Expert Tips on Managing Stress when Working from Home
The work-at-home life may seem like a breeze at first, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed and stressed out. Especially if you freelance, do contract work, or have a home business, where you income can ebb and flow. These experts share their tips on how to make sure you don’t burn yourself in the process. Do you have any tips that aren’t suggested below? Share them in the comments!
Murat Evin is the Creative Director at The London School of Make-Up and his advice is effective but quite simple!
- Spending quality time with your family is an absolutely fantastic way of leaving work stress behind. Your family cares about you, and,chances are they aren’t in any way connected to your work life, so they won’t be bringing up the issues that have stressed you out this week. On the other hand, if you have a spouse, they may be the perfect person to discuss your stress with; knowing you as well as they know you, and being a disinterested party may make them ideal for giving you the best advice.
- You don’t need to hit the gym every night, but if you live within reasonable walking distance of your workplace, don’t get the bus home, walk it back. This will give you time to think about what is stressing you out while also breathing in some fresh air. Exercise will help you to get a good night’s sleep, making it easier for you to take on the next day. Maybe listen to some of your favourite (optimistic) music while you take a walk tohelp distract and entertain you at the same time!
- Escape into another world and read a book – there’s no better way to distract yourself from your own life than to immerse yourself in another person’s.”
Amy Kilvington, Marketing Executive at Interior Goods Direct, knows what’s important about keeping yourself balanced both at work and home.
- As soon as you’re home (done working), change into clothes that you’re comfortable in! It will help you switch between work mode and home mode. Don’t sit all night in your work suit!
- Family time! It’s so important to get back to your roots. Spend time with family and friends as much as you can. Don’t recluse yourself. Most people have a professional persona and one they have with their close ones. But many make the mistake of neglecting one or the other. It’s all about balance!
- Me time! Eat well, exercise, and don’t forget to treat yourself. Have a bubble bath, get round to that book you’ve had since Christmas. Set at least 1 hour for yourself!
Björgvin Benediktsson is the owner of www.Audio-Issues.com that helps musicians and audio engineers make a greater impact with their music. His approach to de-stressing is simple:
- Quiet read with some instrumental jazz, some tea or coffee. Preferably a good non-fiction “self-help” “business style book” which makes me relax while also feeling like I’m still being productive with my time.
- Exercise. I tend to run as it lets me listen to podcasts and music. If it’s been an especially stressful day/week I’ll listen to comedy or music instead of my business podcasts. The exercise helps me clear my head but it also tends to give me new ideas to focus on, leaving me re-energized.
- Happy hour with friends to unwind. I’m a huge craft-beer fan so catching up with other friends and colleagues where we either vent about what we’re dealing with or skip the subject of work completely helps. Alternatively, combine this with tip #1 and sit and read at a quiet bar with a drink instead of home with tea 🙂
Caitlin Sharp from Sharp Plant Designs says she likes to unwind by simply kicking her feet up and forgetting her troubles for a bit!
- Forget the housework, to-do list, e-mails, etc. Take break and go for walk. Getting some fresh air and some exercise clears your mind and allows you to walk away from the chaos. I also put my phone on do not disturb and crank some awesome tunes.
- Bath and Netflix. I’ll take a bath and watch an episode of Parks and Rec. Taking the time to let myself just zone out and relax allows me to practice self-care. It’s relatively easy to practice and recharges me.
- Prioritize: I have 24 hours in the day just like everyone else. There are days where the plan goes off the rails. If I can attempt to get the important items done or figure out a plan on how to get them done the next day I find that it make handling the chaos of being a WAHM more manageable.
Nicole Silver of TrustedPros Inc. suggests putting your work life out of your mind for a bit and getting out and talking to people.
- Stop thinking about your work life. Engage your mind in a different way that distracts you from your daily thoughts. You can try this by picking up a new hobby that involves significant concentration, or return to a beloved hobby that does this too. Some examples include: dancing, playing sports, learning a craft (pottery, painting, needlepoint), rock climbing, yoga / meditation.
- Cleanse your body. Hop into a sauna or steam room and focus on the energy in the room. Enjoy the heat and steam and indulge in the feeling you get once you leave the room. It’s the ultimate refresher.
- Engage with others. Have a deep conversation with a friend. Cook a meal with a loved one. Do something special with someone who you care about! This is a great way to draw new meaning out of life and take a moment to express and feel gratitude—one of the most powerful forces in reducing depression and anxiety.
Candy Morehouse Candy’s Recipes for a Sweet Life and owner, Away with Words is all about indulging in the things that make you happy!
- Get up and leave the house. When you’ve been working at home for hours or days on end, sometimes you just need a change of scenery other than those four walls you usually look at. The healthy option is to go for a walk, head to the library or get a cup of coffee. The unhealthy option is to take yourself out for a drink or a meal. I’ve done all of the above.
- Indulge yourself. Whether you enjoy window shopping, a long soak in a hot tub, settling in with a good book or whipping up a batch of cookies, take the time to do what you really enjoy. It helps you remember why you are working.
- Take a drive. Once again, the idea is to get out of the house and away from work. Try driving through a neighborhood where you’ve never been before. Put on your favorite tunes, sip your favorite beverage and just drive.
- Most of us successful work-at-home types are loners, but sometimes you just need to talk to someone else. Meet a friend for lunch, take a class at the gym or visit a neighbor.
- Binge watch your favorite streaming or television show or movie series.
Note from Leslie:
My stress comes either uncertainty or being overwhelmed. So I do a lot to avoid both those situations through planning my work and staying organized. Even so, stress and burnout can still get you. I agree with much of the advice here including:
- Self-care: Take care of yourself through sleep, exercise and proper eating, as well as occasionally indulging in something fun or that makes you happy.
- Get away: Many home-based workers work too much. It’s important that you set limits around your work schedule. It can also help to change your work environment, working in a different location on occasion.
- Have a hobby or past-time: All work and no play makes any home based worker a dull, stressed out person.
- Connect with others: Isolation can increase the feelings of stress. Spend time with family and friends. Connect with other home based workers or people who share your interested online or in person.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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