It won’t have escaped your notice that the world is in lockdown. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many workers have been furloughed, while other, more fortunate people are now working from home.
Of course, this new way of working is not necessarily easy. Being forced to stay inside all day, with the lines between work and home blurring, can affect us deeply. For many of us, it can lead to increased stress, which eventually leads to burnout.
If you’re struggling with burnout or concerned that you’re on the way towards it, read in to discover a few expert health tips on how to avoid burnout whilst working from home.
Create a routine for your day
For many of us, one of the biggest issues with the lockdown is that it throws our usual routine out the window. Before the pandemic, we might have risen at seven, walked the dog, had breakfast, then taken the train to work.
But all that has been thrown into disarray with significant consequences. Routines give us structure in our life, and are vital for regulating our mood reducing stress.
If you haven’t already, try to create a set routine for your day and follow it as closely as possible. Wake, eat, sleep, and exercise at the same time every day (as much as you can). This will help shape your day, giving you a solid foundation that keeps you calm and balanced.
Consider the long-term implications of burnout
Burnout is something that can affect us all. But prolonged periods of burnout can lead to compounded stress, which in turn can cause serious mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.
If you are concerned that you are suffering from a more serious mental health issue and are considering medication, speak to a medical professional.
Many take propranolol for anxiety, a prescription-only medication that is proven to help sufferers manage their condition themselves, and are available at online pharmacies. , for example, offers propranolol after a private evaluation with a qualified medical professional.
Of course, medication should only be considered if all other avenues have been explored and you have been recommended to do so by a doctor or qualified prescriber.
Don’t work more than you need to
There is a tendency in the world of business, especially for startups, to celebrate working longer hours than you should. A nose-to-the-grindstone approach is applauded, seen as a sign of hard work and ambition.
But this approach will, eventually, lead to burnout. Now everyone is in lockdown, that risk is only exacerbated. It’s tempting to fill your idle time at home with more work, especially if you are the manager of a company.
This is not sustainable, so it’s important that you adopt a moderate approach to your workday. Set yourself strict limits on your working day. Avoid staying late at the ‘office’ if you need to catch up on work, and don’t work at weekends.
Enjoy the benefits of mindfulness for mind and body
Mindfulness is usually associated with the hippy movement or spirituality, but it is actually an effective and medically-recognized wellbeing strategy. Today is it practiced by people all over the world to reduce burnout, alleviate stress, and manage anxiety levels.
In short, mindfulness is the practice of focusing your attention on what is happening immediately around you. From the sound of a river running to the feel of the wind on your face, by concentrating on the moment you distract your mind from stress and bring your body into a sense of calm.
If you’re feeling burned out, take a moment to sit in a quiet room or, where possible, go for a walk in nature. Start by concentrating on your breathing and your chest rising and falling, and work out from there.
It might be worth using a mindfulness app to help you with this. Ten Percent Happier is a good option worth considering.
Make exercise an essential part of your day
Exercise is, without a doubt, one of the single best things you can do to prevent burnout, both for mind and body. When you work out, you release chemicals in your body known as endorphins. These alter your pain perception, increasing your mood, and making you feel energized and calm afterward.
Of course, exercising whilst in lockdown can be tricky. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a garden or green spaces nearby. But it is possible to enjoy a solid workout in the home, and there are plenty of free exercise videos on YouTube to help you get started.
If you’re not a seasoned fitness fanatic, it’s worth starting small. Don’t push yourself in the early days as this will burn you out more and it will not be sustainable.
Instead, just get used to the workout. As time goes on, you can increase your workout and push yourself further and further to enjoy the mood-boosting benefits of exercise.
Self-care is crucial if you’re working from home, especially during the lockdown. Follow the tips above and take steps to reduce stress and anxiety, and you will stay on an even keel until the situation returns to normal.