How to Separate Work from Life When You Work from Home
COVID-19 has drastically changed the way we work, live and play. Whether you liked it or not, the global pandemic spawned a forced hibernation for many people inside their homes. Workplaces across the world shut down to help stop the spread of the virus, which left many working from home. When work and life suddenly collide, it’s hard to find the right work/life balance for your mental health and wellbeing. Check out these tips to make the most of your work-from-home situation so you can continue to put forth your best efforts in all you do.
Inevitably, when you work and live in the same place, boundaries will be blurred. Children could come bursting through the door when you’re on a Zoom call, or a cat could jump up and knock over your water. However, there are steps you can take to ensure that boundaries are set.
If you’re able, dedicate a space in your home as a “work zone.” Don’t allow your work to flow over into your personal spaces, like taking meetings from bed or making the couch your new office chair. That way, your mind will be able to separate your personal life from your professional life.
Stick to a routine.
A routine helps to provide a sense of normalcy. (If that even still exists.) Try to wake up at the same time every day, as well as going to bed at a reasonable hour to get enough sleep.
If you were going into an office in the past, it was most likely easier to start work at a certain time and leave at the end of the day. Just because you’re skipping the commute doesn’t mean you should sacrifice this same thinking. Fight the urge to start working the moment you wake up and take the time to start your day. Set a time limit for your workday and put the laptop away after the time has run out.
Find activities you can do safely outside of the house.
Cabin fever is a real thing. If you’re feeling restless in this new reality, you’re not alone. That’s why it’s important to get out of the house when you can safely do so. Try an activity like spending an hour each week volunteering. You’ll be doing good for your mind and your community. Other examples include visiting friends outdoors where you can be socially distanced. This will help you interact safely outside of your home office.
Look forward to the future.
While we’re not in the clear with this virus yet, there is hope as cases trend downward. Don’t be afraid to hold on to the hope that you can soon safely be amongst coworkers and friends. Even if you’re now permanently working from home, there will still be options in the future to work in coworking spaces or visit a coffee shop.
When you feel good, you’re more likely to do good in the world and at work. Make sure you’re able to set boundaries to help improve your work-from-home life. Whether you’re temporarily balancing your work and personal life or plan to continue your stay-at-home job, it takes practice and clear boundaries. Overall, make sure you set good habits and stick to them for improved health and wellbeing during your work from home life.