Sometimes a strong desire to achieve your dream job can lead to neglecting your well-being. A common misconception, that we often tend to become victims of, is that working longer hours can advance you in your career. Which makes it seem that work-life balance is an impossible act, especially when working remotely.
For the past year, many people have adapted to a remote position at work. Oftentimes, balancing work responsibilities with those from home causes the most amount of stress. Some might have had clear boundaries set at home but often couldn’t enforce the boundaries on themselves.
Without a healthy work-life balance, your well-being will be pulverized as time goes on. Eventually, your physical or mental health will be burned out causing low-performance efforts at work. It can lead to an increase in stress levels, menacing your overall happiness, and loss in relationships – both personal and professional.
Although a stress-free work-life looks different to every individual, following a guideline of practical tips to help you manage stress while working remotely can lead to the best work-life balance.
Stress can be experienced on different levels by every individual. When COVID-19 came about, it led to households doubling their workload. Not only are you doing chores around the house, but also managing your workspace at the same time. Which can lead to difficulties setting boundaries. Some employees felt additional pressure when working with children in the house, ensuring family needs are met, and still staying productive at work.
A study from The Martec Group found that 24% of workers reported an increase in stress levels. Stress can transpire from many different roots. There are two kinds of stress – distress and eustress. Distress is represented by a negative feeling, while eustress comes from an uplifting type of feeling. Being able to identify what kind of stress you experience is important to ensure you can follow the right remedy to manage it.
Many tools have been developed during the pandemic to help manage the stress when working remotely. Which means that you’re not alone with the associated feelings that you have about working from home. Here are some practical tips for managing your overall stress in your work life.
Creating a routine can help with overall productivity and manage the workload of tasks you need to accomplish. This can be achieved by setting your schedule or having specific hours that you need to be working, so you can focus on the task at hand.
Having a morning ritual to start your day can shift you into a mindset of wanting to fulfill your duties without feeling overwhelmed. For example, taking a morning walk is scientifically proven to not only reduce mental stress, but also improves factors such as blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol to name a few.
Journaling is a proven method to release an overabundance of stress. It’s a great tool used to connect with yourself after a long day of work and personal matters. Writing about stressful events can help you cope and manage these experiences in a healthy way.
Journaling could be the solution to avoid those bad habits you tend to do when experiencing high stress levels. Studies have shown that expressive writing for 15 to 20 minutes a day can lower blood pressure and improve liver functionality.
Having a space that invites productivity, creativity, and inspiration can help you mentally shift from home to work life. Also, to help achieve a work-life balance, be sure to leave your work in the dedicated workspace once you’re done for the day.
This automatically helps create a mental boundary of when you need to be in work mode and when to enjoy your personal life. No matter how big or small your home office is, establishing a dedicated space promotes healthy stress levels.
Author of Can I Have Your Attention?, Curt Steinhorst reveals that “Distraction is just confusion about what matters.” Nowadays, almost everything wants your attention. From your phone notifications to your comfy couch waiting for you to watch another season of your favorite TV show. Essentially, it boils down to what you prioritize for the day.
You can start minimizing distractions by pinpointing your most important tasks for the day. Tasks that, if you accomplish them, will feel like you’re lifting off a big weight of workload. An addition would be to leave out all distractions outside your workspace so you can have a deeper focus. Reducing distractions is tough, but in the long run, can bring you fulfillment and satisfaction in your work life.
Self-isolation can result in unhealthy stress levels. If you feel isolated while working remotely, consider reaching out to supportive friends or family members in your life. Sending them a quick text on how you’re feeling is a great initial step towards overcoming isolation.
Rewarding yourself for completing tasks isn’t a selfish act. And tasks don’t have to be big to allow yourself to be recognized for your hard work. Small acts can often lead to huge impacts. Managers are struggling with giving quick recognition throughout the workday due to limited social interactions, which can cause you to stress by debating if you’re doing a good job.
To help manage your stress levels and increase morale, you can reward yourself by:
• Taking a well-deserved break
• Eat lunch at your favorite restaurant
• Do yoga in your living room or practice meditation
• Play your favorite online games during break
By trying out a few options, you’ll find ways to reward yourself that work extremely well for you and help achieve a work-life balance.
An accountability partner is a professional bond you create with someone and agree to hold one another accountable on each others’ commitments. Think of it as a gym buddy. You both agree to exercise for a set period of time and rely on each other to not give up.
The American Society of Training and Development found that people are 65% more likely to achieve a goal after committing it to another person. With another person, it doesn’t feel like you’re doing it on your own, creating a less stressful environment in your work life.
Knowing you have a large laundry list needed to be accomplished before the day for both work and home, can lead to feeling overwhelmed and stressed. However, there’s a way to turn that around and help you feel more motivated throughout the workday when you track your work progress.
Being busy doesn’t always mean being productive. You could be busy doing various meaningless tasks that don’t impact your overall goals. Such as answering emails, responding to non-threatening issues, or chatting with colleagues. In the moment, it might feel like important work, but – because it puts you in a reactive mode – tasks like these can cause you to deviate from completing your goals.
And goals don’t need to be big to recognize progress. By crossing off small tasks every day, you can source the motivation you need to keep chasing down something bigger.
The 2020 State of Remote Work reported that collaboration and communication tied for the biggest struggle when working from home. Everyone on the team communicates differently and, while there are many tools to help improve communication practices, transitioning to remote work life has been a challenge.
No matter what communication platform you use at work, communicating with your manager about your workload has helped many other employees manage stress while working from home. The American Psychological Association reports that having a strong social support system can improve your self-esteem, therefore helping you cope with problems on your own.
Even though in-person interactions have been limited, maintaining a healthy communication system with co-workers has benefits when managing stress.
Mitigating stress is not an easy feat. There are times when certain incidents, especially those we cannot control, bring hardship to us. However, being self-aware of the possible stressors that can be experienced can help you control how to react and respond in a healthy manner.
Reminding yourself of the reason you do what you do and practicing these tips on how to manage stress can help you improve your work-life balance and overall well-being.
If you would like to support Open Sourced Workplace:
Ralf Quellmalz is the Co-founder and leader of Topic Insights. Born-and-raised in Asuncion, Paraguay, a graduate from Loyola University Chicago with a BBA in both Business Management and in Marketing. Topic Insights encourages subscribers and readers to embrace a beginner’s mindset – one where curiosity, gratitude, and a strong desire for personal growth guides us towards a life-long learning journey.
You must be logged in to post a comment.