A recent study conducted by researchers at Stanford University found that about 42% of Americans are currently working from home. While this helps prevent the spread of COVID-19, it can also feel isolating and take a toll on your mental health.
If you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed, you aren’t alone. 65% of Americans say they’re working longer hours than ever before and 7 in 10 Americans say they’re struggling to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
In order to submit high-quality work and avoid burnout, it’s important to invest in self-care. Setting aside time for breaks throughout the day can help you stay focused and on-task. Unsure where to begin? Here are a few simple suggestions:
1.) Workout. Exercise is one of the easiest ways to relieve tension and anxiety. Moving your body releases feel-good hormones called endorphins. Endorphins reduce feelings of pain and encourage a positive outlook. Any type of exercise is good for you. Choose an activity that aligns with your current level of physical fitness. Take a walk, jump rope, shoot hoops or do some aerobics. Get your heart rate up and break a sweat.
2.) Get outside. Scrolling through social media or reading news headlines is enough to stress anyone out. Instead of doom scrolling, unplug and get some fresh air. Getting outside and into nature relieves stress almost instantly. Studies show that being outdoors eases muscle tension, lowers blood pressure, and relaxes brain activity. Exposure to sunlight can also boost the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that promotes feelings of happiness.
3.) Connect with people virtually. Working from home can leave you feeling isolated. You might not be able to visit friends or family in person, but you can connect with them virtually. Having a phone call or Facetime session with loved ones is an easy way to lift your spirits. If you aren’t in a rush, you can even watch a movie together or play a game.
4.) Listen to music. If you have a deadline coming up and are unable to take a break, put on some of your favorite music. Listening to artists you love can motivate and inspire. Plus, there’s scientific evidence that listening to music releases neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and melatonin.
We hope you find these tips helpful. Hopefully, by the spring or early summer, vaccines will be widely available and we can all return to some semblance of normalcy. In the meantime, make sure to take frequent breaks and do things that you enjoy.