Managing Anxiety When Working From Home

People all over the world are working from home as the coronavirus pandemic continues globally. While the respite from a commute and office politics can be a relief, working from home can also produce anxiety and worry. From juggling work with kids, pets, and a spouse nearby to missing time spent with co-workers, there’s plenty to feel anxious about. Not to mention the uncertainty that goes with a pandemic and when your work life will return to normal. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to relieve anxiety at home and stay on top of your workplace obligations.

Understand the Symptoms

One of the best things you can do if you suspect that you have anxiety stemming from your new work at home schedule is to understand the symptoms. That way you’ll know if what you’re experiencing is something worth mentioning to your doctor so you can get some help. Common symptoms of depression include increased breathing and heart rate, nervousness, feelings of panic, difficulty concentrating or restlessness. Giving your physician a call is a good idea, but there are also some healthy steps you can take at home to manage your anxiety.


Create a Daily Routine

Chances are that when you were working in the office, you had a routine that got you through the day. Not only can a routine help you keep on task, but it also creates a sense of safety and security at a time when so many things are out of your control. Put together a work routine that you can stick to. That might be phone calls first thing when you sit down, answering emails after lunch and seeking out development opportunities every Friday before you’re done for the day. This gives you back some control and lets you know what to expect during your workday.


Stay Connected

You might not like everyone you work with, but chances are that there are a few employees you miss seeing and interacting with on a daily basis. These co-workers are a great source of support in uncertain times, so make sure you still see or talk to them as often as you can. Set up a Zoom meeting outside work or start a group text thread that you can use to check in and encourage one another throughout the workday.


Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Not only can this help you stay productive on the job, but it makes you feel better in general. Focus on getting enough exercise when you’re not on the clock and make time to eat healthy meals and snacks throughout the workday. This fuels both your body and your mind and can boost productivity and motivation, while also alleviating symptoms of anxiety that arise when working from home.


Create a Workspace

Instead of just working wherever there’s space, set yourself up a designated office space. This separates work from home, which goes a long way toward helping control symptoms of anxiety. When you’re in your workspace, you’ll feel more ready to get the job done and will have less distractions around you. Your office might be a corner of the kitchen, a spare bedroom or your back patio. Whatever space you choose, set it up for success with the tools you need to work. Ask your family to respect that space as much as possible so that you aren’t experiencing the anxiety of working with chaos happening all around you.


Take Breaks

Even when you were in the office, you took your scheduled breaks on a consistent basis. Incorporate that idea into your work from home routine as well. Even a short break helps your brain recharge and lets you come to work refreshed and ready to get on with it. Now that you’re working from home, take time to eat lunch with your spouse or kids, take a break for a walk around the block, to read a book or to do something silly with your family. Set time limits so the workday doesn’t get away from you.

It's important to manage anxiety in ways that you are comfortable with. Do not allow it to get on top of you. If necessary, seek professional help.


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