You’ve now made it through seven months of working from home, but is it feeling like your work and personal life are blending together into one big mess? If you find yourself doing more working at home than anything else, here are nine strategies to restore your work-life balance even when the office is your kitchen table.
- Identify personal habits to reconnect to. Most likely, your commitment to eating healthy, getting outside, and getting good sleep has fluctuated during the pandemic. If you’re feeling like work is getting the best of you, start by focusing on the basics and making sure your personal health and wellness needs are met.
- Leave work at work. It’s tempting to start answering emails on a Sunday morning when your computer is sitting right in front of you, but creating a distinct barrier between work and personal time is key for maintaining a healthy life balance. Set strict “in-office” hours and put away your work materials once you log off for the day to resist the temptation to check in on a project.
- Ask for help. We tend to take on extra tasks to be helpful at work, but if you’re managing too much to realistically get it all done during your workday, it might be time to delegate. Talk to your team and supervisors about your productivity and how much is reasonable to expect to get done each day.
- Find rewarding hobbies. When we’re tired from a day of work, watching TV on the couch can feel like all we have the energy for, but dedicating your free time to a meaningful hobby you genuinely enjoy will help you recharge far more effectively. An exciting activity, like knitting, bird-watching, painting, or gardening will energize you and clear your mind so you’re refreshed and ready when the next workday rolls around.
- Make a self-care plan. When we’re busy with work, family time, and errands, self-care is usually the first thing to take a backseat. This is why it’s important to map out time for personal pampering. Set time in your evening to take a walk, enjoy a hot bath, or cook yourself a delicious meal.
- Talk to family and friends. Stress can cause us to isolate, but connecting with others is one of the most effective ways to release some endorphins and boost our mental health. Plus, your loved ones can offer advice and empathy as they are likely experiencing many of the same work from home challenges as you are.
- Try something new. During the pandemic, it can feel like every day is exactly the same. Spice it up by changing your work station, switching up the order of your daily tasks, trying a new daily walk route, or tasting a new takeout spot for dinner.
- Think about the future. If you’ve put conscious effort into rebalancing your work life and your personal time and are still struggling, it may be time to think about long term changes. Hiring some extra help around the house or seeking a new professional role might be needed to truly give you the personal time you deserve.
- Consider professional help. Lifestyle changes can help us restore balance and find purpose even in a pandemic, but constant burnout and stress could be indicators of larger mental health problems.
Creating a work-life balance is all the more difficult when we’re working and living in the same space. Try some of these great solutions to carve out a clearer line between work hours and me time.