Would you ever imagine experiencing burnout while working from home? Well, after a year stuck in your house, maybe dealing with kids, pets, and deadlines all at once, you should be surprised if you didn’t burn out yet.
Working from home in 2021 is not the same as working from home in 2019. Everyone is more stressed and anxious about the never-ending pandemic. According to a survey conducted by Indeed, 52% of workers feel burned out, the majority blaming COVID-19. Other remote work burnout statistics show how mothers have more tendency to experience burnout working from home.
Once upon a time, people experienced burnout from long commutes, lack of support at work, or never-ending and unfair shifts. Besides commuting, the situation didn’t change so much, after all. After this challenging year, separating professional and personal life has been hard for all of us. As a result, most of us ended up working longer hours and let tasks overwhelm us.
Working from home isn’t going anywhere. Therefore, now more than ever is crucial to understand how to prevent burnout.
10 Effective Ways To Prevent Work From Home Workout
#1. Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries between personal and professional life is the first step to prevent work from home burnout. As obvious as it sounds, what you need to do first is to write down your schedule for the following months. Then, you can mark with different colors working tasks, hobbies, and home duties on the calendar.
The point is to schedule time for both professional and personal life. And, of course, stick to it. For the first month, you need to be your ‘own commandant’. If you said that you would start that lovely ceramic course on Wednesday, that’s what will happen. When you are focusing on tasks or enjoy free time, you don’t exist for your colleagues. Make clear you aren’t always available for their requests. You have schedule time to answer their question, that’s enough!
#2. Find a Buddy
Based on Costanza Tagliaferri of ThinkRemote, if you are working on a virtual team, remember you are not alone. Your other team members face different challenges as well. But you all need a buddy to share doubts, frustrations, and boredom. And, of course, motivation. So, talk to your favorite colleagues and plan together some leisure time to motivate each other. Remember the song saying ‘working together we can make a change?’ When you feel down, your buddy can back you up and the other way around. Holding a healthy schedule is possible, but some days are harder than others. So, find a buddy that helps you stay on track with your plan, even on those rainy days.
Why is everyone into sports and exercise? Because it makes you feel better. Just consider that the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health proved that 15 minutes run every day, or walking for at least an hour, reduces the risk of depression and anxiety by 26%.
When you hold a challenging position (like in Yoga) or break a personal record, you prove yourself wrong. You thought you couldn’t make it because you are too lazy. Or that you wouldn’t ever get started because you don’t have time to organize. Well, these are excuses. You can do everything you set your mind to. If you don’t like exercise, go out for a walk, start a meditation course, or find a fun activity that encourages you to move your body (like dancing). Whatever makes you feel more connected to your body and less involved in your working day.
#4. Eat, Eat, Eat!
German philosopher Feuerbach used to say, ‘you are what you eat.’ He wrote his book back in 1863, and he was right. Today, you can find thousands of scientific research about the importance of eating healthy – otherwise, people wouldn’t have gone so mad for gluten-free pasta, don’t you think? Scheduling time for cooking and enjoying time to eat a good meal can relax you more than a holiday. Eating good food (which doesn’t mean going on a crazy diet) will energize you and help you find the right motivation during the day.
#5. Hobbies Are Working Tasks
Saving time for hobbies is as important as doing exercise. Maybe you love the cinema or crafting wood, or just sitting outside watching the sunset. Whatever you like, commit to those things that make you feel happy. Adult life is complicated, and most of the time, you need to deal with bills, doctor appointments, and work. So, even when you love your job, you need to schedule time for your hobbies and those activities that make you feel at peace with yourself.
#6. Be Honest And Talk To Your Colleagues
If you see that you start to postpone tasks and don’t have any energy left, it’s time to speak with your colleagues. One thing is putting extra effort into overcoming challenges to learn new skills. Another story is when you can’t even look at your laptop without dry heaving. Just be honest with yourself and speak to your team. They will know you need time off and can offer their support. There is nothing wrong with burnout, but you need to be aware of it and take a few days off when needed.
#7. Never Work During Weekends
In the same vein, make sure to stop working during weekends. Again, it makes sense to think that the last effort to catch up with everything is the best solution. But, in reality, you get to the weekend already drained, and even if you manage to catch up with tasks, another week will begin – in a never-ending cycle. So, rather than sacrifice your weekend, take that time off to rest and recharge. And schedule the pending tasks somewhere during the week, making sure to divide time without taking out your rest!
#8. Don’t Forget Your Friends And Family
One of the worst things about burnout is that it makes you feel you don’t have the energy to be with your family and friends. You feel knocked up, and the sole idea of smiling and interacting kills you. But, you can listen to these feelings just for a couple of evenings. After that, push yourself to go out. Your closest people know if you aren’t at your best, and they can take care of you. Never forget how important they are!
#9. Try New Things
Sometimes, you feel burned out because days fall one into another with the same routine. Even if you are an oriented person who likes to do the same things every day, a year and a half of pandemic changed the rules of the game. Routine can help you, but can also tire you up and make you feel in prison. If you get around these feelings, it’s time to break your routine! Find out new hobbies or courses, go hiking or try a horse ride, travel somewhere new. A change of practice can be more effective than a long holiday!
#10. Get To The End of The Day – For Real!
To close up this cycle, the last piece of advice is to get at the end of the day, for real. Remember we just talked about the importance of setting boundaries? You can mark your calendar with hundreds of colors and schedule your life for the next three years. But nothing will work until you get to the state of mind that your working day must come to an end.
Maybe you managed to follow up your plans and went to your yoga classes, ate a healthy meal, and caught up with some friends. As a result, you end up finishing work late at night every day to fit everything into your schedule. In the long run, this strategy won’t work. Set a time for the end of the day, and after that, turn the laptop and notifications off. It happens to all of us to work extra hours to meet heavy deadlines, that’s life. But make sure to keep it as an exception, and not the rule!
Any Time Is A Good Time For Yourself
Finding a healthy work-life balance is challenging. A good routine can work for someone and be disruptive for others. The most complex part of the job is finding what works for you. When you start experimenting with your routine to prevent work from home burnout, always remember one thing: any time is a good time for yourself. The point is to find patterns and activities during the day that make you feel better, and consequently, more productive and proactive!