Originally published on Medium
Working from home for one or two days consecutively without getting out is super easy, it sounds more than exciting, right?
However, now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of us have been asked to remain at home for more than a month or perhaps even longer, with serious restrictions on going out.
I have almost reached one month by now, working from home without getting out at all. This means I haven’t gone out anywhere. So, now, I am feeling the effect of this.
I am taking care of myself by practicing different techniques and best practices to avoid stress, burn out, anxiety and all of that. Unfortunately, I can’t help feeling exhausted at the end of the day.
Why is it that working from home during a lockdown is really exhausting? The answer to this is that it is due to different factors and changes that we didn’t have before. Let’s review them in this post.
Every single time I stand up from my desk and get out of my makeshift office to grab a glass of water or go to the bathroom, a little voice pipes up.
My three-year-old son asks me: “Dad, did you finish your work, can we play for a while, please? His sweet voice strikes me hard as I have to continue my responsibilities.
I am completely sure he is also experiencing stress during this lockdown. It is impossible to avoid it and I tell him: “Sorry my friend, I am still working. We will dance at the end of the day as we usually do, do you agree?”
He looks at me with a sad face and he rapidly goes to mom’s arms to feel supported after my negative response.
During the day, he is playing with his aunts and mom. However, he always finds a chance to bang on the door of my temporary office. Or, sometimes, when he is watching his favorite TV cartoons series, he opens the door to invite me to see the scenes that we usually play out together when I am not working.
Furthermore, sometimes it is hard to hear clearly when we attend meetings because he is crying out loudly. Because he doesn’t want to take his nap or because he doesn’t want to do his homework.
Anyway, there is an almighty noise around me. This doesn’t usually happen if he is at school. I think working from home is different if your kids are not at school. It’s a real battle to handle.
I have to confess it. I have felt guilty when I am not doing things while I am working from home. However, I am not wasting time at all.
I am doing some valuable and meaningful things like researching new programming courses, hugging my son and wife for a while, and having short talks with my brother in law.
Now, I’ve realized that time works differently at home than in the office. Just to give an example. At the office, you waste time visiting one of your closest coworkers or when you go to the common areas to get a cup of coffee and have a short conversation with one of the coworkers you come across.
Did you do that at least one time while you were at the office? Have you done that?
There are more activities at the office that are truly easy to mention when we’re expressing more ways to waste time.
So, stop feeling guilty about that when you are at home spending a few minutes searching for any products you would like to buy on Amazon or just reading the updates on Twitter from your president about the COVID-19 situation in your country, city, or the latest news that goes around the world.
“We are not isolated beings, we are socials beings instead”
No doubt, working a full day without going out takes a toll on us. I am feeling more tired at the end of the journey than before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in our lives. It took control of our schedules and, therefore, our lives.
I don’t know if this is happening to you, but in my case, when I finish my workday, I feel more tired than usual. And this is the result of not going out or having our usual social relationships.
Certainly, working from home used to be normal to a certain point, of course, before this pandemic.
We always had interruptions during the day but not with the same intensity as we do now. A quarantine forces everyone to stay at home so your odds of interruptions might be multiplied.
It could be my son, wife, or mother-in-law who is asking me something about the truth of some info on social networks related to COVID-19 or just to get new information about that.
We should get up and start our workday the same way we do when we are at the office. If we get in at 9:00 am, we should be ready at that time. So, this means we would have had a shower, had breakfast, and everything we need on our desk to get things done.
During lunchtime, what I do is sit at the dining table with my loved ones and eat lunch. This is a good idea to have a full break as you usually do at the office. I do. At least I have lunch and dinner with them because when I get up early, they are still dreaming and cozily sleeping.
If we don’t make a clear transition between work life and home life sooner rather than later, it will take a toll on us.
During the day, we might come up with some sensitive conversations with our relatives in one way or another.
For instance, nobody wants to stay at home. There is always one of our family members who doesn’t care or doesn’t take the lockdown seriously and they decide to go out. This certainly causes conflict or bad feelings among family members.
Handling those types of things in this crisis is another burden to your day. It will affect you at the end of the day or week. Whether you want it or not.
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