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Your Guide to Combatting Burnouts in the Age of Remote Work

Surviving a pandemic isn’t exactly easy

It’s been over a year since COVID began its spread, and nothing about life has been normal since. Even if lockdowns have eased, and public spaces have slowly re-opened, navigating it all isn’t exactly a walk in the park. 

Amidst a crazy news cycle and feelings of anxiety about our health and that of our loved ones, we’re all naturally struggling to maintain a sense of mental stability. In the region, where mental illness rates are already higher than elsewhere in the world, it’s even more crucial to find ways to cope with the ongoing crisis.

This is especially important for those who have lost their jobs, suffered through salary cuts, and struggled to make ends meet. And even for those of us who continued to work from home, we can all attest that although it comes with a certain set of privileges, it’s not short of challenges.

From deluded work relationships to struggling to keep a proper routine, spending too much time at home can weigh heavy on anyone, so for the sake of your mental health, these are a few things to try out to avoid a burnout. 

Communicate your feelings to your boss and coworkers
If you’re feeling mentally unwell, it’s crucial to communicate with your boss or coworkers. Everything considered, it’s normal to not be okay. Struggling on your own won’t solve the problem so don’t hesitate to ask for help when needed. 

Take mental health days off
There’s no point powering through you down days and forcing yourself to work, chances are it will only result in negative. Don’t be afraid to ask for a day off to recharge and disconnect.

Stop reading false assumptions into your colleagues’ texts
If you’re exchanging a lot of text messages with your coworkers on Hangouts, Slack or any other communication platform, you might tend to misread their emotions. It’s obvious that texts poorly communicate our feelings and straight-forward messages can sometimes read a bit off in tone. That doesn’t mean the person you’re texting is necessarily upset or unsatisfied with your work. So try not to read more into the texts than what they are actually for which is usually a simple communication of a task or need.

Move, move, move.
It’s widely proven that exercise helps improve our mental health. Make sure to have a little walk or a short light workout before or after work as well as during breaks.

Take vacations
Just because you’re already at the comfort of your home and probably can’t travel anywhere because of restrictions, doesn’t mean you don’t need a vacation. When it comes to taking a rest, weekends sometimes just won’t cut it so make sure to schedule your holidays and take to be away from our desk. 

Don’t isolate yourself (when you can help it)
Isolation can easily result in feelings of loneliness and depression. It’s important not to dismiss our need for human interactions so if you already live with someone else, maybe consider sharing your working space.

Maintain a relationship with your coworkers
Zoom calls can become tiring but in these conditions, they are our only resort to interacting with colleagues. Use them to chat a bit and check in with everyone else before diving into work. You can also organize virtual coffee breaks together.

Schedule fun post-work activities
Whether you’re quarantining or living in a city where almost every public place is closed, you shouldn’t automatically resort to Netflix and social media to disconnect. Find activities that make you feel better like cooking, gardening, dancing or playing games with your family or roommates.

Upgrade your home office
Our environment can truly shape our mental health. For that reason, you might want to consider redecorating your home office, adding natural elements and indoor plants as well as making sure you get enough sunlight in.

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