It’s the New Year, but you’re probably back to your same old work from home schedule—taking calls from your couch, working late hours, and even checking emails on the weekends. In the midst of this ongoing pandemic, our work life has substantially merged with our personal life so that there’s little separation between the two. “Many employers are piling greater responsibilities on their staff and promoting a culture of open communication outside of traditional work hours. And due to fear of losing their jobs, many individuals working from home feel obliged to meet these demands,” says Jeffrey Ditzell, D.O., a psychiatrist based in New York City. When work and life are under the same roof, it can be difficult to keep them balanced.
As hard as it may be in these times, maintaining a healthy balance between your work and your personal life is essential for your mental and physical health, according to Nicole Beurkens, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and author of Life Will Get Better. “People who have blurred, or nonresistant, boundaries between their work and personal lives tend to have higher levels of stress and feel more distressed over time—eventually developing all of the health issues that come along with it,” she says. But, the good news is you can prevent this imbalance and all of the negative implications of it by drawing a fine line between your personal and professional life.
“Setting firm boundaries is crucial for a strong work-life balance,” says Regine Muradian, Psy.D., a clinical psychologist based in Los Angeles. Learning how to establish boundaries will set you on the route to keep your work-related activities in control and prioritize more time for yourself, even when the pandemic is over. Here are five expert-approved practices that will help you build great WFH habits for a happier and healthier work-life balance.
Establish set schedules for work
Designate when you will start and end the workday. When you set these times in stone (as best as you can), avoid checking your work email or accounts outside of your allotted work hours. “Use technology to your advantage by using the various apps and digital reminders that make it more difficult for you to break your own rules and access things outside of work time,” says Dr. Beurkens. “Although technology can feel like it’s taking over our lives and infringing on our work-life balance, we can actually use it to our benefit in helping us stick to the boundaries we know are healthy for us.” This can mean setting time limits, turning off your active status, or even activating an auto-reply to let others know you’re not available outside your work hours.
Schedule time for mindfulness and movement
An imbalance between your work and personal life can be emotionally draining and cause burnout. Ensure you’re getting enough time each day to decompress and rest, which is necessary for your health and well-being. “Make a habit to incorporate at least…
Read More: 5 Tips for a Healthy Work-Life Balance