Work-from-home burnout is real and unsurprising. It’s not easy to have a work-life balance when you live at the office. If you don’t want your life to be work-eat-sleep-repeat, check out these 15 simple tips to feel better when you work at home. Pants optional for Zoom meetings and reading this article.
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How to Avoid Burnout Working from Home
Are you feeling stressed and overwhelmed lately? If so, you’re not alone. Many people are struggling with stress due to the pandemic and other factors in their life. While stress may help us achieve our goals in the short term, experiencing stress for long periods can harm our mental health and wellbeing.
One condition that can result from chronic stress is burnout. Burnout is defined as feeling overwhelmed by pressure from work. Some of the common characteristics of burnout include stress, long-term exhaustion, and a lack of interest in your career (source: Mayo Clinic).
In this blog post, we will discuss 15 tips to prevent work-from-home burnout from happening in your life. So you can enjoy your home again, and the perks of working from home.
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15 Tips to Prevent Work from Home Burnout
1. Take a Break
The first tip for preventing work-from-home burnout is to take regular breaks.
This may seem like an obvious suggestion, but it’s essential to take the time to relax and rejuvenate yourself. If you’re constantly working from home and don’t give yourself any time to rest, you’ll eventually hit a breaking point.
Make sure to take some time for yourself every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. You can use this time to do something calming, like reading or taking a walk.
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2. Set Boundaries to Prevent Work-From-Home Burnout
Just because you work from home, does not mean you should be available to work 24/7.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by work, setting boundaries is essential. This means saying no to requests outside of your scope and sticking to the deadlines you set for yourself.
It can be challenging to say no, but it’s important to remember that you can’t do everything, and trying to will only lead to burnout.
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3. Delegate Tasks
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it may be helpful to delegate some of your tasks to others.
Asking for help can be a difficult to do, but it’s important to remember that you can’t do everything yourself.
Ask your friends or family for help when needed. If you have an employer, ask for assistance from your colleagues at work.
Kids can learn to make their school lunches younger than you think. Include the family in the household tasks you usually do yourself, so that it’s not all workworkworkworkworkwork (#rihannavibes).
4. Take Care of Yourself if You’re Experiencing Work-from-Home Burnout
It’s essential to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally.
This means eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly to keep your body healthy.
It also means taking breaks from work when you need them and getting enough sleep at night so that you’re rested for the next day’s tasks.
On my work-from-home days, I take dance breaks with my daughter, or we’ll go for a walk around the block. You might want to think about getting a standing desk (or even this under the table exercise bike), since sitting the whole day is not great for our bodies.
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5. Plan Ahead to Stop Work-from-Home Burnout Before It Starts
It’s essential to plan if you want to avoid working from home burnout.
It also means taking steps now while everything is going well to prepare yourself for when things go wrong.
Maybe you’re in an awesome stage of work-from-home bliss. Great! Enjoy it! But have a plan in place for if things start to ramp up, if you’re starting to work too many hours, if work starts to bleed into all hours of your day.
Don’t wait until you get to the point of burnout to start looking at your work habits.
6. Manage Your Time Wisely
It can be hard to manage your time well, but it’s essential to do so if you want to avoid burnout.
This means setting aside specific times for work and avoiding distractions when you’re trying to get things done. It also means taking breaks throughout the day to give yourself a chance to relax and recharge.
You can use an app like the Freedom app to block social media for a certain time period, or all websites except the ones you’re working on. This can be a huge help with focus, so that when you’re working, you are more productive, and don’t have as much carry-over for the next day.
The Pomodoro technique is popular with online workers, and might be something you want to try out to help prevent burnout from working from home. With the Pomodoro technique, you work for 25 minutes, and rest or take a break for 5 minutes, and then repeat.
You can change up the work-rest timing cycles for what suits you. Here’s an online Pomodoro timer if you’d like to try it out.
7. Take Care of Your Mental Health
It’s important to take care of your mental health, especially if you’re on the verge of work-from-home burnout.
It also means getting enough sleep at night so that your brain has time to recover from a long day.
Meditating helps quiet my mind for bed after a busy day of working from home. So does watching a brainless show like Bachelor in Paradise (hey, I didn’t say I was always deep).
8. Take Time for Yourself
It can be hard to take time for yourself, but it’s crucial if you want to avoid burnout.
This means setting aside specific times when you’re not working and doing something other than work during those periods.
It also means taking breaks throughout the day so that your brain has time to unwind between work tasks.
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9. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
It’s important not to be afraid of asking for help if you’re feeling overwhelmed by working from home.
This means reaching out to your friends and family or even a therapist so that they can support you through this difficult time.
It’s not easy to balance our relationships, kids, home management tasks, with working from home. It’s all under the same roof. If you feel quite out of balance, let someone know and get the help you need.
10. Take Care of Your Body
After it became clear that the pandemic was not going to end in two months, I started to look at my work-from-home office space.
Some days I would use a kitchen chair for my office chair, and other days I would work from the couch or the bed. Physiotherapists would give that two thumbs down.
I decided to invest in a few home office items that would help keep my body healthy and prevent work-from-home burnout of the physical kind.
I bought this pink office chair and I’m in love. It has a high back and arm rests – two things I wanted in an office chair. Plus it’s light pink.
I invested in a chair back massager to keep my back happy while spending lots of hours sitting in front of a laptop. I wasn’t sure how much I would use it over time, but it’s been over a year and I still use it all the time. I made sure I got a massager with heat because I’m always cold at home. (Also, how much do you like that brand name?).
I liked my back massager so much, I bought a foot massager a couple months later. 🙂
Again, with heat and the whole deal. I consider these three purchases really important for my long-term physical health while I work from home.
11. Set Realistic Expectations for Yourself
It’s essential to set realistic expectations for yourself to avoid working from home burnout.
This means not trying to do too much at once and accepting that you can’t always be perfect.
It also means taking time for yourself and not putting all of your focus on work. Even if you’re self-employed, set work hours so your day isn’t one big work day.
12. Know Your Limits to Avoid Work-from-Home Burnout
It’s essential to know your limits if you want to avoid burnout.
This means knowing when to say no and setting boundaries for yourself with work, family, or friends.
Try to tune into your body each day. Is it feeling tired, hungry, like it needs movement? Take the actions you need. Check in with yourself like you would check in with a baby or small child.
Take the steps on your own behalf to prioritize your own well-being will help prevent or reverse work-from-home burnout.
13. Know When to Stop Working
It’s important to know when to stop working to avoid burnout from working from home.
Pay attention to the hours you are working. You lose a lot of the benefit of working from home if suddenly you are working 10 or 12 hour days when you used to work 6 or 8.
Either set a start and stop time for work, or have a maximum number of hours a day you will work and stop when you’ve reached your max.
Your body and mind will thank you.
14. Take Recess
Recess shouldn’t just be for kids and government workers.
It’s essential to take a break if you want to avoid burnout. Fully step away from your workspace, to give yourself literally a different view.
Ideally recess should be taken outside, a 15-minute break in the morning, and another in the afternoon. Take a book outside and read, scroll social media guilt-free (this is your break!), or go for a walk.
You’ll come back from recess refreshed and ready to work again.
Related post: 21 Best Work From Home Tips You Need to Be More Successful.
15. Sleep Well to Prevent Work-from-Home Burnout
It’s important to get enough sleep every night to avoid burnout.
This means going to bed at a reasonable hour and waking up early so that your brain has time to recover from a long day.
It also means taking breaks throughout the day so that your brain has time to recover from a long day.
If you’re looking for a work-from-home job or business, check out 20 Legit Stay At Home Mom Jobs That Will Make You Good Money.