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5 Tips to Manage Stress While Working from Home

5 Tips to Manage Stress While Working from Home

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manage stress while working from home

Although most dream of picking their own hours, it can be hard to manage stress while working from home. It can be easy to be thrown off schedule or develop poor eating and sleeping habits. While there are many benefits to working from home, don’t go into it without a plan. Here are 5 tips to help you manage stress while working from home.

Set schedules and create a space to work

Limit your news intake

Exercise and get outside

Visit with family and friends

Find a hobby to manage stress

Set schedules and create a space to work

One of the best ways to manage stress while working from home is to have a set schedule and place to do all your work. Normally, when not working from home, you know exactly when you need to be in the office and exactly when you can leave. However, when you are working from home it can feel as if the grind never stops. Also, there’s the possibility that you will continually be interrupted by others. Having a routine that cuts out distractions, sets clear boundaries on when the workday starts and ends, and when to take breaks will help you manage stress while working from home.  Otherwise, it can be easy to get into a slump in which you feel less motivated to work or you are not being able to complete work.

Combine building a routine with having a dedicated working space. Having a dedicated office or desk that is quiet and clear of distractions can help you focus on work. Establish a home workspace that allows you to “leave” work at the end of the day. Preferably, this is a specific desk or room you only do work in. When you enter the room you work, nowhere else in your house do you do that. This will train your body and mind that it is time to work.

Limit your news intake

While it can be tough to manage stress while working from home, one of the key things you can do is to limit your news and social media intake. Limiting your intake can reduce stress levels and keep your mind focused on work. More importantly, finding other things to worry about can help keep you motivated and focused on what’s important. This is especially true for the Coronavirus situation, as the WHO outlines in their report, Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak:  

“Minimize watching, reading or listening to news about COVID-19 that causes you to feel anxious or distressed; seek information only from trusted sources and mainly so that you can take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones. Seek information updates at specific times during the day, once or twice. The sudden and near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel worried. Get the facts; not rumours and misinformation. Gather information at regular intervals from the WHO website and local health authority platforms in order to help you distinguish facts from rumours. Facts can help to minimize fears”.

Focus on what you can control with work, family, and your own personal mental health. Staying on top of these items and limiting social media influence can help you stay on track and manage stress while working from home.

Exercise and get outside

An exercise that gets the heart rate going releases endorphins into your brain Which makes you feel more positive and happier. Working out is also a great way to push through mental barriers such as stress and anxiety. It’s one of the main ways to stay healthy while sheltering in place. Completing physical tasks improves and maintains your heart, muscles, and brain health. It is a positive way to express stress and oftentimes worth through it. You can use apps to work out from home or design your own schedule to work out at home. Whichever you choose, pick exercises that you may like doing.

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For instance, maybe you hate running. While running is one of the healthiest exercises you can perform, that doesn’t mean you should set yourself up for failure by only running a couple of times a week. You’re more likely to fail at completing that task because you hate it so much. Instead, try looking up workouts for specific sports that you like. Lookup exercises for hobbies that you enjoy such as dancing, boxing, and bike riding. Getting your body moving for at least 30 minutes three to five times a week is going to help you manage stress while working from home much better than doing nothing.

Furthermore, getting out in nature by walking around the block or going to the park can help boost your mental well-being. Seeing nature and being surrounded by it has a profound effect on people’s mental health. Find trails you would like to walk or spend time out on your back porch. You don’t have to go camping just to get out in nature. Try to get out of the house and just walk around the block, taking in your neighborhood.

Visit family and friends

Working from home often gives people the sensation of loneliness. This is due in large part from people not being able to converse with others in an office environment. While you may have to social distance, you don’t have to let that stop you from seeing coworkers, friends, or family. Call them on the phone, video chat with them, or see them in person while wearing a mask and social distancing. Humans need interaction and social isolation can lead to harmful thoughts and actions. Schedule times with friends and family in which you can chat over video for 30 minutes or more.

Find a hobby to manage stress

Finding a hobby to look forward to at the end of the workday can help you manage stress while working from home. Find hobbies that will help you relieve stress or create something. Remember though, you’re looking for a hobby that is going to have a positive impact on your life. Don’t try to start a company as a hobby as that comes with its own stressors and problems. Instead, choose a hobby that will bring out your inner creativity or connect you with other people. You may find that you are more willing to work harder and get out of bed earlier knowing that as soon as you get your work done you can focus on your hobby.

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