The truth is, it is hard to stay focused during a worldwide pandemic. Uncertainty leaves people distracted, confused. But for the lucky ones that are able to work from home, the work still needs to be cranked out an X amount of time per week. Some people have declared this time a blessing to execute their finest work yet while others feel a defeat looming over them to carry out their daily tasks, let alone work. Whichever part of the spectrum you reside on, there are ways to set yourself up for success in your work life and your personal life while you have to work from home.
Why It is Hard to Adjust
The way of life as we knew it has drastically changed in what felt like an overnight affair. And with that change, the general population’s mental health has also shifted. Psychologists have reported an increase in people experiencing grief, anxiety, and depression because their perception of being safe and healthy has shattered, as well as their daily routines. However it is to be expected during a mass-scaled crisis. For one, being distraught and disorganized is a sign of being empathetic toward what is going on outside our own issues. Many people know others that have lost their jobs, have lost family members, and who are witnessing their community struggle to get adequate care. It also reveals the fragility of systems and our own life. Additionally, people working from home have taken up new roles such as teachers for their now-homeschooled children, caregivers to sick people in the household, full-time caregivers to children and pets, and other roles they otherwise would not have while balancing a on-site full-time job. All these factors combined can make life feel a bit chaotic.
Tips For WFH
- Do not compare yourself to others: It is important to acknowledge that not all people handle stress the same way. Some people are driven by stress while others crumble under stress. Be honest with how you deal with stress and establish reasonable expectations. If you find it hard to work under severe stress, be transparent with your employer or employees that you will need a mental health day(s) off to cope. You can also partner up with a coworker, friend, coach, or therapist to help keep you accountable in finishing your work.
- Keep or develop good habits: Your mental health and physical health will be at its best when you sleep well, eat healthy, and exercise. These habits will also help with problem solving, thinking clearly, and managing your emotions.
- Limit time spent staring at screens: Consuming stressful content and looking at devices for extended periods will deteriorate your mental health and will affect your performance. Only use when necessary.
- Change the scenery: When you find yourself unable to finish a task you must finish, divert your attention to something else. Giving your mind a refresher can help you gain focus and interest in your task when you return to it. And if you cannot find the energy to get through the task for the day, forgive yourself and allow yourself to leave it for the next day.
- Reward yourself: Every time you achieve a goal for work, treat yourself to something special such as a snack, an hour of TV, or an online purchase to support a small business.
- Say “No”: When you do not have the energy to do something that is not required, set your boundaries and do not overextend yourself. This can include virtual chat parties and online classes.
- Take it one day at a time: Feelings will fluctuate and you will feel good and productive one day and the next you may be unable to get out of bed. Be compassionate toward yourself and understand that your feelings are valid and normal. If you are feeling too distressed and distracted, find support. Reach out a friend or group of people you trust. Or find a therapist to help you cope and juggle work during a pandemic.
For more information on mental health treatment in Los Angeles, please contact Trauma and Beyond Center ® at 818-351-3511 or visit us at traumaandbeyondcenter.com.