Working from home during COVID-19 has been all about deadlines.
It’s one deadline after another and the days seem to be merging into each other. Then, before you know it all the deadlines start to pile up and you have no idea how you’re going to make it to the end. It seems like everyone wants a piece of you and you are starting to feel like you don’t have anything else to give.
Then anxiety starts to kick in. Your palms get sweaty. Your heart starts to race. The walls start to close in on you…
How do we gain control of the situation?
I know this seems so basic. But, there is something very powerful about the simple act of breathing.
If you are feeling anxious count backwards from ten, inhaling before you count and then exhaling. Do this slowly. Just focus on your breathing. This will help you center your thoughts.
The issue with anxiety is that too many thoughts and feelings are taking over all once and so it is very helpful to reset yourself. I do do this by doing breathing exercises.
For more examples of breathing exercises click on this link: https://www.healthline.com/health/breathing-exercises-for-anxiety#breath-focus
Track Your Progress
Another helpful tip is to keep track of your progress. I actually found this neat excel spread sheet that helps me track my work throughout the day. It also has a section for a to-do-list – it feels so satisfying to cross out items from that list.
This will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel. If your job is anything like mine, then you are constantly jumping from one project to the next, or sometimes working on multiple projects at once.
Keeping track of your daily work schedule will help you visualize just how much progress your making and make the “light at the end of the tunnel” just a bit more tangible.
Keeping a work log will also come in handy in case you need to show your supervisor/boss exactly what you’ve been up to do these day.
This is the hardest one for me I must admit. Yet, it is so important to disconnect.
When you go in to work the mere fact that you leave once you clock out, creates a mental barrier between work and home, but when you are working from home it is a bit more difficult to disconnect.
It is much easier to take your work home when your work is at home. We have to consciously make an effort to recreate this work/home barrier.
What I’ve been doing recently is that once I end my shift, I get up and immediately go for a walk around the block. I shut down my computer and move a little. I make sure that I change rooms/environment/scenery.
Also, enjoy your weekend. Play games with your family, watch movies, go for a walk, ride a bike, exercise.
This break is much needed. Don’t cheat yourself out of it. Trust me.
Most importantly, Pray.
This one is a given, but in a day in age when we have so many things to juggle we sometimes forget the very basics.
When you are feeling overwhelmed, the best thing you can do is pray.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)
God in his infinite mercy gave us the answer to overcome anxiety. When we pray, especially with a grateful heart, God listens to our requests and he moves mountains on our behalf. His peace is one that we cannot understand. Having peace does not mean not having problems or stress, it means relying on him to overcome these situations.
So, when you start to feel those anxious feelings, just take a deep breath and pray.