2020 is full of challenging news, and CNBC reported in October that the number of adults with depression has tripled in the U.S. since the COVID-19 pandemic began. A study in JAMA Network says one in four American adults are currently experiencing depression. Some of this worry is related to employment stressors as fully 50% of the U.S. now works from home. How can you take a step back from work when it’s as close as the laptop on your kitchen table? How can you develop boundaries between office time and home time when the locations for both are the same? This article will help you reduce work stress with a few useful tips on recognizing the signs and then taking steps to lessen it.
How to Find Work/Life Balance Again
Burnout is easier to experience when your home is also your work. You may not notice the signs at first; burnout can creep up on you or strike you hard and fast. Even noticing the signs of stress, like hunched shoulders, irritability, and fatigue, are easy to miss when you’re busy with home life, work, and the ever-present worry about COVID-19. Start with some self-discipline geared toward taking care of yourself and not those around you for a change. For example:
- Set boundaries for when work begins and ends. When you work from home, it’s too easy to keep your computer on during the evening and check for instant messages or emails. Before you know it, 10-hours have passed—but you’re only getting paid for eight.
- Get up during the day and change your scenery. Take a walk at lunchtime or take your remote learning kids to the part for an hour. Turn off work notifications on your cell phone during that time.
- Set aside time during the day to work on tasks without responding to email or instant messaging. Part of your burnout and stress could come from all the multitasking and constant clamoring from all sides. Start in the morning by answering any crisis emails. Work for a few hours on a project. Then answer anything that’s been clamoring during those few hours. Talk with your supervisor about your effort to lessen stress. Tell your coworkers you’ll be offline for a few hours to concentrate on one thing at a time.
- Ask for help if you need it. If your spouse isn’t taking on enough with the kids, talk about it. If your boss has piled too much on your plate, tell him or her you’re at capacity.
If we tell you to “learn to lighten up,” you probably will roll your eyes, but it’s good advice. Learn to delegate and to ease up on your own perfectionism, which are two characteristics of your own behavior that can lead to stress—and that you can control. Ask yourself if there are tasks that you can automate or hand off to others to help lessen your stress.
Exelare believes in the power of delegation.
That’s why our applicant tracking software uses automation to take mundane recruiting and reporting tasks off your plate. Find out how our tools could help lessen your stress by contacting our team today.