The experience of burnout has become more and more prevalent since the shift to a work-from-home setting. When working from home it can be difficult to separate work from rest. This results in work-life balance becoming skewed, leaving individuals feeling burnt out. Try implementing some of these tips to prevent work-from-home burnout.
Signs You Might Suffer From Burnout
Do you constantly feel tired, anxious, or stressed? Do you frequently experience migraines, fatigue, and dizziness? Perhaps this is a sign of burnout. Burnout in itself is not a new concept. Anyone and everyone can experience burnout, even children!
While this may be a common experience, don’t wait until you’ve burnt out to make changes in your life. Here are some common symptoms that may indicate you are burnt out.
- Excessive stress
- Sadness, anger, irritability
- Lack of creativity or purpose
- Lack of concentration
- Emotional numbness
- A cynical outlook
- High blood pressure
- Alcohol/substance misuse
1. Have a Routine (With Scheduled Breaks)
Say what you will about how boring a routine is, but the one thing it does is it grounds you. Establishing certain actions at certain times of the day enables you to have a sense of rhythm and productivity. When we talk about routine, it’s not just about waking up, washing your face, getting dressed, and starting work. It’s also about scheduling routine breaks in between everything you have to get done.
Too much work and no break can be detrimental to your mental health and can lead to headaches, fatigue, and burnout. To avoid this, make sure to schedule mini breaks (5, 10, or 15 minutes in between every hour). You can get up and stretch, listen to your favorite song, watch a video (only one!), or even grab a snack. It’s these little things that give your brain time to rest and recuperate before diving back in.
2. Set Boundaries
When you work from home it can be easy to blur the lines between work and home. Setting necessary boundaries for yourself can help differentiate those two areas in your life. Set up a dedicated workstation at home so your mind associates one specific area for work. Another thing you can do is mute your work notifications after work hours to ensure you don’t get distracted and carried away. Remember, your work is not your life, it is simply a part of it.
3. Make Health a Priority
In order not to tire yourself out physically, you have to make your health a priority. That means eating well and not skipping meals. Make sure to take lunch breaks and mini snack breaks to enjoy some delicious food. You will need the energy to keep on powering through the workday.
Besides eating, keeping fit and exercising is another vital aspect of our health. After sitting on a chair for hours, your body needs to be active. If you’d rather not participate in intense workout sessions, going on a walk, following an online workout, or simply stretching will do just fine.
Of all the aspects of health, sleep is probably one of the most overlooked. Try and find the perfect number of hours you need to be perfectly well rested. Once you have that locked down, you can set a sleeping schedule and aim to consistently be in bed (without looking at your phone!) by a certain hour.
4. Look at Your Workload
Maybe the reason you’re experiencing burnout is because of your workload. Are you working too hard? Pushing too much? Are there things you can do to lighten the workload? Maybe you can look at streamlining your processes or automating your systems. Consider using tools, devices, and platforms that can help you make your work easier.
Are you encountering issues at work that prevent you from getting the work done? Be proactive about what you find and suggest improvements and solutions to your problems. If you believe you’re being overworked, don’t be afraid to bring it up with your supervisor or manager.
5. Talk to Someone
Sometimes, all you need is a good talk with someone. You can chat with a friend, call a family member, have a one-on-one talk with a close co-worker or colleague, or even seek guidance from a professional. Whether you choose to talk about work or something completely unrelated, just getting it out there and having some interaction with someone you trust can work wonders on your disposition and mental well-being.
6. Keep Yourself Busy With Activities
Keeping yourself busy with non-work-related activities will give you something to look forward to. Try new things like physical and online classes. Maybe try cooking for a day or trying out that restaurant you’ve always wanted to eat in. Keep in mind that you don’t always have to do a big thing. Small things like gardening, reading a book, or watching a TV series works too. As long as you’re busy and are able to enjoy yourself, you’re golden!