Are you struggling to focus on work with everything going on in the world right now? If so, you’re not alone. This time is like no other we’ve encountered. Home and office have now become one. Overnight we’ve had to learn how to work independently, at home, and without the support of our teammates down the hall.
In these stressful times, it’s important to find ways to stay connected and to deal with the stress and uncertainty that is the new normal. Here, are some of the most effective ways to work through stress and uncertainty.
You have probably heard a lot about practicing gratitude. It has become quite a popular practice and for good reason. It works. In its simplest terms, practicing gratitude is the intentional act of taking time to notice and reflect upon the things you are thankful for. People who regularly practice gratitude experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems.
How we think is very much a learned behavior and practices that encourage a focus on positivity, like practicing gratitude, can you learn to think more positively. When you can experience gratitude, you are able to focus more on the good things around you rather than the bad things happening. For example, working from home may be challenging, but you are safe and have a home to work from.
Practicing gratitude does not have to be difficult. In fact, studies by UC Davis psychologist Robert Emmons, author of Thanks!: How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, reveal that the simple act of keeping a gratitude journal can significantly improve well-being in a number of areas:
- Stronger immune systems
- Lower blood pressure
- Better sleep
- More optimism and happiness
- More forgiving
- More outgoing
- Feeling less lonely and isolated
Establish A Routine
Now that you find yourself working at home, it can feel really strange. Your office routine helped to shape you day and guide your workflow. With that absent, your challenge now is to find a routine that keeps you focused and on task.
It might be tempting to just see where the flow takes you but you may be setting yourself up for a struggle. Establishing a consistent routine helps reduce mental fatigue and improves productivity. Having a routine will also help you achieve a work-life balance so that home doesn’t begin to feel as if you’re in the office 24/7.
- Have a set time that you wake up and start work
- Get dressed
- Have a designated workspace if you can
- Schedule breaks throughout the day for meals, getting some sun, etc.
- Have a set finish time
Just implementing a routine can erase so much of the uncertainty you feel right now. You will also be able to better schedule some time for exercise, social time and self-care activities.
Focus On Self-Care
Practicing good self-care is essential during these uncertain and stressful times. Caring for and being gentle with yourself helps to reduce the stress you feel and can improve your sense of well-being. Self-care allows you to release tension and allow your body to rest in ways that are healing and rejuvenating.
Here are some suggestions for self-care at home:
- Exercise such as walking, stretching, yoga, exercise videos – whatever you prefer
- Listening to soothing music
The more you practice self-care, the less stressed more centered you will feel.
Use Your Support System
For single adults, this transition has been especially hard. Single adults find a lot of their social engagement through workplace friendships and interactions. With the shutdowns in place, that line of social interaction has been severed. Connections are now via Zoom meetings and texts. One of the good things about this uncertain time is that it is impacting everyone. This means there is a lot of support available out there.
- Reach out to colleagues throughout the day. They are most likely at home too and might be feeling the same way. Sometimes just having someone who “gets it” can be helpful.
- Make sure you’re connecting with friends and family regularly. Sometimes a fun chat with loved ones or friends is just the diversion you need to shake off the stress and worries of the day. A good visit can be energizing and revitalizing.
- Or, you may find it useful to share your concerns with others in online support forums.
It is hard not to worry about will come in the coming weeks and months. Workplaces will surely have a new look. As the country begins the process of reopening, remember that there is no blueprint for this and change is inevitable. Remember to be kind to yourself and do the best you can. You can find the work balance that works for you.
During this time, you might find that you’re needing more practical support. If you’re struggling with the worries related to the current situation, seek emotional support from a trained therapist. These are unprecedented times and the distress you feel is real and you are not alone.
The therapists at Therapy 24/7 are experts in working with people during challenging times and are pioneers in the provision of online therapy. Therapy 24/7 currently offers online therapy services at flexible times so that you can access care from the comfort of your home at a time that works for you. They also have three locations in the NYC area to serve you. Reach out today to schedule your consultation.