With the emergence of COVID-19, more and more companies are now transitioning to the new normal for work – the work-from-home (WFH) setup. Big businesses like Microsoft, Google, and Gap have responded to this call. For them, the safety of their employees is their primary concern. If they can do their work efficiently and productively at home, then why risk it outside?
Some have now experienced this work environment in the past months due to the pandemic. However, many voiced out that it’s not as easy as they thought it was going to be.
Clinical psychologist Kevin Gillliland, PsyD says, “Working from home can be more challenging than it seems.” The executive director of Innovation 360, an outpatient group of counselors and therapists adds, “Your home is filled with distractions you simply don’t encounter at work, especially if you have other people living, working, or trying to get school work done.”
With this in mind, here are some tips on how you can handle your stress amid the WFH approach.
Avoid A Too Formal Business Meeting Throughout
When working remotely, there is a tendency to stick with formal business meetings. It is far away from the serendipitous collaborations, which happen when you’re face-to-face with your colleagues. Some examples of these informal encounters include chatting every after meetings, having a joke with them, stopping by your co-worker’s desks, and catching up in the pantry.
The only problem with WFH is that these video conferences eliminate these tender acts. Going with purely business conversations throughout the meeting only stresses you out. The best way to go about this is to schedule a time for informal discussions.
Read Minimal News
While keeping up to date is vital, the World Health Organization (WHO) reminded the public that this might only be bad for our mental health. Continually reading and watching negative news only adds to the stress you feel.
Given that you’re at home, you have access to these media outlets anytime. Compare this to the restrictions you face while at work since you’re not allowed to open your social media accounts anytime you want.
When working from home, stick to one working tab only. Do not deviate from your work to check on the latest news. Focus on finishing your tasks so that your emotions are not all over the place.
Ask For Help
Having a non-existent boundary between work and home is stressful. Since you’re just at home, you tend to get stressed with your pending house chores and errands. Having too many tasks on your plate, both for your job and at home, this will only be a primary source of anxiety.
To help you balance everything, don’t hesitate to ask for help from your partner, spouse, other family members, or friends you’re living with. Delegate tasks to the people around you so that you’ll feel more relaxed.
Schedule Your Exercise
Getting some physical activity during this stressful time is essential. You can establish a work-out schedule every day, and block this off from your calendar. Since you can’t go to the gym, you can download some exercise apps or just put songs that you can dance out.
You may also ask your co-workers to join your cause by making this a virtual group activity. Invite your colleagues for a quick video call, put on a Youtube fitness video, and exercise your heart.
Take Mini Breaks
It’s too draining for you if you work for hours straight. Instead, step away from your laptop and stand up even for ten minutes to stretch. This mini-break will help you relax and stay focused. Several studies in Sweden revealed that students who were given short breaks before answering a test scored higher than those who didn’t get a chance to relax.
There are also apps that you can use to help you sustain this practice. Mollie, a Time Out app for Mac users, serves as an alarm clock. It reminds you that you have been staring at the computer for a while already. Aside from this, it will also encourage you to walk around, stretch, grab a snack, or change your sitting position.
Aside from taking off your physical health, so you won’t be susceptible to the virus, you should also handle your mental health. This pandemic is taking a toll on us, and add to this the continuous stress that you get from the work-from-home setup. Just follow these four tips so you’ll be able to manage these negativities.