Pre Covid-19, you could detach yourself from work as soon as you stepped out of the office. Heading home for a simple meal, reading a book, hitting the gym or hanging out with friends were just some common ways of destressing after a hectic day at the office.
However, ever since Covid-19 led to widespread adoption of remote working, our homes have doubled up as our personal and professional space. Those of you with children, living with parents and siblings. or having to "hot desk" in the living room or bedroom with your spouse may find it inconducive to focus as well as separate work and home life.
With these new adjustments, you will likely find the lines between work and play thinning. You're constantly attached to your laptops and phones and having push notifications mean you just have to move from the bed, dining table or TV to the laptop to get work done regardless of the time.
In the current situation, you may find yourself having to work even longer to get the same amount of work done and harder to ensure clear communication with colleagues and partners, very likely because your home was not built to also be a productive work space.
So how do you keep your work and home life separate? How do you destress after a hectic day of remote work to allow for some self-care?
1. Close the day by making a list
You've toiled hard with back-to-back meetings, countless reports, processing information and everything that's supposed to be your "all in a day's work". You didn't expect remote working at home to be even more hectic than in the office. Add to the mix young children, elderly parents and other equally stressed colleagues, your spouse or siblings, and things can easily feel like they are spiralling out of control.
If you have successfully separated work time while working remotely, great, but there is still that issue to address – how do you "end" your remote work day when it's still in the same space that you live in?
The best way to transition from the end of a hectic work day to home life is to take a breather and realign your thoughts. One way that many remote workers find helpful is to end the day by creating a to-do list. Assess what you've already achieved in the day and write down tasks that you need to tackle tomorrow. This way, you're not constantly thinking or worried that you will forget these tasks and you can handle it with much more ease and a sense of accountability the next working day.
Leave your woes in your notebook.
2. Switch off
Once you're done with what you've set out to do, unplug from your email and work texts (but remain contactable for urgent matters).
Many of you may jump back to a task when an email or text message comes in. While you were working from the office, this was an appropriate way to manage your tasks. However, you also use to physically leave the office, which you do not do right now.
Think of switching off as a way for you to leave the office when your workday ends, so you can focus on spending quality time with your loved ones after working hours. By not having a proper "switch off" you may suffer both when you're trying to spend time with the family and when you're trying to get work done.
3. Leave your "office" space
Try to leave the office by first setting up a dedicated work area, that you can physically leave after working. Doing this instinctively takes your mind away from work.
If you live in a small apartment or share your home with other individuals, you might find this harder to do. This is why it's vital that you set up a separate "office" environment at home. If you work from the dining table, for instance, clear up after you are done so the dining room becomes a family space again after the hectic workday ends.
4. Consider some self-care activities
End your work day by mentally switching to another activity, so work isn't constantly at the back of your mind.
You can destress from a hard day's work by engaging in some self-care activities such as reading a book, Zooming with friends, going for a run, or even applying a sheet mask on your face in front of the television.
If you live with family, you can also participate in shared activities that focus on everyone's wellbeing. Have a movie night, follow some light home-based yoga or prepare dinner together.
Keep yourself accountable and receive rewards on AIA Vitality, with personalised fitness goals, weekly challenges and by purchasing healthier groceries from the supermarket.
5. Engage in something fun
Fun can mean very different things to different individuals. For some, it can be a calm activity such as reading or meditating, while extroverts may associate fun with social interactions.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, staying at home may be safer way to interact with friends, so video calls and online gaming may be a good alternative. For families, a short stroll, movie night or playing board games could be a new way for you to bond.
Such activities will promote better relationships, encourage a positive attitude and relieve symptoms of burnout. Remember to keep your "fun" activity healthy, too. Know your body's limits and do something challenging and exciting without over-exerting yourself.
With the lifting of the circuit breaker, it might be prudent to choose activities you like doing that involves a healthy dosage of fun but still try to refrain from unnecessary prolonged physical interactions with those outside your household.
Get covered for a stronger and better tomorrow
While your daily routine has changed to incorporate masking up, washing and sanitising your hands, and practicing better personal hygiene, you should also heed longer term protection needs.
Review your coverage and plug any gaps you may have. Speak to your Financial Services Consultant or get in touch with us.