How to Deal with the Stress of Working from Home
By Nathan Johnson
“You are so lucky” or “I wish I could do that”. If you work from home, chances are you hear this frequently from people who have a regular office job. Even talking about the stress it may bring you, is probably met with getting scoffed at, or at the very least a raised eyebrow.
Many people don’t realize that sometimes working at home can be just as stressful or even more stressful than working outside the home. They may view it as a dream job. Just rolling out of bed and getting to business whenever you want. Picking your own hours, and taking breaks at any time. To a degree this may be true, however, for the countless telecommuters, homemakers, and others that make a career from home, they realize there are a number of unique challenges and stressors that can come from this.
I would just like to take some time to discuss those challenges and how you can eliminate the stress from each of them. Let’s get started:
Taking Work Home With You
You don’t have much of a choice but to take work home with you. But it is still important to separate work and home life. Make sure you stick to a
schedule and when you are “off” don’t let yourself get sucked back into working. It can be helpful to set up a workspace that is separate from any distractions and from any areas that you don’t want associated with work.
One mistake I made, was I set up my workplace in my bedroom. This was terrible. Every time I went into my bedroom I was only reminded of work and when I woke up the first thing I saw was my computer and was forced to recall all the work that needed to be done.
Make a Schedule
This goes hand-in-hand with the previous point. When you are working from home it is important to make a schedule that you stick to. It can be made to fit your circumstances but make sure you start and stop work at a predetermined time. Include breaks in the schedule. When I wasn’t using a schedule, sometimes I would work from six in the morning until midnight, or other days I would only work for an hour or two and spend half of the time browsing the web. This may work for some people, but I found when I put myself on a schedule I was much more productive.
Take a Day Off
I don’t mean just on the weekends but every once in a while take a day for yourself during the week. Maybe make a holiday dedicated to you. Do something exciting and most importantly get out of the house!
Some may find playing music distracting while working, but for me, I find too much silence is more distracting. A little music makes it easier for me to focus.
Talk to Real People
Studies have found that feelings of loneliness can increase stress and anxiety. When your working outside of the house you don’t usually have this problem since you have plenty of co-workers to speak with. But when you stay at home you need to find a way to socialize with others. Try calling a friend or family member before you go to “work” each day.
Hope you found those tips helpful.
Nathan Johnson is a researcher in stress and anxiety and runs a stress management blog at http://stressdemolisher.com.