Millions of people have been forced to shut down their office computers and work from home. For some, this is a welcome change—they have more control over their work schedule, and they don’t have to deal with disruptive coworkers and the grueling commute. But for others, working from home brings problems that they wouldn’t have encountered had they stayed in the office.
Some workers are less stressed when they are in their workplaces, but when there are quarantine protocols to follow, they have no choice but to stay home and protect themselves.
So while you’re waiting to return to your office, here are a few things to keep your mind in a healthy state.
Set a Work Schedule
Working from home affords you the freedom to work when you are most productive. Whether you take long breaks between spikes of energy or you finish tasks in a long, meditative way, you don’t have to worry about looking productive and alive for the superiors. Plus, you dictate when you can inject crucial household tasks of the day, whether that’s scheduling the sewer line repair or making pasta with the kids.
It comes at a price, however. The lack of structure makes you vulnerable to distractions. Since you have the entire day to do something, you might give in to lounging around and wandering in the house.
The solution, therefore, is to set a schedule for working. It sounds counterproductive since the benefit of working from your couch is the flexibility, but a semblance of structure ensures you get everything done — or at the very least, the most important ones — by the end of the day.
For instance, set three hours of work in the morning, and another 5 in the afternoon. During these periods, you are not allowed to walk about or attend to non-urgent matters in the house. You stay put and finish all your work tasks.
Stick to a Sleeping Schedule
With no commute, parties, or meetings with friends, the only connection people have with the world outside their homes is their phones. There is so much to keep up with, from the latest COVID-19 developments to a cousin’s quarantine birthday, that you might stay up until the wee hours of the morning glued to your screen.
Your sleep is essential in keeping the stress away. A regular sleep routine can flush out the stress and calms down the body. Moreover, it sharpens your decision-making and problem-solving skills. If you have a good night’s sleep, you are better equipped to face challenges at work.
One effective way of sticking to a sleep routine is to put your phone away thirty minutes before bedtime. Phones emit blue light, a type of light that the brain interprets as daylight and consequently stimulates it and keeps you awake. Moreover, the temptation to check social media is too strong, and so you spend the next few hours scrolling, liking, and sharing, which keeps you awake even further. To fall asleep, you have to put away your phone.
Working from home is not leisure—it brings the same amount of stress; only this time, you are in isolation and vulnerable to distractions. By setting a work schedule and following a sleeping routine, you can combat stress and stay mentally healthy throughout quarantine.