The new norm of society and our lives.
If you told me last year I would be working from home for this long and at the same time going through a pandemic I would not believe you because WDF. First of all, my idea of working from home meant being in our pyjamas, sipping on continuous amount of coffee and of course doing all this in the comfort of your OWN home. I do not have to look good in the morning and spend money on eating out or travelling to work. The idea of telecommunicating is appealing and being in the pandemic that we are in, it is not that bad to work from home. However, as time went by, I started to realise how different it is to work remotely.
As I started to work from home, I feel like I need to get away from any kinds of technology after I had finished work. This means I do not want sight of my phone or watch any television or anything that involves a screen. Actually, my mind goes blank for an hour because of how much screen time I just took in those last 8 hours. I started to find it hard to balance myself between my personal life and my professional life and mixed both with each other (bad call). Although, I would say the good thing is I do get to wake up 15 – 30 minutes earlier instead of the normal 1-2 hours and eat a good breakfast and have my morning coffee before I start. However, I think it is important to remember to balance out our work life and personal life so they do not interfere with each other. At first it was hard for me because I associated my surroundings with my work. For example, if I am working on the kitchen table I suddenly feel as if this is now and only my work space therefore I get put off the idea of eating on the table or sitting there when it is not time to work. That is something I realised I have to work on because I sometimes do find it hard to separate my work life from my personal life. But as time went on I believe I have found simple yet affective ways I can ease myself and hopefully others who are also working from home.
You see, being constantly connected through technology does not do much for our mental well-being. When we are not doing teams meeting, we are working on emails and if we are not working on emails our eyes feel like it has to be constantly stuck on the screen in case, we miss something. The reality can be overwhelming. In the sudden shift we have from our normal work routines to now working out a routine within our homes is of course why we feel in somewhat different.
Balance It Out
Recently, I deleted every social app I had on my phone because it really did not help my headache or my mental health. I found myself just scrolling through useless content and realise it was not helping my situation right now. Instead, I downloaded useful apps that will help me ease my mind, thoughts and get back on track.I got this app for 1 year for free and I have been using it every day at 12pm to just re-set my mind. There are so many good mindful and breathing exercises within this app which helps you concentrate on yourself, breathing and releasing any unwanted tension. I highly recommend it!
Turn It Off
Sometimes when we work from home, we start to notice the little things that can be fixed or done, and we get distracted so easily. We end up with those little things becoming a list of things to do whilst working. This can wait. Clear boundaries are essential for reducing stress among remote workers and we need to learn when to switch on and off at the right time. The best thing that has worked for me is to write a list of whatever I spot or think of that I see or think about which involves my home and I know I can always get back to this later when I have finished my work for the day. Just seeing it on paper gives me relief and hope and it is important to set boundaries between personal and professional life. Also, remember to give yourself a break now and then!
Clean Desk = Relaxed Mind
Keep your workspace tidy! Make sure to clean up those cups, scraps of paper and whatever is on your workspace and clean it up. Study shows our brains like order and being overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” most likely will lead to procrastination (The Case for Finally Cleaning Your Desk, 2021) so it’s just important to keep things in order really.
I know working from home can sometimes be lonely and you are literally surrounded by your own thoughts but there are little ways to get around it. Trying these little steps is a big step of taking care of your mental health and doing the best you can when working. Working from home has made me realise one thing and that is that I do miss working with others and in the working environment because I purely focus on work and nothing more. However, it is what it is and we just got to adapt however we can until further notice I guess.