I wonder what has been harder for us the last couple of months, Covid ravaging people’s lives or the uncertainty, the fear of loss, the financial strain, or coping with the burden of unending work. Everything has been different and difficult to take in our stride. Who would have thought that there can be such times when seeing each other over FaceTime will be the only plausible thing to do. And a major change was the complete shift to the working from the home module. My routine was somewhat similar to what we all are experiencing now, I have been working from home even before this damn thing broke out. But what changed is the fact that you ‘have to’ work from home. There is a stark difference between ‘you usually do’ and ‘you have to do.’ It burdens the mind as it does to burden the heart and soul.
I was talking to a friend who works in accounting. She shifted with two huge computers and a laptop into her basement as her makeshift office in March, ‘20. She keeps telling me how this whole disruption and maddening work schedule is stressing her out. I promised her I will do some research and get back to her with some effective ways to de-stress while working from home. Then I thought, why not pen it down as a blog and share it with my tribe? After all, each one of us is reeling under this stress and are desperately looking out for de-stressing and unwinding and stretching out our tired legs.
So here I’m with some ways to take the weight off our shoulders. Our shoulders are mighty but they sure need some massaging!
‘Om’ your stress away
Yes, yoga can be the answer for alleviating the undue stress that you are carrying on your puny shoulders. Yoga calms the mind and relaxes the body. There are so many yoga poses aimed at stress relief, check Self for the easy poses that you can start doing right away. So say namaste to a relaxed psyche and ta-ta to stress.
Music therapy, maybe, what say!
I kind of swear by this. I have seen earlier too that happy foot-tapping music helps me to unwind. I see myself singing along and sometimes even breaking into an impromptu awkward jig! Try this and if you rather prefer to listen to something a bit more profound opt for podcasts. Ok, so The Manual has a great list of podcasts that you can hear while working from home.
A no-nonsense work-out regimen is a must
I can speak about myself here, working out gives me a tremendous sense of accomplishment and my confidence gets the much-needed boost. I can literally feel that I’m not stressing about work when I’m at the gym doing bench presses. Now that going to the gym is not as viable an option as before, I prefer a quick run outside or maybe even a nice bike ride with my AirPods on and Pharrell Williams singing, ‘Clap along’. Works for me, I’m sure it will for you too, just try it out!
Call a work partner or a friend
When in distress, phone a friend or a colleague from your team who can possibly understand your plight! Talk your heart out, vent a lot, laugh a little, pull each other’s legs, forget the problems and get back to work again. That’s the usual cycle, at least you’ll not think about the stress for some time.
Getting some fresh air is a great idea
If there’s some grocery that needs to be done or a mail that needs to be dropped, now is the time. When you think that you’re getting overwhelmed by the stress, step aside from whatever you are doing and step outside. Sometimes, a breath of fresh air can do what all other elaborate tricks couldn’t.
Go on a device detox or off-grid from social media and the blaring tv sounds
Sometimes being too active on social media heightens stress. I have seen when I’m on Instagram for too long, I create unnecessary pressure on myself to create an interesting, like-garnering post, and checking Twitter increases anxiety about whatever is happening around. Absolutely uncalled for. Try switching yourself off from these platforms. Also, have you noticed the continuous rant of the anchors on the news channels sometimes can cause migraines too! Avoid these if you’re already stressed from work!
Try having a designated workspace
Listen up, the bed is synonymous with relaxation, the recliner and sofa are with leisure so the workstation is identifiable with seriousness and being an office space. Try not to mix each with the other. I’ll explain it to you further, working from the bed makes me feel lazy and slouchy, subsequently, I get less work done and stress starts to mount. Do you get where I’m coming from?
This is important set a time after which you’ll call it a day
I plead guilty here. I just cannot stick to the 5:30 pm timeline and on most days tend to work well past 6:30 and suddenly realize I’m feeling hungry and need to prepare dinner. Try to stick to a timeline and curate a ritual that you’ll do every day after work. That can be watering your pothos and succulents or listening to your playlist on Echo or just sitting with a cup on the balcony.
Don’t be hard on yourself if you miss a chore.
This is not the time to be perfect, miss! You may not have done your meal planning or prepping or maybe your laundry needs sorting, that’s ok. Don’t stress yourself with that, it’ll happen and even if it doesn’t, it’s not a big deal. Stop pressing yourself for the little things and mount your stress.
And lastly, understand this time, whatever we’re going through is not normalcy.
This is a turbulent time and we cannot force ourselves to be as normal as we will be on any other weekday. The sooner we realize this, the lesser we’ll stress ourselves out. Don’t pretend that everything’s hunky-dory. Focus on top priorities only, and be flexible. It’s but natural that there’ll be days when you’ll not be able to get much work done. One of you today maybe is distracted because you’re thinking of your 5-year-old who has been cranky and up all night or you’re someone who has elderly parents and worried about not being able to meet them. Just reassure yourself, it’s okay, in the end, all will be good.
These troubled times call for flexibility so be agile and try and adapt to the situation. It’s fine to get stressed but try to shrug it off, one step at a time, one day at a time. You know what, it’s also imperative that you figure out if you’re making up excuses not to get work done. Looking for motivation? Check out my blog for a ton of options to rev you up when you’re feeling unmotivated. At the end of the day, be grateful that you still have work. No really, look around and you’ll find people who will want to have work, think about work schedules, and want to get work done. A thankful heart relieves a lot of stress. We’re in this together, and we’ve got this!!