Quarantine has opened a new possibility many employers would not have considered previously: working from home. Now, a large number of us will have the opportunity to keep doing so post-Covid. Working from home offers increased flexibility. We spend less time commuting and thus have more free time available. However, an unanticipated effect of working from home is a higher chance of burnout. As work bleeds into our daily lives and the boundaries between work and play blur, here are some ways to stay mindful and practice self care from the comfort of your home.
Set boundaries between work and free time.
Boundaries can help distinguish between your work-life and home-life. When you’re off-the-clock, turn off all work notifications until the next workday. You can also set up a designated workspace. That way, you can physically step away from work once you are done for the day. Set alarms as a reminder to take breaks and prevent fatigue.
Clean and organize your home.
A clean and organized living space will make working easier and less stressful! Messiness can take up mental as well as physical space. To practice self care, eliminate that excess clutter. If you’re in a decluttering mood, the KonMari method is highly recommended – you can check out Marie Kondo’s website here. She also has a Netflix show called Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.
Combat Zoom fatigue.
Now that we’re working from home and social distancing, video conferences and video calls have become much more common. Office workers have been experiencing increasing rates of fatigue and burnout in a phenomenon that has been dubbed “Zoom fatigue.” When communicating through a screen, there is less body language available to interpret. Coworkers’ muted mikes and the lack of background noise can make it seem as if we’re talking into a void. Self view has us hyper-aware of our own appearance and actions. It’s also incredibly easy to get distracted by the other virtual tools available at our fingertips. As a result, our brains have to work harder, which results in higher burnout levels. So how can we deal with Zoom fatigue?
As a host, you can forego video calls for other methods of communication, such as texting or calling. A recorded video message can easily replace a meeting. Hope to shorten the meeting? Plan out a detailed agenda beforehand and stick to it. To decrease Zoom fatigue as an attendee, you can set up “No meeting” or “Do NOT book” time blocks on your work calendar to avoid being roped into a video call. During a call, you can hide self view, or even turn off your camera.
During your work day, dedicate a block of time to meditation. Making sure you are in a peaceful state of mind is an important part of self care, and meditation is a great way to achieve that mindset! Headspace, Calm, and Breathe are some great apps for mindfulness and meditation.
Watch your physical health.
Since you won’t be moving around as much as you would if you weren’t working from home, designating a time to run or work out is a good idea. Exercise reduces the levels of stress hormones in your body and stimulates the production of endorphins (natural painkillers and mood elevators). Another tip for maintaining your health is stocking up on healthy snacks such as vegetables, hummus, or almonds. Stress-binging on unhealthy food can become very tempting during a difficult workday, and this way you’ll be able to curb your unhealthy snacking habits and practice self care.