The transition from a 9-5 job to work from home was really quick- thanks to the global pandemic that has rendered people shutting them to their houses. No matter how fun it might seem to work from the ‘comfort’ of your home, there is always another side that no one talks about often.

While working from home can sound thrilling, the results are not very promising. The number of mental cases in India has increased manifold, and the data is worrying.

But what has led to such a disaster when work from home would have been comforting? Well, people are locked in their houses, and the workload has not reduced accordingly.

 The constant work pressure has led to the feeling of ‘caged’ and ultimately burnout. While many people get their motivation from the office atmosphere and coffee breaks, they no longer get the right environment anymore. The result- burnout and stress.

Signs that you are burned out

Reduced creativity and work performance

Burnout may make you feel demotivated, which affects your work performance. You might struggle to keep up with your daily tasks and get frustrated over mundane things. 

Emotional exhaustion

Do you feel tired all the time? Or do you struggle to sleep at night? If yes, chances are you are suffering from burnout. Burnout may look like irritation, difficulty in sleeping, and lack of sleep.

Going numb and avoiding work-related activities

One of the most common burnout symptoms is avoiding tasks you enjoy doing and being cynical about them. Some people cut off people and isolate themselves from people they love. 

Physical signs

Burnout can cause physical symptoms such as fatigue and headache. Keep a close eye on your symptoms and take breaks accordingly.

How can you prevent burnout if you work from home?

  • Stick to a routine

Initially, we loved the idea of working in our night suits and PJs, and that is where we went wrong. Setting boundaries is so important. For instance, if you work from home, schedule a time to stick to it. I avoid working at night, and no matter what, I stick to it. Working at night gives me a hard time sleeping, and I have made a boundary for myself. Similarly, you can block a time according to your convenience and stick to the schedule.

But why do I have to do this? I can work whenever I feel like.

Here’s why you should avoid working whenever you feel like it- Your brain needs to recognize the shift from comfy you to ‘ working you’. If your brain struggles to switch, you will be more likely to feel demotivated to work and causing more workload, ultimately leading to burnout.

  • Dress up and mimic your work environment

Now that work from home is the new normal, recreating your office environment and dressing up can boost you to work efficiently. Dress up every day- pajamas can be comfy but dressing up encourages you to be more productive and complete your work. Besides, work in a room with no comfy pieces, such as a bed that can distract you. Doing this will help you complete your work and give you hours for yourself.

Avoid any distractions and set your time- inform your family about your work hours and avoid them coming in when you work. I have used this technique, and it helped me to be more creative and sound.

  • Take regular breaks and go for a walk.

While setting different times and blocking your office hours, it’s also crucial for you to take breaks in between. Working continuously for hours can wear you down mentally and physically, leading to burnout. So, take coffee breaks in between, go for a walk, or talk to a friend. Humans are social beings, and frequent breaks promote a smooth work-life balance and improve your work performance.

  • Calendar block your work

Calendar blocking is something that I abide by, and trust me, it helps. Blocking your calendar helps you to categorize your work into blocks and reduce the chance of burnout. For example, I calendar block my time according to my client’s work and requirements, allowing me to have some for myself rather than worrying about what to do next.

Accept the new ‘normal’ and go back to your hobbies

One of the leading causes of burnout is not accepting the present situation and struggling to make peace. Understand that things will take time to get back to normal and start seeing this as an opportunity. Rather, spend some time with your family, reach out to your old friend or get back to your hobbies.

Hobbies can make you feel better and relieve stress. Remember the times when you loved to dance\sing\ paint? Make time for your hobbies and find your inner self. Explore yourself instead of fearing the tough times.

Final thoughts

With the onset of the pandemic, life has proved to be unpredictable once again. We can never predict what lies ahead and the best way to deal with it is to avoid thinking about it. Burnout is so common amongst working people, but things can get better with proper breaks and dedication. 

To do this, focus more on living in the present and stop pushing yourself to the limit. It is highly advised that you should take things slow and one at a time. You can have everything if you go for one at a time. Take a step back and pause! Pausing won’t stop you; burnout will.