Guest Post By Jessica Larson, SolopreneurJournal.com
The pandemic has changed aspects of our society indefinitely. Quarantines, curfews, civil unrest, and other factors have led many of us to stay at home as much as possible.
A number of us have gone from working in a central office to working full time from home. This is a dream come true for some; a nightmare to others.
While it may help us stay safe, prolonged solitude can be a challenge for our mental health. Working from home can blur the lines between our personal and professional lives. No matter how much you enjoy your job, you may suffer burnout unless you make a conscious effort to avoid it. In that light, here are some ways to avoid work-from-home burnout.
1. Check your tech
Reduce your stress by making sure your technology is up to date. Nothing is more stressful than being unable to do your job efficiently because your tech is lagging.
Remote work can involve a wide variety of technological devices: computers, printers, scanners, modems, tablets, and more. If any of these devices are outdated, their shortcomings may cause more problems than they solve.
Check to be sure that all your devices have the most recent versions of their software, and that you’ve installed all pertinent updates. In some cases, you may need to replace your software entirely. No matter which course you choose, make sure your devices are fully functional and dependable.
Working with up-to-date tech can reduce work-from-home burnout.
2. Establish a self-care routine
Another way to avoid work-from-home burnout is by creating a self-care routine. Burnout is a mental health issue, which can improve or worsen depending on how well you take care of yourself. Focusing some time and attention on your well-being can help stabilize your mindset.
Consider activities such as starting a new hobby, exercising, treating yourself to a bubble bath, meditating, spending time alone, eating healthy meals, or even scheduling time with a therapist. Almost anything that focuses your attention on feeling good can help you stave off burnout.
3. Create a workspace to reduce work-from-home burnout
Consider creating a designated work area in your home. If you’ve been working from the couch since the pandemic began, it’s time to upgrade; your state of mind will thank you. A home office will make it easier to separate your work hours from your personal hours.
Maybe you have enough space to clear out an entire room and create a home office from scratch. Or maybe you’ll simply be sectioning off an area of your bedroom, living room, or dining room. In either case, designating a dedicated workspace is an excellent way to push back against work-from-home burnout.
If you need to get rid of clutter or clear out an entire room, you can make the process easier by renting a dumpster. Smaller bins hold about three pickup trucks’ worth of trash and can be delivered and returned contact-free.
4. Take time off
While working remotely, you can maintain boundaries between your home and work life by scheduling time off. This time can range anywhere from two days a week (known colloquially as a weekend) to keeping holidays free from work or taking a vacation now and then.
Days off allow you to regroup and continue to work at an optimal level. Regardless of how often you’re able to take time off, stick to your schedule and take time regularly to relax away from the pressures of your job.
5. Fix your finances
The pandemic has caused many people to work harder for fear of losing their jobs or falling behind financially. Rather than feeling compelled to overwork, use that extra time to get your finances in order so you can relieve some of the economic pressure associated with these uncertain times.
Devising a budget, cutting your expenses, paying off debt, boosting your credit, investing what you can, and building up your savings are all excellent ways of creating peace of mind and preparing for your financial future.
6. Take care of your home
Your home is an indicator of your stability and, as such, deserves your attention — all the more so if it’s where you both live and work: You need to keep it running smoothly so you can continue running smoothly.
One way to do so is to purchase a home warranty. Continually worrying that an appliance or major home system might fail is a clear path to stress and burnout. But with a home warranty, you can ensure that you’re covered for unexpected (and sometimes costly) repairs. You can put your mind at ease, knowing your home is covered, no matter what.
Many people don’t take work-from-home burnout seriously until it’s too late. But preventing burnout is far easier than dealing with it once it’s claimed your mental health. Give some serious thought to how you’re feeling as you work from home, and be alert for signs of burnout.
Consider the tips suggested here, come up with some ideas of your own, then take the steps that resonate most closely with your goals and lifestyle to keep yourself healthy and engaged.
About the Author
Jessica Larson is a married Midwestern mom and a solopreneur. She creates online courses for students, and she’s started and run several other businesses through the years. Her goals are to support her family while still actually spending time with them, to act as an entrepreneurial role model for her two daughters, and to share what she’s learned through The Solopreneur Journal.