When it comes to working, the COVID-19 pandemic has indeed ushered in a new normal. Millions around the world are now working remotely while juggling other activities – attending to a toddler, managing a home – at the same time. We are panic working through a pandemic, and that has taken its toll.
According to a recently-conducted survey, 51% of the participants reported increased stress levels and burnout while working from home, while another 49% said they had no time to cool off. But with everybody experiencing stress and anxiety of varying degrees, how do you know that you’re burning out?
The WHO, that categorized burnout as an occupational phenomenon – lists these symptoms:
If you identify with these, chances are you are experiencing burnout as well. But that’s alright, as it is undoubtedly possible to reverse what you’re going through. On that note:
Carve out a dedicated workspace, no matter if it’s only the corner of your bedroom or a comfy chair. That being said, don’t go anywhere near the bed. Working on the soft mattress with your face down isn’t just bad for the overall posture, but also creates too fine a distinction between rest and work.
This is crucial and cannot be emphasized enough. When it comes to setting clear boundaries and limits, it has to apply to your private life and work. At home, if you have a family, let others know that you’d be working till a specific time so that they don’t interrupt. Similarly, working from home doesn’t mean you will have to available for office work at odd hours.
Set a start and end time for yourself, and take some time out for meals and breaks.
A significant perk of WFH is getting that extra shut-eye in the morning. While that is fine, you should try and stick to the normal working hours to be at your productive best. For instance, if you take a cold shower in the morning or listen to a particular podcast, stick to the drill to get into the right frame of mind.
While we all are isolating, this feeling can eat away at you when you’re working remotely. Remember that you’re not the only one; if you think you can do with a little support from your colleagues, take them on a video call to mimic real-life office space.
That said, every meeting doesn’t have to be on video, for endless virtual meets can pile on the stress.
Practice self-care. You don’t have to beat yourself over not being always available to your manager. Instead, decompress – mentally and physically. In between web meets, stretch a little or call up that friend of yours. Short breaks help you recover. Resist the urge to be ‘always there’ as you don’t have to. Everybody is giving their best shot, and so are you.
If you’re burning out, take a day off and don’t feel bad about it. Know that you have earned it. But make sure that day is not like other days – plan it in a way that helps you on your way to recovery. Catch up with a friend or watch a movie that helps you relax. And most importantly, do home workouts, eat right and sleep well, for a healthy body leads a healthy mind.