Remote work has been on the rise, especially during pandemic. But remote work isn’t the only thing that has been on the rise. Burnout is hitting an all time high.
What is Work-From-Home Burnout, and Why Is It Happening?
Work-from-home burnout happens when people can’t separate their work life and their home life, says Andrew Schwehm, a licensed clinical psychologist with Alma, a network of mental health providers, who also works at Bellevue Hospital in New York City and teaches at NYU School of Medicine. People are having an especially hard time separating the two during the pandemic when they’re working and living in one space.
How to Recognize Work-From-Home Burnout
Work-from-home burnout might not be easy to spot during the pandemic, when we’re all experiencing lots of stress and emotional turmoil. The exhaustion from burnout runs deep and doesn’t go away quickly. Here are a few other signs to look out for:
- Losing track of tasks
- Not completing work on time
- Going through mood changes like irritability, sadness, or anger
- Experiencing symptoms of depression, like hopelessness, loss of interest in things you used to enjoy, or fatigue
- Feeling discouraged or apathetic about work
- Getting poor sleep, experiencing insomnia, or having trouble falling asleep
- Drinking more alcohol than normal, or drinking to cope
- Experiencing physical symptoms like chest pain, headaches, increased illness, heart palpitations, dizziness or fainting, or gastrointestinal pain
How to Recover From Work-From-Home Burnout
There might not be one thing that magically makes you feel better, but testing out a few different strategies might help. Here are four things you can try:
Take Control of What You Can
At a time when it feels like so much is out of our control, Celeste Viciere, a therapist based in Boston says it’s important to recognize what you can change in your own life, like what you eat, how you sleep, and how often you exercise.
Developing a bedtime routine will also help you get better sleep, Viciere says. “Try putting the phone down at least 30 minutes before bed,
Schwehm also says that regular exercise can really help boost your mood, even if it’s just 15 to 20 minutes of walking each day.
Talk to Your Boss
It’s important to build a relationship with your boss and check in with them regularly, regardless of whether it’s about burnout or other things happening in your life, Schwehm says. He suggests setting up at least one 15-minute meeting (in the form of a video or phone call, for now) with your boss each month. If your boss’s schedule is too tight for that, send them bi-weekly emails.
Create Boundaries and a Routine For Work
In order to break the cycle of constant work and exhaustion, you’ll need to set some boundaries. These could include:
- Only working during designated hours
- Not responding to emails outside of your working hours (and perhaps shutting off notifications or removing your inbox access from your phone to make this easier)
- Taking a lunch break away from your computer
- Taking a 15- to 30-minute break every day
- Working flexible hours
Schedule “Me Time” Every Day
Setting aside time for yourself can be tough, so Schwehm has a simple suggestion: Try to take two five-minute breaks each day—one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. “Just stay away from your technology for a second,” he says. “Do some form of a quick mindfulness exercise.” Mindfulness, he says, could look like a few different things: It could be taking a few deep breaths, paying attention to how each part of your body feels while you breathe, counting things in the room you’re in, or smelling a fragrance you like, like lavender or cinnamon.
Connect With Someone
“Keep yourself from isolating too much,” Schwehm says. “Right now we are so disconnected from others… It can create a lot of loneliness, and I think it’s really important for us to get connection however we can.”
Talk to others about what they’re going through, Schwehm says, whether you’re speaking to a therapist or catching up with your best friend over the phone.
Sources : www.themuse.com ; www.forbes.com
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