Coping With Stress & Social Isolation While Working From Home
With so many businesses undergoing loss or lay-offs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, most people have been clinging to their jobs. The situation is not entirely lucky though- with the blurring of boundaries between work and personal life, there has been a growing sense of hopelessness and isolation. This has contributed to a lot of stressful emotions in people juggling their work along with other aspects of life that they can no longer find a distraction from. Read on to find out more about how the pandemic-induced work from home along with forced isolation is affecting most employees around the countryRead more
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How Does Stress Affect You?
While there have been a lot of perks with the work-from-home setup, there have also been issues arising out of lack of privacy, an increase in household chores, and other non-work burdens. All of these changes have been hard to adjust to and have amounted to a lot of stress and isolation. Most people shrug off the first few symptoms of stress. From occasional headaches to insomnia or light sleep, stress can be the reason behind many of your health issues. You can recognize some of the symptoms caused by stress:
- Effects On Body: Muscle tension, headaches, fatigue, pain in the chest, upset stomach, sleeping issues
- Effects On Mood: Feelings of anxiety, restlessness, overwhelmed, frequent sadness, lack of motivation, or depression
- Effects on Behavior: Social withdrawal, reluctance to workout, substance abuse, anger outbursts, overeating, or losing appetite
Dealing With Social Isolation
With multiple cities observing lockdowns and strict movement restrictions, it has become difficult to move around or freely go to public places to meet friends. Humans beings are community-based animals and most of us require frequent interaction and socializing.
Prolonged isolation is not good for any person's mental health. Thus, it is very important to stay connected with people who are close to you through video calls or regular chats. Organizing small events and get-together online with friends or colleagues will also keep isolation at bay. Social media has also emerged as a great coping mechanism to keep in touch with their families, friends, and other loved ones during the global pandemic.
Watch out For These Signs of Stress!
The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of chaos in most peoples' lives. While burnouts are not new, they have become very common since last year among people stuck indefinitely at home.
Lack of space, reduced recreational options, deprivation of friendly getaways, etc have upset many people. Many people have very few options other than work to deal with these restrictions. If you have noticed any of these symptoms often, maybe it is an indicator of underlying trouble:
- Feelings of exhaustion or energy depletion
- Cynical or negative feelings towards your job
- The feeling of increased mental distance from the work you do
- Decreased work efficacy
How to Cope with WFH Stress?
While it's easier said than done, there are always solutions to your problems. Make sure you incorporate some of these tips to reduce stress while working remotely:
- Define Your Boundaries: This one needs a lot of thought and effort. These can be regarding your routine, frequency of communication, or simple task management.
- Take Frequent Breaks: Structure is the key in any work environment. Make sure you follow the 90-20 rule: focus on your work for 90 minutes and then take a breather for the next 20 minutes. This will improve your focus as well as give you enough time window to do a soothing activity of your choice.
- Practice Self-Care: No, this isn't entirely about the Korean sheet masks. Self-care can be anything that makes you energized and happy. Restorative yoga, reading books, connecting with a loved one, playing some music, or good old-fashioned skin-care, are all the things that can break your monotony and put you in an easier mood.
- Reward Yourself: This is a technique that's least likely to fail with most people! At the end of the day, when you're able to wrap up all your work and tick them off of your list. You can tweak it by adding a reward of your own: maybe a guilt-free indulgence in your food of choice or a TV show you have been meaning to watch. Whatever the award is, it drives you and keeps you motivated.
- Moving Your Body: Working at the office often keeps the employees focused with habitual tea-coffee breaks, lunch breaks, or just casual chit-chat. But working at home deprives you of such breaks and restricts you to your desk or bed. It is important that your timely breaks involve leaving your seat and stretching enough to avoid any type of stiffness, eye strain, or muscle cramps.
- Get Proper Sleep: With increased screen time and exposure to the blue light from smart devices, almost everyone has faced sleep irregularities and changes in their circadian rhythms. This is very harmful to your overall health as sleep directly impacts your well-being. Prioritize your eight-hour sleep and make sure you practice proper sleep hygiene.
- Outsource Your Work: If you're among the privileged ones, you can manage some major chores by delegating them. This not only provides the people helping you with an extra income but also leaves you a lot of headspaces to focus on rest and other necessities. Hiring someone to cook, babysit, clean or others can reduce a lot of your burden and give you a much-needed break.
How a Group Health Insurance Can Help You
Since the pandemic affected everyone, mental health issues have been high. With many losing their jobs or facing salary cuts, things worsen for those employees who may be the only earning members. If they or anyone in their family face any medical emergency, a comprehensive group cover will surely provide them peace of mind along with financial stability. Hence, if you run a company or a business of your own, consider providing your team with good employee health insurance. As an employee, you can also discuss your options of getting covered under a group health cover. Here are some of its benefits:
- Smooth purchasing with minimal to zero paperwork if done online
- Many group health plans can be purchased monthly so that you don't end up paying extra
- Range of plans cover at very affordable premiums
- These health insurance plans can also be extended to their families
While working from home has benefits like time and money saved on the commute, it also has its downside. But during a pandemic, it is very important to break the chain and make the most of this option for the sake of our families as well as others around us. Therefore, don't forget to follow these tips and ensure that your employer provides you a good group health cover so that you can have a stress-free and balanced work-life.