that put additional stress on your body.
Ultimately, not getting enough sleep can put your body into an endless cycle of stress accumulation. If you’re not prioritizing sleep every night, break this bad habit so you can start tackling your stressors with a clear, well-rested body and mind.
2. Maintain a Schedule
A lot of people struggle with striking a balance between work life and home life, but now that your work life is based out of your home, the work/life balance can be even harder to find. For many, it’s tempting to move away from the strict nine-to-five schedule and fit in work when they’re able. While this flexibility can be a great perk, it can also lead to the lines blurring between your time and work time.
Maintaining a schedule can help you mentally get into the work mindset and then get out of it at the end of your workday. You can also cut back on stress by avoiding work emails, calls, and texts when it’s past “office hours,” if your position allows you to do so.
3. Dedicate “Me” Time
As you’re working out your schedule each day, here’s a trick that will really help you cut back on stress and improve your overall wellness: Dedicate “me” time as part of your priorities. It’s very easy to schedule work meetings and other obligations into your schedule and hold yourself to it. However, we tend to be pretty bad about sticking to things we plan to do for ourselves.
By penciling yourself into your schedule, you’ll find that your stress greatly diminishes over time. You can use this time to do anything, as long as you’re doing it for yourself. For instance, you might take on journaling, go for a walk, or play a word game to help you unwind. It’s your time, so you get to choose.
4. Create Separation
One of the best ways to help re-balance your work and life is to create a physical separation between your work areas and the rest of your home. If possible, find the space to carve out an office, or at least a small nook where you can go to work each day. As they say: Out of sight, out of mind. Likewise, having this dedicated space can help keep you away from distractions while you work.
5. Know Your Limits
Everyone wants to perform well at their job, so it’s easy to take on more work than you can handle. In fact, overachievers do it all the time, and it’s one of the biggest contributors to stress. Whether you’re trying to impress in a new position or looking to uphold your reputation of being an excellent performer, everyone has to know their limits. Before you approach burnout, or if you’re already there, it’s time to talk to your manager about delegating some work to others.
Once you clear your plate, you might be left wondering what to do with your newfound free time. Consider a productivity course or invest that extra time into doing something for yourself. Above all, just remember that you deserve to have downtime, too.