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Tips to Avoid Stay at Home Burnout

As someone who has worked from home for a number of years, you would think that the stay at home order for the last few months would have been old hat. But the truth is, even for those of us that relish working from home, it just FEELS different. No more escapes to coffee shops to clear your head or for a change of scenery, no more happy hours with like-minded friends to shake off the stress of the day… Still, there are some tried and true tips that have sustained me over the years (and recent months) that I’m happy to share.

  1. Get out of your pajamas. From the day I started working from home, my routine has always been to get up and put on “real” clothes. This doesn’t mean I dress for the office every day – but it does mean I make an effort to wear something I would wear out of the house. The simple act of shifting from pajamas into clothes puts me into the work mindset.
  2. Break up your day. Work for a few hours, then shift your view. This might mean take a walk. This might mean going to the kitchen to make lunch. Whatever it is that gets your out from behind your desk to clear your head. Working from home doesn’t mean you can abandon self-care. Those breaks you used to take at the office to go for coffee or chat with coworkers? You still need those. They just look different now.
  3. Set boundaries. Guess what – all you people who are suddenly at home with your spouses? Mine has worked from home with me for over a year now. We haven’t killed each other yet. Part of that is, we take our space. Sometimes we work in the same room. But most of the time, we don’t. This helps avoid arguments over how loud someone talks on the phone, who likes what music, whether someone should be shopping on Amazon right now, etc.
  4. Set together time too. If we aren’t together all day, you know what I look forward to? Times when we are. Enjoy lunches together, walks together, time together that doesn’t involve work – when you can be totally present. This will also help you avoid interrupting each other when work DOES need to take priority.
  5. Set work hours and stick to them. Working from home can often mean work can creep into all hours of the day. If that wasn’t the case before you started working from home, then it shouldn’t be the case now. Set the hours that you will be available, then unplug. Your mind needs the time to recharge or you are risking burnout.

I hope this helps you to take a few steps to avoid burnout. Above all, be kind and be patient, with others AND with yourself.