When you have a stressful day at work, it’s normal to feel off. Typically, work-related stress manifests as feeling rushed, overloaded, tired, and irritable. There may be physical manifestations too like sweating, increased heart rate, and having a dry mouth.
But, at the end of the day, you know these symptoms will go away once you can go home from the office and have that much-desired workplace separation. But, how do you ensure your workplace stress doesn’t continue when you’re already working from home?
When we’re working from home or in isolation, it’s easier to forget to take time for ourselves and give ourselves a break for the sake of our stress levels and overall mental health. With that being said, here are a few tips to reduce your stress level while working from home:
1) Don’t Just Sit at Your Desk
When we’re at the office, it’s typically easy to get up and walk around including the act of actually getting to work every day. When we’re at home, it’s all too easy to roll out of bed and sit down at your desk or couch for a prolonged period of time.
Instead, try to get up and move at least once every few hours or incorporate some exercise into your daily routine. You’ll be thankful you did later.
2) Still “Commute” to Work
Creating separation between your home and work life can be difficult, especially if you have a family at home. To create more of a separation between home and work, you should still build in some time between. Typically, our commute serves this function. Instead, go for a walk before you start work and after you finish. Or, in the evening, chat with a friend about anything other than work or spend time with your loved ones.
3) Communicate Clear Expectations
When you’re working from home, it can be easy to get distracted which can contribute to stress. This is especially true if you have kids around who are home from school. When possible, ask others not to disturb you when you’re in your dedicated workspace. This doesn’t mean you can’t engage with them during your breaks, however. When all else fails, the universal “leave me alone” sign is always wearing headphones.
4) Person to Person “Contact”
Every day, try and schedule a video chat with your coworkers, colleagues, or friends even if you don’t have anything pressing to talk about — it can just be 15 minutes to say what’s up! Taking over video can create a sense of normalcy and reminds you that you’re not alone in this unprecedented situation.
5) Actually Take a Lunch Break and Enjoy It
As part of your daily plan, ensure you’re scheduling a half hour or hour long lunch break. Working from home means you can move away from take-out or the lonely desk sandwich and prepare fresh meals at home for a fraction of the typical take-out price. If possible, try and make this meal as healthy as possible so you have the energy to carry on throughout the day.
The most important thing is not to eat it at your desk unless you absolutely need to.
Do you have any tips to reduce stress while working from home? If so, share them with us on social media (@WorkhausLife), or email them to Adam.
Now, take a deep breath and carry on being awesome!