While working from home has become a new trend because of its health and economic benefits, the idea comes with its challenges. Since you’ll have to marry your personal life with work, you may find yourself coping with anxiety and stress more often when working from home.
About 284 million people worldwide are coping with anxiety. For work-related stress, the anxiety could be the result of less social interaction with colleagues or a result of blurred lines between home and work. This article will show you tips to prevent or eliminate anxiety caused by working from home.
Create a home office
It’s fun to sit on a couch or bed and work on your laptop. Unfortunately, you can’t get much done that way. Therefore, you must create a space dedicated to work. It is even better if the home office is an enclosure that can be locked to shut out everyone and everything when you’re busy.
When you expose yourself to distractions, you may struggle with deadlines. Rushing to beat deadlines is the most important ingredient for an anxiety recipe, whether in the office or working from home. You also risk burnout, stress and a higher error rate if you make that your habit.
Structure your daily routine
If you don’t separate your domestic activities from your official tasks, you’ll be working in a haphazard manner and dragging yourself closer to anxiety. You should fashion your routine the same way as when you were working outside the home.
Since you’re working from home, you can work in your pajamas, but that idea will make it difficult for you to structure your routine. Instead, you should take your bath, get dressed, have your breakfast or morning tea/coffee, and head to your home office. There should be nothing stopping you from maintaining your regular office hours while you work from home.
Seek the support of your household
If you live with other people, it’s necessary to make them understand that you now work from home. Let them know your work hours. This will prevent them from disturbing you during your working hours. Issues that are not urgent can wait until you end your working day. They can try to handle the issues on their own.
Also, if you have a pet, you should train it to understand that you’re at work. After all, you never took it to your office when you were working outside the home. The fewer beings you have seeking your attention while working, the lesser the burden you will feel.
Maintain a work-life balance
Try not to spend more time on work than on your personal life. A lot of people are guilty of this but are not aware of it. They never shut down the work mentally. They still keep thinking and strategizing about work even after hours. Once you are done working, shut everything about work out of your mind until the following day.
Avoid checking your official emails when you’ve closed for the day. If you do, you may be tempted to respond to them immediately. Making yourself constantly available for work at the risk of your personal time will eventually lead to a burnout or have you anxious and thinking of pending tasks.
Find the cause of your anxiety
If you’re experiencing some symptoms of anxiety – like fear, stress, or panic – ask yourself what could have caused the anxiety. Could it be tight deadlines, the work itself or a fear of being laid off? Or are you struggling to combine house chores with your work? The root of the anxiety will determine how to tackle it.
Counter negative thoughts
A single anxious thought can quickly multiply itself in your mind and make you anxious. Here’s the truth. Most of the things we worry about don’t happen. Change the thoughts to positive ones.
For instance, instead of worrying about catching COVID-19, think of how great it will be that the vaccine may eliminate it completely. If you’re experiencing anxiety because your boss may not be happy with your work while you’re working from home, concentrate on all the good work you have accomplished. There are thousands of positive thoughts you can fill your mind with.
Take a vacation
Maintaining a social life when working from home or engaging in physical outings can help counter anxiety. You can try going on a trip if you feel the work stress is getting to you. When you go on vacation, you’ll come back re-energized and revitalized. If it’s not safe for you to leave your home, start planning for a vacation for when you can get away. Planning the vacation gives a certain pleasure that counteracts the symptoms of anxiety. Creating a picture of your vacation will uplift your mood.
The importance of breaks cannot be overemphasized. It helps to recharge your battery. You can prevent anxiety by adopting the Pomodoro technique. You could even combine the step above and start planning your vacation on these quick breaks. Instead of allowing your anxiety to mount up, you can restart anew after each break.
Get adequate sleep
You need an adequate amount of sleep to stay productive and prevent both stress and anxiety. The body resets itself while we’re asleep. Try to get about seven to eight hours of sleep every day. It should help that you have eliminated your drive time to work while working from home. Take that extra time and sleep in or go to bed earlier.
If you’re coping with the anxiety while working from home, you’ll beat it silly with the tips above. Although all of them are essential, if you have to pick only one, stick with the second tip to structure your daily routine. For many, it’s unknown how long they’ll be working from home. This could become the new normal, so it’s best to learn how to take care of any anxious situations now.