4 Ways to Achieve Better Work-Life Balance During the COVID-19 Pandemic
In light of recent developments with the rapid spread of the coronavirus, many parents are now working at home while at the same time schooling their children at home. There is little opportunity to leave the house and engage in activities that were once a part of the normal routine for separating from the daily stress of work or school life. Now more than ever, seeking to achieve separation from work for adults as well as the school for kids requires purposeful action.
Dealing with the job or school demands can drain an individual’s resources. If these resources are not replenished during recovery time, then the person is at risk for burnout. Burnout is a condition that affects employees when they are under stress over long periods. Burnout is the result of depleted resources due to job demand and little or no action in replenishing these resources. Two major features of burnout include emotional exhaustion and feeling ineffective in one’s ability to perform their job duty (Greenberg, 2002). therapy and its properties
To prevent parents from burning out from the increased demands of their new responsibilities of schooling their children at home and possibly maintaining their own work, one can apply burnout prevention research to their current situation. In addition, children can adopt these strategies in their daily routine to keep mentally and physically healthy during this time. The most replenishing activities for a person in their recovery time, according to research, including taking frequent breaks, psychological detachment, relaxation, and mastery and control (Brough et al., 2014).
4 TIPS FOR WORK-LIFE BALANCE AMID THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Tip 1: Take frequent breaks throughout the day and on weekends.
Why: Dealing with job demands can drain an individual’s resources, which are replenished during recovery time. Research indicates that breaks throughout the workday and on weekends are crucial to surviving stress (Landsbergis et al., 2012).
How to do this during the mandatory stay at home orders:
Cardiovascular activities for short spurts throughout the day. Take a walk, ride a bike, or go for a run. If you can’t go outside, try finding a workout video that incorporates exercise you can do in your home.
Use your weekends to recover from work and school stress. If you can go outside with the family, spend time riding bikes, going for walks, or doing an outdoor activity like playing catch. If you cannot go outside, play card games, board games, charades, or activities that provide your brain a way to detach from work or school stress (Csikszentmihalyi & LeFevre, 1989).
Do homework or work on weekends. If possible, don’t check work emails during the weekend. If your situation does not allow for this, try to designate one hour each day of the weekend to not engage in work or school activities.
Tip 2: Psychologically detach from work and school.
Why: Sonnentag and Fritz (2007) found that people who were able to detach from their jobs (i.e. turn on the off button) after working had higher well-being. These people were also more satisfied with their jobs and experienced less emotional exhaustion and burnout. While we currently can’t physically leave our office place or home school, there are scheduling segmentation tactics that we can implement during the workday to prevent work-related issues from intruding into recovery time.