How to Work From Home Without Losing Your Mind
by Dawn Catucci, MS, PD, LMHC
Working from home is a challenge for many of us. Having less separation of work life and home life can lead to burnout. During this pandemic, many of us are feeling more anxious and sad than we ordinarily would. We have so many emotional vulnerabilities that pile up in a given day, and it can sometimes lead to feeling overwhelmed. This is understandable in times of great stress, which is personal, with great concern for the health and well-being of our loved ones, is long-lasting and affects our community and our world. Here are some tips to help to regulate emotions and find some work-life balance.
1. Validate yourself. Understandably, emotions may be more intense right now. Recognize how you are feeling and notice it. "I am noticing that I am feeling frustrated right now, and it's understandable. I'm working from home and trying to care for my children, all at the same time." Take a brief pause and just breath. Emotions come and go like a wave, and this shall pass. Encourage yourself as you would a dear friend.
2. Set limits with work and home life. Set times designated for each. Try to find a separate space for work that is different from your daily personal life. This may be a corner of a room with a small table and chair, but maybe not the kitchen table. Try and change your position. You can create a standup desk for work - it could be piling four pizza boxes or flipping over medium-sized garbage pale and putting it under your computer so you can stand rather than sit all day. Ask for help and accept it when you need assistance for work projects and home life. Notice your limits and kindly set them.
3. Do pleasant activities: Get with nature, go outside, sit and breathe. Let the sunshine hit your face, even if it's just for a few minutes. Read, connect with a friend, do a hobby, do something kind for someone else. Find ways to self soothe and comfort yourself. This could be as simple as cuddling up in a soft throw blanket, having a cold beverage, or eating your favorite popcorn.
4. Set a schedule for yourself. Get dressed each day, even if it's yoga or sweat pants. Make your bed; you will thank yourself at bedtime. Make yourself home-cooked meals and sit and eat them mindfully. Notice the small things that you are grateful for.
5. Exercise: Do what works for you and get moving! Have what you need to exercise ready in one spot (shorts, earbuds, sneakers, socks, water bottle, etc.). Do an opposite action, if you don't feel like excising and you know it is good for you, get moving and do it anyway. Focus on how you will feel when you are done.
Seek help and support if you are struggling. Speak with a trusted friend or loved one. If your mental health is interfering with your daily life, sleep, work, physical well being or relationships and you need more support, go to psychology today find a therapist website, better help, or any platform that allows you to search and see the profiles of licensed mental health professionals. With remote tele-mental health, counseling has become far easier to access. For someone to talk to if you are feeling overwhelmed or suicidal, please call the National Help Line Text Talk or Chat to 988 and or go to the nowmattersnow.org website for more resources. Please Know that you matter.
Dawn Catucci, MS Ed, P.D. LMHC Mental Health Counseling for Emotional Well-Being PLLC, Diplomate Academy of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy, Certified Cognitive Therapist https://www.mycbtanddbt.com/ Owner of Peaceful Pickings Luxury Comfort Boxes- peacefulpickings.com