Published February 09, 2021
When the first wave of work from home started, it began as a welcome departure from the norm. With no commute to worry about, we could wake up 10 minutes before our first meeting, and spend the day working from our bed in pajamas with a sleeve of Oreos to keep us company. The newfound freedom and ability to relax was refreshing, and productivity even increased.
Now almost a year later, productivity has remained up in most industries, but more and more employees are feeling what’s been dubbed “work-from-home burnout”. The lack of socialization, routine, and day-to-day variance has (understandably) started to wear on people at a personal level.
If you’re looking for ways to combat work-from-home burnout, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together 7 tips for you here.
1. Move Around
This is an obvious one, but it’s probably the most important. We’ve all been at the point where we realize that we haven’t left our bed in a few days other than to use the bathroom and refill our coffee. A great way to fight work-from-home burnout is by simply moving around.
If you’re able to get outside, that should be priority number one. Set aside half of your lunch break for taking a walk around the neighborhood, or wake up a bit earlier to walk around the block a few times before work.
Even if you can’t get outside, it’s easy to find a way to move around from inside your own four walls. Take regular breaks throughout the day to do some office yoga, jumping jacks, or even just stretch. The point is, move.
No one wants to develop muscle atrophy from being in home office. Get up and get moving!
2. Screenless Mornings
This is one we’ve started implementing recently, and now we might never go back. For so many of us, our entire day is spent staring at a monitor (working and otherwise). This can cause eye strain, headaches, and other medical issues along with just general grumpiness. A good way to minimize screen time? Screenless mornings.
From the time you wake up to the time you start work, avoid using screens as much as you can. Yes, that means no more morning doom-scrolling on the toilet. No more pointless YouTube videos in the morning. And definitely no more getting into Facebook arguments before you’ve even had your coffee.
Instead, start your morning with a walk, reading a book, or some exercise. When you force yourself to avoid looking at screens, you’ll be surprised what kind of routine you’ll develop.
Speaking of routines...
3. Set a Routine
Setting a routine might sound like you’re creating more monotony, but hear us out. Setting a rough outline for your days will help you feel more put together, and spend less time staring at the wall wondering “When was the last time I hugged someone?”
What time will you wake up? How will you spend your time between waking up and working? What about breaks? Evenings? Write it down and stick to it!
Setting a (rough) schedule and sticking to it is a great way to combat work-from-home burnout. You’ll even have more time for hobbies!
4. Start (or Continue) a Hobby
At this point, we’ve all already consumed the entirety of the internet’s streaming catalog. We all also have something we’ve always wanted to try, but never got a chance to. It could be something artistic, a physical activity, or even a new skill to put towards your career. Whatever it is, it’s a great way to focus on something other than your job, and helps prevent work-from-home burnout.
Or maybe you’ve got an old hobby you lost somewhere along the road. If you always loved writing or drawing, start again with something small. If you were a runner, pick it back up and try to get back to the level you used to be. Whatever it is, you can relearn it!
For inspiration, check out this list of 125 hobbies to start during quarantine from parade.com
5. Call Anyone (No Seriously, Anyone)
A large contributing factor in work-from-home burnout is the feeling of total isolation outside of work. When we’re working from home, we’re constantly on Zoom calls and in Google Meetings. But outside of those interactions, many of us never see anyone else. On a basic level, people weren’t meant to be isolated from each other for a long period of time.
Even if we aren’t able to physically see each other as much as we used to, socialization is still an important factor in mental health (yes, even for introverts). Calling a friend, family member, or even coworker just to chat will help you release all of the stress that’s been balling up. Even if you don’t want to actually talk, just getting on the phone and watching a TV show or movie together will make you feel more connected. So just call someone! Anyone.
6. Plan Your Meals
In general, meal prepping/planning is a great way to eat healthier, and to discover new foods you might not have otherwise tried. But let’s be clear. “Plan your meals” does not necessarily mean “prepare a week’s worth of food every Sunday”. It’s simply a plan of what you’re going to eat throughout the week.
For example, once per week, make a commitment to cook something you’ve never cooked before. Make a decision to go meatless one or two meals per week. Don’t want to cook every meal? Set aside a day or two as a sort of “cheat day” where you order delivery. The whole point is to stop the last minute food delivery orders at 1 P.M. because you’ve realized you haven’t eaten anything. Plan out your meals, and it will even give you something to look forward to!
7. Get Better Sleep
This goes along with our 3rd suggestion, but set a routine! Be honest, your sleeping routine is way less regimented than it used to be. When we spend our whole day at home, it can be more difficult to stick to a normal sleep schedule.
Just like with screenless mornings, putting screens away an hour or so before bedtime will help make your routine easier. Occupy your time before sleep with a good book, calling a friend, or something creative! Getting better sleep doesn’t have to mean you sleep in until 8:59 every morning. Close the computer, get to bed a little earlier, and set your alarm just a bit earlier. Healthy sleep is the one of the easiest steps in a healthy lifestyle.
Have any more suggestions on how to combat work-from-home burnout? Let us know on Twitter!