A year and a half ago when working from home became the new, post-pandemic normal, a lot of us secretly rejoiced in getting that sort of privacy and comfort. But as time went on, we soon came to see that WFH wasn't all that.
Along with the comfort, came a different set of challenges that no one had ever anticipated. And with that, came stress and anxiety that no one was truly prepared for. So in case, you're looking for ways to curb the anxiety around WFH, here are a couple of things that may help.
1. Create a routine.
Let's say you're not the most disciplined person, even then, the least you can do is create a morning routine before you sit down to work. It could be anything from keeping your mornings slow and enjoying your coffee to having a fast-paced and energised schedule up till when you start working.
2. Always set time aside for lunch.
It's no secret that food is sustenance, and without it, we can't think clearly or feel our best. Plus taking that time out to eat food and consciously making a choice to stop worrying over a task at work will help you get back to your job with better focus.
3. Try to create a working area.
Even if you don't have the sort of physical space to have a desk and chair set up, try creating a corner or a spot for yourself at home that you can always sit and work in. Make sure it's comfortable. This will help you to stay focused and not slack off, and therefore not have pending work that could lead to anxiety.
4. Take a breather.
Take a break apart from lunchtime. This could mean simply stepping out onto your terrace, or front porch to sip a cup of tea. Again, this may help you disengage from work-related stress and anxiety. Especially if you're catching some sunlight. Because that helps in increasing serotonin levels and balances out your brain chemistry.
5. Try going on work dates.
Working with others will help you feel less isolated from the outside world. And that will do a great deal for your mental health. And if public places give you social anxiety, then you can pick a good friend or your most favourite co-worker to work at home with.
6. Make sure you move around.
Try to stretch and maybe even pace around your room or terrace. Because real talk, working from home is literally like being tempted by your bed to take a nap. Now, naps are great, but the anxiety that comes with being behind on your work is not.
7. Set healthy boundaries.
Not setting boundaries with the people around you leads to burning out at an unbelievably fast rate. Whether that is setting boundaries with your family, flatmates, kids or co-workers, you need to know what and who to say no to, and when. Carve out space for yourself by prioritising tasks, and dropping things that you can afford to drop.
8. Do the hard things first.
Whether that's the research for a project, or making that PowerPoint presentation or creating a report, try to do the more difficult part of your to-do list first. That way you can end your day with ease, and won't carry any residual anxiety to dinner time.
9. Make time for the people you love.
Make time for the kids in your family (unless you don't like children, which is absolutely fine), your parents, siblings and friends. Take time out to stay connected to them. Being forced into an isolation no one signed up for may mean you'll have to go the extra mile to connect to your people. Do that. It'll help regulate your brain chemistry. Prioritize the people who make you feel safe and loved.
These may not work for everyone, but we hope that you can take away something from here that'll inspire you to create your own tools and habits for a better WFH experience.