With organisations moving to the work from home model, employees have had to make new adjustments to their daily routine. With the second wave of COVID 19 in India being much more lethal than the first, it looks like work from home is going to be the norm for the foreseeable future as well. While some people find working from home beneficial for their wellbeing, for others working from home brings its own set of challenges.
Feelings of loneliness, isolation, increased overtime, difficulty in staying motivated, and juggling domestic and professional responsibilities have increased stress levels among employees. Added to this are the stresses of uncertainty, hopelessness, and despair that are caused by the pandemic. As the lines between work and home life blur, the risk of burnout increases. Maintaining a work-life balance while working from home is the key to combating these problems.
1. Set up a routine
Set a routine and get ready for your day as though you are going to a regular office. Create a specific place in your home for work as it will help separate your personal and professional life. Establishing a daily routine, outlining your tasks, and setting goals will give you a sense of control amid uncertainty and prepare you for the day. Keeping busy and being productive keeps your mind off disturbing thoughts and focuses it on more constructive things.
2. Take breaks and keep time aside for yourself
Schedule regular breaks and set time aside to escape from your laptop and phone screens. Give your eyes, neck, and back the rest they need. Keep fixed times during the day to unwind and try to consciously spend some time on activities you enjoy. It could be reading a book, painting, or any other hobby that de-stresses you. Writing can be very therapeutic. You don’t have to be a prolific writer to maintain a journal but simply pouring out your thoughts on paper can help clear your mind.
3. Don’t be afraid to reach out
Don’t be afraid to call, Facetime, or text someone if you’re feeling low, it helps both ways. Checking up on your loved ones will make you feel less lonely in a socially distant world. Sharing emotions, thoughts and fears will make you realise that you are not the only one going through a tough time. Make virtual plans, you can create memories even if you are miles apart. Having the emotional support of family and friends can prove to be very helpful during these times.
4. Eat well and be active
Eating nutritious food and being well hydrated is important as like the rest of your body, your brain is fueled by what you eat. It can be challenging to be physically active while working from home but it can do wonders for your mental and physical health. WHO recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, or a combination of both. That amounts to as little as around 15 minutes a day which can easily be achieved at home by helping with household chores or brisk walking around the house. Meditation and breathing exercises help tremendously with your state of mind.
5. Be positive
It is important to focus on the silver linings during these hard times. Working from the comfort of your home can have many benefits as well. It gives you more flexible working hours and you get to decide how you want to allocate your hours efficiently. You save time and money from the long commute hours that you can now spend with your family and on yourself. It's important to have gratitude and count your blessings during times like these.