Five Ways To Avoid Burning Out While Working At Home
Author Bio: Cristin Howard runs Smart Parent Advice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Cristin writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase.
When you first start working from home, it can seem like a nice change of pace. No morning commute, easy access to your favorite snacks, and the coffee you like, are all good things. But after a while, the novelty wears off. You realize that the line between work and home life has blurred, and if you’re not careful, you’ll burn yourself out.
If you feel burnout creeping up on you, then here are five things you might want to try.
When you work from home, you need to have clear boundaries between your work life and home life.
The most straightforward boundaries to set are time boundaries. Decide what times your working and when you’re clocking out. Then stick to those times.
Next up are clothes. If you used to dress for work but have found yourself just wearing the same clothes all day, every day, then it’s time to bring back your formal wear. The clothes you wear affect your frame of mind. So part of switching off is changing out of your work clothes at the end of the day.
Finally, if you can, try and create some physical boundaries. Separate your workspace from your living space. A separate room is ideal, but not always possible. If possible, put your work things away at the end of your workday. If you have monitors you can’t put away, then turn them around, or get a throw to put over them, so they’re out of sight.
Create A Routine
Routines are perfect for relieving the mental burden of your day. Every time we have to make a decision, it uses some of our mental reserves. Having a routine reduces the decisions you have to make. This leaves you with mental energy to spare to spend on more important things.
The other advantage of a routine is that it gives your day shape, and it makes you feel like you’re achieving something. If you can, try and sneak some healthy habits into your routine, and minimize the unhealthy ones.
Getting your body moving is great for your overall well being. Exercise releases serotonin, which is good for lifting your mood. Being outside increases the effect. If you can, you can couple this with family time. A nice walk with your kids and partner can really help you all to feel better. It also means you’re spending time with your family while looking after yourself as well. It’s a double win.
If you have young kids, don’t let that stop you from getting out and about, a lightweight stroller can make it easy to give tired legs a little rest. For even smaller babies, you can always wear a sling or wrap while you’re out. That way, you can get in some bonding time along with your fresh air.
However, if you do not mind spending some alone exercise time, you can go for a ride on a powerful e-bike. Enjoy the woods, the forest, or the rough mountain track near you but on a convenient electric bike. This activity can help you release the tiredness and stress you have accumulated from working, even if it is just from home. Moreover, if your partner and your children (at least the older ones) can see how much fun it is to cycle using an e-bike, you can eventually get them to ride with you. Of course, you need to guide them and let them ride through easy terrain first since they would be first-timers. Then you can all move on to something more challenging together when you think they are ready.
Know Which Balls You Can Drop
This is true all the time, but you do perhaps need to be more aware of it while working from home. Life is a juggling act. You’ve always got a lot going on. Sometimes you can’t get everything done, and one of your balls is going to drop.
When you feel things starting to slip away from you and like you’re going to lose control, it’s better to make a conscious decision about what you’re going to let go of. That way, you can properly focus on the things you can manage. The alternative is doing a poor job of everything.
It might be that you need to ask for an extension on a deadline. It might be that for a few nights, you can’t read bedtime stories. Whatever it is, let it go and carry on. Your colleagues will understand, and your child won’t be scarred for life.
If you’re no longer going out to work, and you have a family, you might have suddenly lost all of your alone time. Maybe you used to get a cup of coffee on the way to work or just listened to music or podcasts in the car while you drove. With no commute, you might have lost these little rituals that were all yours. So, find a way to get them back. Make sure you get some time every day to do something that is just for you. It’s not selfish, it’s self-care, and it’s essential.