Dealing with burnout while working from home

Clinical psychologist recommends setting boundaries on things such as checking emails

Screenshot of stock video of someone working from home (Courtesy of Cleveland Clinic)

Working from home during the pandemic can be stressful. Many people’s personal and professional lives have suddenly blended together, which can create new challenges in their day.

“People often experience burnout when they feel like things are out of control. When they have a lot of stressors and they feel like their needs are not being taken into account, or they don’t feel like they can do something about the stressors,” said Dawn Potter, PsyD, of Cleveland Clinic. “So, burnout isn’t just about the volume of the workload, it’s about the amount of control the worker feels like they have.”

So, what can you do if you’re feeling burned out? Potter, who is a clinical psychologist, said it’s important to set boundaries while working from home.

For example, you may be tempted to check your emails after your shift or finish up a project, but you really should try to unplug for the night. It can also help to create a designated office space in your house to limit any distractions.

And don’t forget to take some time for yourself during the day. If you used to go to the gym but can’t anymore, consider going for a walk or a bike ride on your lunch break.

Finally, let your supervisor know if you’re struggling and need some assistance.

“I think the COVID pandemic has really caused us to have to be creative in the way we take care of ourselves, the way we socialize with other people, the way we work and the way we stay connected. And so to manage burnout, the same sort of flexibility and creativity is required,” explained Potter.

She said it’s normal to feel stressed about work sometimes, but if it’s starting to become a major disruption to your life, you should talk to a medical professional.