The Best Ways to Relieve Work-Related Stress From Home

Katelyn Melder

March 29, 2020

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People develop stress-induced responses when a situation requires it. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many individuals are being required to work from home. Working at home changes people's routines, exposes obstacles, and requires everyone to adapt to new circumstances, which causes excess stress.

Stress from working at home can stem from everything from distractions and working in a new environment to figuring out a system for work and communicating with coworkers.

Since it's Stress Awareness Month, here are five tips, based on recommendations from the American Psychological Association, for relieving work-related stress from home:

1. Track your stressors and responses.

Identifying stressors, your response, and their patterns will help you understand where your stress is mainly derived from. Once these points are identified, you can learn how to better cope with them and develop healthier responses. Keep a journal or small notebook at your workspace, and make notes of any significant stressors.

2. Establish work and life boundaries.

Working from home is a big transition from working in a space designated for work purposes. There may be pressure to feel like you need to work 24 hours a day now that these spaces are combined, but there are various ways you can tackle this feeling.

- Try setting work hours and sharing those hours with coworkers and family, and be strict with your work time.
- Don't answer personal calls or emails when working.
- If needed, set up a system your children will understand. For example, leave the door to your office open when you're not too busy, and close it when you're on an important call.
- For other ideas, try these.

3. Develop a response.

How do you respond to stress? We all respond differently, but there are healthy and unhealthy ways of doing so. Some people overwork, and some people drink or eat to cope. Here are some healthy alternatives: going for a short walk, doing yoga, doing breathing exercises, listening to calming music, reading, taking up a quick household chore, or even simply removing yourself from your workspace for a quick ten-minute break. Taking a step away from work will give your mind a much needed refresher.

4. Stay organized and create a method of prioritization.

Organization cures most work-from-home anxieties. Keep and stick to a schedule, make a list each morning of what needs to be done, and keep your desk or workspace clean. Aside from workspace organization, make sure your company or business has a solid system for communication, paperwork, and other work-related activities. Doing so will put your mind at ease.

5. Discuss your stress with your supervisor or employer.

The point of this isn't to vent about what's causing you stress. The point is to collaborate with them to find ways of easing and managing your stress to make your work days more productive and stress-free. Your employer may have stress-management resources available, such as counseling or mental health professional referrals.

Visit this article by the American Psychological Association for more in-depth tips.

About the author:

Katelyn E. Melder is a social media manager at Women in Technology International (WITI) and JCAR Logo Gear. Living in York, PA, she is starting her own social media management and consulting business, Melder Media. Katelyn helps clients reflect their mission and values in the visual and written content they share online.

Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.

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