It is easy for someone to say, “Stress less” or “You need to relax”. This is a lot harder if you work from home. Whereas in an office you could talk to your boss about reducing your workload, when it is your work and your responsibility the only person who can deal with any problems is you. Therefore you need to know the signs of stress in order to stop it affecting your health.
While we can all occasionally fret about a deadline or feel a bit frustrated about a slow day, there is a difference between the odd day-to-day annoyance and chronic stress. Look for the following signs of stress when you work from home:
One problem with self-employment is that people may not always necessarily understand the difficulties involved so there is a lack of support. People often think that people that work from home have everything easy.
If you have been self employed for a while you will know that its not all easy. The lack of a prescribed routine and goals means that you can often end up working much longer in the day, at night and at weekends than anyone else. It’s true that there is more flexibility and you can get to do things in the day that other people can’t do. But what tends to happen is that the occasional relaxed lunchtime is a pay off after a lot of working days.
Therefore one of the best ways to deal with the stress of self-employment is to find consistency and form habits. A routine often makes it easier to focus when you need to work but can also allow you to relax without guilt. Below are some tips to make your working day a bit easier-
Some people work better in a 9 to 5 day. Others prefer to do a three-day week or work in the evenings. There is no right or wrong, just find the way that works best. Once you have decided upon the best times to work for you and the amount of time you will be working, stick to it and make it a routine. Don’t be tempted to do other things or make plans during your working time. You have decided on your routine so you need to stick to it
If you don’t have a separate room, just use an area that you know is “your work” area. Don’t work from the sofa or the bed. If you create some kind of divide between work and home then you will be mentally distancing yourself from your work during non work hours in the same way you would when employees leave their work and go home. This is important to refresh the mind.
There needs to be a time when you are not in a meeting, looking at a phone or on a computer. During this time do not feel bad that you are not at work. Schedule breaks and make sure you take your breaks away from your work. If you work on the computer all day, taking a break is not going onto a social network site on the computer! Go for a walk if it’s possible, read a book, meditate or do anything that is not work related. You need time to switch off!
Exercise is proven to reduce stress. You could go for a run, walk or just get outdoors. If you can’t leave the house then maybe you could try some yoga or aerobics from home. Aerobic activity often clears the head, and will make you more productive and motivated. Be sure to drink a good amount of water throughout the day to keep hydrated. As a general rule, if you ever feel thirsty you have already become dehydrated so keep drinking throughout the day.
If you find it hard to talk to your family, talk to friends. Meet up in person with other self-employed people for a casual chat or join a club. While you may not be able to chat with people around a water cooler in an office you can find social occasions and people to talk to. Real social activity is vital and even more important when you are working from home otherwise you can become isolated.
In summary, working from home is a wonderful opportunity, but work/life balance is essential to maintain a healthy mind and body. With these quick tips you will reduce your risk of becoming stressed and you will perform to the best of your ability.
“Follow your dreams, work hard, practice and persevere. Make sure you eat a variety of foods, get plenty of exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle” – Sasha Cohen
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