As we move through the third wave of the pandemic, it’s easy to feel fatigue building up. This is especially true for professionals who’ve been working from home and dealing with all the changes that brings.
It all adds up to one thing: Burnout. This is a “state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.” Sound familiar? We’ve probably all felt like this at least to some degree over the past year.
Thankfully, there are some proactive steps you can take to build healthy work-from-home habits and avoid burnout. Here are our top four.
With gyms still closed, regular fitness routines remain disrupted. Still, exercise, however you can get it, can be a fantastic way of fending off burnout. It improves your mood, and helps to boost energy levels to get you through your day.
It’s understandable if you’re getting tired of your indoor workout. Thankfully, the weather has started to turn, opening up the outdoors for all sorts of exercise. Whether it’s a workout at the park, a bike ride, or even a relaxing walk, exercise can go a long way in preventing burnout.
2. Social Boundaries
A little over a year ago, Zoom gatherings felt novel, and were fairly easy to enjoy. Now, however, anyone spending a good part of their workday on camera can quickly get tired of the computer-based communications. Attending a video event in your own time can be taxing, and something you want to avoid.
And, that’s totally okay. Setting boundaries is critical in ensuring you stay comfortable. This can include skipping an event, or even simply turning your camera off during it. It’s your choice, and you deserve to have control over how you use your time.
Setting and sticking to a schedule can be a great way of maintaining purpose and stability while you work from home. With so much of our usual way of life in disarray, a schedule brings order to chaos.
One of the nice things about setting a schedule is you can make it as demanding as you like. While you certainly can, you don’t need to start off by scheduling every single minute of your day.
To get started, try setting a few tasks, such as a consistent wake-up time, hour of productivity, or even a walk with your household. Then, as you adjust, start adding more and more items. When setting a schedule, it’s important that you hold yourself accountable. Without this level of self-commitment, a schedule is merely a list of suggestions.
Though it’s easier said than done, work/life balance is critical to steering clear of burnout. Long hours day after day wears you down, and no matter how hard you think you can work, your body and mind need breaks.
First things first: You need to determine what “unplugging” means to you. For some, it’s closing their laptop and turning off work notifications. For others, it may be a few extra days off to recharge.
One suggestion is to try unplugging at the time you normally would if you were in the office. This helps align your body and mind with a pattern they’re familiar with, and establishes normalcy. It’s also a good way to prevent work from creeping into every aspect of your life.
Unplugging can also mean stepping away from things aside from work. Though you can’t simply abandon all your responsibilities, you can try simple things like avoiding the news, or putting away your phone an hour before bed.