The last few years have disrupted our daily way of life. As many as 42% of the working population have had to leave the office to work remotely. Many more have had to deal with the uncertainty of work. Many are frantically trying to combine the impossible: work and child care. For many people, our lives have been turned upside down in a matter of days. Although we expected the change to be short-lived, it appears to have come to us for a long time.

As the initial shock wore off, it became clear that those who faced significant changes in our daily routines this year were beginning to show signs of emotional burnout. Relationship dynamics intensify, the lack of personal space takes its toll, and any sense of “balance” we had is flying into the gutter. Even basic things like losing a dragon vs tiger game or being late for the bus can lead to burnout. More stressors accumulate. And during this period, the need for self-care becomes more acute than ever.

Taking care of ourselves

It can’t hurt for all of us to take a break. That’s when self-care comes in handy. In practice, self-care can be divided into three different categories:

  • Spiritual;
  • Physical;
  • Emotional.

When thinking about the term, most people tend to imagine physical forms of self-care. For example, it could mean a massage, a jog, an early bedtime, or a balanced, hearty meal. However, it is important to note that while physical self-care is an essential component of holistic self-care practice, it is not the only way. Incorporating emotional and interpersonal elements into your wellness practices is also necessary.

So, how do you squeeze a bunch of new activities into your daily routine to prevent burnout at work? It’s all about being conscious of your behavior and modifying your activities as needed, both in big and small ways. The more you are aware of your negative feelings and thoughts in infancy, the less likely you are to have burnout.

Here are some tips you can use to avoid burnout when working remotely.

Dedicate areas for work and life (both physically and mentally)

Dedicated space for work and home life will help separate work and other areas of life. When these two areas merge daily, a person can feel overwhelmed and stressed. Hello, no boundaries!

To create more explicit boundaries when working from home, start by defining “work hours.” Of course, work hours may change as needed depending on your unique needs and those of your family, but establishing an excellent essential boundary between work and non-work hours will serve as a good starting point.

During non-work hours, try your best not to check email, finish an excel spreadsheet, or even talk about work. It’s also a good idea to tidy up your work area after a day. It helps to separate work and home life.

Although setting boundaries may seem awkward and uncomfortable at first, the more you work at creating them, the faster they become a habit.

Hint: Setting boundaries can also look like giving up on a partnership or project that is not generally within your purview. You may soon feel devastated when you take on more than you can do.

Take micro-breaks as needed

The convenience of working remotely can also make your work more than usual. There’s virtually no commute to work, and lunch is a short walk away, so it’s easier not to notice that you’re working hard without paying attention to the clock’s ticking.

It’s essential to schedule micro-breaks during the day. Take a break from the computer and do something just for fun. Setting yourself up to stay productive at all times because you’re not in the office can lead to burnout, so you should be careful. Try setting the alarm every few hours to give yourself a nudge to shut down for a while and take care of yourself.

Support of others

It is not always necessary to immediately run to a psychologist. Strange as it may seem, people rarely share their condition, even with their closest people, considering it unworthy/showing them the wrong side. Try to tell what difficulties you have inside and what you are facing. Don’t complain; try just to describe your situation and the emotions it evokes in you. Be you a screenwriter who describes the inner states of your characters.

Find something you love

The same thing that people ignore or respond with, “Yeah, yeah, everyone says find a hobby. Well, here I am knitting; leave me alone.” But how important is it to have 1-2 hours in the day when you’re not just “dumbing down in front of your favorite show,” but doing the thing that, like a candy that you’re about to pull out of the shelf, gives you a rush of endorphins. So think hard right now; what could this become for you? And do it for at least 30 minutes a day.

Help your inner child

How does a parent express love? Mainly through the body: affectionate touching, stroking, hugging. And this is the first thing you can do on your own. Pay attention to your body. Do a self-massage. Rubbing the body with a brush from bottom to top works very well on the lymph. Another option is to pat the meridians that run down the arms and legs from top to bottom and bottom to top. You can massage your neck and shoulders when you feel tired in the middle of the work day.

Leave work problems at work

How? With clothes. When you come home from work, change your clothes. Immediately. In your favorite, comfortable, and pretty dresses. The ritual of changing clothes can turn on or off the role that is so energy-consuming for you. If you have a change of shoes at work, then changing clothes at the end of the day can become this very ritual: when finishing work, you take off “work” shoes, and along with it, you leave all the work problems in the office. It’s the same at home. Wearing home clothes, it’s as if you include the role that you need at the moment: the hostess, mother, beloved wife.

Conclusions on how to avoid emotional burnout

It’s important to remember that even if you implement all of the above five tips to avoid burnout while working from home, the tension and stress may remain. At some points, these feelings are simply the nature of the world we are in now, but they are only temporary.

Now that you are armed with these new tools, you can be better prepared to care for yourself physically and mentally. For example, when you feel very stressed, remember to pause and reevaluate what is around you.

Try asking yourself these simple questions to determine the best course of action for yourself to help you feel supported and grounded:

  • What do I need right now?
  • What one step can I take to help myself feel better?
  • How will I handle it better the next time?

Above all, be patient with yourself, friends, family, and co-workers. We all experience tremendous stress. Some of that stress you may not even be aware of. So focus on taking care of yourself daily and see how you begin to show up in the world. Remember, there are countless lessons to be learned during this time, and learning how to better deal with burnout is one of them.