Given the current climate of health concerns and stay-at-home directives, many professionals are working from home. For many, working from home is a new experience with a new set of challenges, including work-from-home stress. Listed are some tips for managing the novel stress associated with working from home.
It is understandably frustrating to transition from a position of being a knowledgeable and effective employee to re-learning a new set of technical and procedural requirements. Add to that the minimized social contact and tensions within the home, and stress is inevitable. It is not a mark of a person who is a failure; it is a direct consequence of a changing world. Avoiding self-blame will prevent the propagation of additional stress.
Remaining in the same physical environment (i.e. home) for extended periods of time can produce a “stuck” feeling in our brains. Since stress is often associated with feelings of powerlessness, it is important to have a variety of physical and emotional experiences. This process can include going for a walk, going for a drive, or even eating lunch outside. A change in scenery often has an immediate and long-lasting effect on mood.
Humans are, by nature, social creatures. The amount of interaction needed varies from person to person, but everyone needs some form of support system. Many professionals casually interact with coworkers in an office setting, and a sense of loneliness when working from home can be quite pronounced. Phone calls, video chats, and trips to a local park are just a few ways to lean on a support network while staying safe. Improvements in overall well-being will decrease overall stress.
Create a Barrier
Working from home presents a unique challenge of managing work stress and home stress within the same space. Stressors from work often flow over into home life and vice versa. Usually, a commute serves as a break between home and work while providing a change of scenery. At home, a period of physical and/or emotional transition can help stress from carrying over to the next task. These transitions can take the form of journal writing, listening to music, going for a walk, or any other preferred activity for a short time.
Working from home can cause added stress to home life. These steps are just a few of many ways to manage stress. During social distancing, A Caring Approach is offering virtual individual counseling services to provide additional tools and resources for managing stress.