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How to unwind from a stressful work week while you are working from home

This article is part of an ongoing series of guest articles by James Fitzsimons, Director of Elevate Career Advice. Make the next step in your career count –⁠ visit Elevatecareeradvice.com.

The current pandemic has brought a lot of changes to the world, one of which being how we work. Companies and their employees all around the world were forced to adapt to a working from home structure very quickly.

This did bring with it some benefits such as people having more time on their hands because of the lack of commute and being able to spend more time with the other people in their household. Many people have come out to say that they actually prefer working from home as their standard of living has improved with the re-structuring of their work day.

However, there is always another side to the coin. Due to the fact that we are all now set up to work at home with all the required tech, the end of the work day has been extended. The advantage of having an office away from home was that once you left, most people saw that signal as the end of your working day and that you were “out of office”. Whatever issues they were having generally had to wait until the next day.

Now that we are working from home, there has become an expectation that people are always online, available and ready to work, regardless of the time. This encroachment can make it really hard to switch off. Even in pre-pandemic times, it was really hard to decompress after a long and stressful work week. Now that the office has become a part of our living space and we have to deal with various lockdown restrictions, it can seem nearly impossible.

It is essential, however, for our mental and physical well-beings that we all find the time and space to reboot and renew our energy. The alternative is simply not a sustainable way to carry on. Here are some tips from Elevate Career Advice on how to recharge and relax during this pandemic.

Tip #1: Make sure you leave the house at least once a day. Get out go for a walk, get a coffee and/or do a workout. Make sure you just get out into the fresh air and connect with the outside world.

Tip #2: Take time each day to focus on your breathing. Try slowly inhaling and exhaling to relax the body. This is a known mechanism to reduce stress make an excellent mood booster.

Tip #3: Make sure you get your body moving during the day. Working from home tends to mean that people are sitting down for the whole day at a computer. Make sure that your body gets the endorphins it needs with a workout, walk, run or swim before, during or after your work day.

Tip #4: Use your out of office to your advantage. With everything set up at home, it is easy to get sucked back into work, even on your days off. You have to set the expectation with your co-workers that pre-pandemic rules apply and for them to respect your time, both when you are online and offline.

Tip #5: Create some scenarios where you have a positive experience. This could be having a call with a loved one, having a bath or even making yourself a cup of tea. Allowing yourself to enjoy little things during your day can make a difference and will change your mood instantly. 

Tip #6: Connect with your household and bubble members. Set aside some part of your day to make an effort to connect with your family and/or friends you are living with. Share a story from your workday, make them a cup of tea or ask them to go for a walk. Whatever it is make sure they know that you care. Experiencing any form of caring is a great alleviator of stress.

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