The coronavirus pandemic has changed everyday life for nearly everyone across the country. Employees are working remotely, children are learning virtually, and safety precautions have become the normal procedure, even during a routine trip to the grocery store. These are stressful and challenging times. It is important for you to understand how to create a healthy work-life balance during COVID-19, for good mental and physical health.
While working from home may have been an enticing concept pre-pandemic, now that it is becoming the norm and is often a requirement, it is bringing a lot of stress to remote employees. In fact, nearly 70% of employees have cited COVID-19 as the most stressful moment of their career, even more stressful than the attacks of 9/11 and the recession of the late 2000s.
Workers who are tied to their digital connectivity have found that they are always on. In other words, they are available for video meetings, phone calls, and emails or other messages 24/7. While this has helped many companies continue to do business and remain viable during the pandemic, it is adding to the need for people to create a healthy work-life balance. Data has shown that remote workers are likely to put in an additional 60 hours a month during COVID-19.
Remote Workplace Stress
Workplace statistics show that the areas most affected by workplace stress and anxiety include productivity (56%) and relationships with coworkers and peers (51%). In addition, more than half of workers lose sleep because of workplace stress and a quarter say their work quality suffers due to stress.
Likewise, many people have not taken a break since the pandemic began. Mental health days are important, particularly in these challenging times. Given the extremely stressful circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak and the fact that people are “hyperconnected,” there is a serious need to regain and maintain a healthy work-life balance, now more than ever.
Consequences of a Poor Work-Life Balance
In the stressful, “always on” remote work environment, your family life is also affected negatively. The consequences of a poor work-life balance include fatigue, poor health, and lost time with friends and loved ones. When you work constantly, you have less time to spend with those who are important to you, which might harm your relationships with those who care about you the most. The stress of being overworked can worsen symptoms related to many existing medical conditions, in addition to putting you at risk of substance abuse.
A Healthy Work-Life Balance
One of the most important ways to create a healthy work-life balance during COVID-19 is to set limits. Manage your time so that you can get things done but don’t overschedule yourself. Leave time for the activities you enjoy, even if it’s just making sure you can have a non-interrupted meal or take a walk with your family.
Clearly separate your work from your personal life, mentally and physically. If at all possible, set aside space in your home to be your office. Do not take your work to other areas of the home. When your workday is over, detach from work. Turn off the computer and put down the phone. Mark a clear line between your home life and your work life afterwards by going for a walk, changing clothes, or doing an activity with your family. Learn to say no to after-hours work requests.
Take Time to Care for Yourself
Your mental health affects your physical health. Maintaining both is critical during COVID-19. Developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will help you cope with the overwhelming stress of the pandemic. It is important that you eat nutritious meals and snacks, include physical activity in your daily routine, and get enough quality sleep.
A healthy work-life balance includes time set aside for activities that you enjoy, such as practicing yoga, gardening or reading. Hobbies can help you relax, take your mind off work and recharge. You can make time to volunteer. Research shows that volunteering to help others can improve your connections with others, as well as lead to better life satisfaction and lower psychological distress.
It is also critical that you develop a support system. At work, join forces with co-workers who can cover for you — and vice versa — if necessary when you have a conflict with a family need. At home, enlist trusted friends and loved ones to pitch in with childcare or household responsibilities so you can focus on work during your workday.
Most importantly, know when to seek professional help. If your life feels too chaotic to manage and you’re spinning your wheels worrying about it, talk to a mental health provider.
CONTACT BRC RECOVERY FOR HELP DURING COVID-19
Reaching out for help is the first step toward improved mental health that will help you create a healthy work-life balance during COVID-19. At BRC Recovery, we focus on holistic healing in a warm, supportive, community-driven environment, so you can experience real recovery.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we offer a safe, clean environment so you can continue receiving the highest quality of care. To learn more about our services and to get the help you need, please call BRC Recovery at 1-866-291-2676 to speak to our team.