Any modern-day student or worker is more than familiar with burnout. It’s that feeling of utter physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion, brought on by a relentless workload and prolonged stress. However, many thought they might get a break from the burnout cycle with everyone working from home. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Due to a mixed bag of pandemic anxiety, economic woes, and an increasingly blurring line between our work and home lives, more and more Americans are falling prey to work-from-home burnout.
Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way. With a few lifestyle adjustments, you can recharge your batteries and find better ways to cope with stress and anxiety.
How to Spot Work-From-Home Burnout
The first step in treating work-from-home burnout is recognizing it in the first place. The critical thing to look out for is the persistence of your exhaustion or anxiety. If you can’t seem to sit down and relax, or if you wake up to each morning with dread, you may be suffering from burnout.
Here are a few more signs to look out for:
- Difficulty starting or completing tasks
- Losing track of tasks
- Lack of motivation and increasing apathy towards work
- Mood changes
- Poor sleep or insomnia
- Other physical symptoms, such as chest pain, gastrointestinal distress, headaches, heart palpitations, etc.
How to Treat It
Work-from-home burnout is different from other kinds of burnout. You don’t have that work-life separation as you did in the office, so it’s easier for your work-life to creep in and disrupt your home-life. This is why you have to create clear set boundaries and stick to them to regain any sense of normalcy again.
Set office hours
Sure, you’re not in an office, but you can trick your mind into thinking that you are by creating office hours. This will provide further boundaries between your work and home life, teaching your brain when to focus on work and when to focus on the home.
Take time off
Taking some time off may seem silly during a pandemic, but it can do wonders for your mental health. It gives you a chance to unplug and step away from your work for a few days. You don’t even have to go out for the weekend to experience the benefits. Put all of your work equipment away, turn off your email notifications, and relax for the next few days.
Create a workspace
A dedicated workspace can also provide a better boundary between your work and home life. Preferably, your workspace should be in a separate room that you can close it off from the rest of the house once you’ve finished working. If you don’t have space, you can create a small workspace with a desk, chair, and more. Once you’ve completed work for the day, turn everything off and don’t touch that area until the next day.