Did you know that the coronavirus pandemic has forced record numbers of Americans to work from home? Working remotely certainly has its perks, like the ability to work in your pajamas, or eliminate your bothersome commute. Yet, it can also result in work-from-home burnout, a troublesome condition that often happens when we submit ourselves to all work and no play. Read on to learn more about work-from-home burnout and how to mitigate its effects.
Recognizing Work-From-Home Burnout
Burnout from working at home might be harder to spot right now, as many people experience pandemic-related stress and anxiety. However, here are a few behaviors to keep an eye out for, especially if they don’t seem to resolve themselves over a stretch of time.
• Losing track of tasks
• Not completing work on time
• Going through mood changes like irritability, sadness, or anger
• Experiencing symptoms of depression, like hopelessness, loss of interest in things you used to enjoy, or fatigue
• Feeling discouraged or apathetic about work
• Getting poor sleep, experiencing insomnia, or having trouble falling asleep
• Drinking more alcohol than normal, or drinking to cope
• Experiencing physical symptoms like chest pain, headaches, increased illness, heart palpitations, dizziness or fainting, or gastrointestinal pain
Recovering from Work-From-Home Burnout
Unfortunately, not many people have the means to simply take off for a week-long vacation right now – and, in many cases, people don’t feel comfortable being away from home for extended amounts of time. Here are a few other healthy ways to process your emotions and get on top of them.
• Take control of what you can, by managing what you eat, how you sleep, and how often you exercise. This also means taking control of unhealthy behaviors, like alcohol or drug use, watching too much TV, and the like.
• Talk to your boss about how you’re feeling. Prepare a few major points about your mental health and what your current needs are. Perhaps you’d like to adopt a more flexible schedule. Vocalize what you need, and you’ll likely find that your boss is willing to accommodate you.
• Create boundaries and a routine for all things work-related. Your boundaries and routine might include only working during designated hours, eliminating 24-hour email notifications, or taking a 15- to 30-minute break every day.
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