Covid-19 is like a detour in our lives. We were all happily and consistently moving towards achieving things both personally and professionally when suddenly a pandemic like this first of all brought a halt and then changed the route of our progress. At times it makes us feel helpless, for even though we planned and wanted our career to go in a specific direction, it may not be possible anymore. This is a large contributor to work anxiety during COVID-19 times.
Work anxiety indeed exists at all times, irrespective of any pandemic; but with the changing path of life, the ways to handling this stress also needs to be adapted to. Remote working may appear convenient when we consider travelling to and from our workplace. But the larger picture shows the numerous problem areas that each working person is facing with this alteration in the mode of working.
The reason one should get a grip over his/her worries related to the career is that it directly affects the productivity of the individual. Studies have revealed that anyone going through anxiousness owing to his workplace can barely get proper sleep, does not behave well with his peers at work and loses confidence in the bid. What then ought to be done? Please get rid of these fears and anxieties by realising that it is essential and okay for you to cut off from work for some time. If you do not honour this work-life balance, no one will.
The call to action, therefore, is to fix your working hours, just because you are at home, does not mean you need to work around the clock. Make it a point not to exceed the working hours that you are supposed to do naturally. Now stipulating your work hours is only the first step. The next thing that you need to do is switch your mind to the ‘aeroplane mode’. Just as your phone does not allow any network connectivity when changed to the aeroplane, so should you. Do not let the issues of your profession loom in your head; unplug yourself from the thoughts related to your job entirely.
Do something exciting or relaxing and forget about the pending work; remember the work can be completed swiftly only when you have a calm mind. Meditation is a great way to get your focus back in place; if you cannot do that, any other form of physical exercise also helps calm your mind considerable and allows you a fresh start, with a fresh mind.
These breaks should be taken frequently; say if you have already worked for 45 minutes at a stretch, be nice to yourself and take a 10-15 minutes break. This helps cut down the monotony of whatever work you are doing. It is much like a ‘power nap’. A power nap is where you sleep for a concise duration, for maybe 15-20 minutes, but it reboots your entire system and gives you a kick start.
The weekend ought to be taken as a long break from work. Though you cannot go out anywhere, yet you could be innovative and make arrangements in your house. Playing some games and doing other fun things in the back yard, pool or even garden. All of this will surely keep you away from the work blues and work anxiety during COVID-19.
Experts in psychology think that the weekend, in particular, should be kept clear of any work related to our profession. Take time to unwind from the stress of work; let not any work associated issue come into your mind. Indulge in activities that bring you happiness and relaxation.
Anxiety is most cases is the result of our illogical and unpractical thinking; it does not do anything productive; therefore, it is pointless to invest time in it. Instead, do things that will help you find a solution to your problem. Planning something with your team, not only brings you to a resolution with the confusion but also bring solace to your otherwise restless mind. We are all aware by now that working from home is not as easy as everyone had thought it to be. It is indeed much more taxing and demanding; whether you like it or not, there are unavoidable situations on your home front where you need to put your mind. And when you do so, your team is down by one person. If the absence of one individual does not make a difference in the functioning of the work, it is okay. But what happens in most cases is that the burden on the present members increases and in the bid, the work productivity suffers.
It is for scenarios such as this that you need to communicate effectively with your team. Find out ways and means how the functioning of a business does not suffer owing to other engagements of the employees. In this way, whether you are the leader or the member of a team, you will be at peace that the work is being taken care of while you are away. It takes away a lot of your work anxiety during COVID-19.
It would help if you remembered the reason why you work; providing for your family and yourself to sustain life is the reason you work. But when you find the work feeding on your mental health, then you should know that something is not in the right place. This should be your warning signal to get yourself back on track by spending time aloof from your professional front.
The workplace stress is a great vice, the more space you give to it in your life, the lesser your life seems to give back to you. There have been several cases of people suffering so much from this evil in their career that they forget themselves, their families and that their profession is just a part of their life, and not their entire life. Both their mental and physical health is put at risk and adversely affected.
Sleep is one area which is immediately affected by the overload of work, which in turn is bound to affect the other physical aspects of your life too. So that you do not fall prey to this, you have to know how to restrict your working hours and indulge in other activities. This is known as creating a ‘work window’. A relatively new term, but a very effective one I must recommend. Mental health experts are of the opinion that irrespective of what role you have in your career, you ought to do this in order to ensure secure mental health.
The way you should go about this as follows:
Work-life balance is an overtly important thing in life for all professionals. You have to remember that your life is about three primary things – yourself, your family and your profession. This is the hierarchy in which it should ideally be; if and when you change the hierarchy, all hell breaks loose. Commonly a low work-life balance is owing to longer working hours, too much work pressure, and also family pressure. But as individuals, we are capable of functioning in an organised way, sometimes, even more, than we actually think we are able to. So, plan out your work, take advice from blogs and other experts, and you will be enjoying an excellent work-life balance, even during the pandemic.
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