With more and more Australians working from home, the lines between work and home life are becoming more blurred. But it’s essential for your mental and physical health to be able to switch off and enjoy some downtime.
Here’s how you can organise your work life to give you that all-important leisure time.
How to set boundaries when you work from home
The COVID pandemic has brought the advantages of working from home to many more office workers around the nation, but it does come with some risks. It can be very easy to keep working day and night unless you set clear boundaries.
Some key steps you can take are to establish a routine, set up a dedicated area for work, and turn off notifications for work messages at the end of your working day.
Establish a routine
One of the many benefits of working from home is that your working hours may become more flexible. You could start working earlier and finish earlier, or take a long break in the middle of the day. Decide on the working hours that suit you best and stick to them.
Obviously check with your boss and communicate with your colleagues and clients so they know when they can reach you. This can help limit miscommunication and ensure team projects stay on track.
“It can be very easy to keep working day and night unless you set clear boundaries.”
Set up a dedicated area
If you’re lucky enough to have the space in your home, a separate room set up as a dedicated office can help to create boundaries. At the end of the day, you’re able to shut the door and step away from work.
If not, create a dedicated space within your home that you can set up and pack up at the end of each day. Don’t be tempted to leave your work laptop open on your kitchen bench. Log off and close it up at the end of each working day.
Turn off notifications
Switch off any notifications on your phone or computer that will pop up when you’re not working and drag you back in. You might have colleagues or clients that choose to work different hours than you, but if you’ve told them when you’ll be available, they won’t expect an immediate reply.
For some jobs, you might need to be on call on a regular basis, or on the odd occasion, but don’t let it become the norm if it’s not a requirement of your job.
How to switch off when you don’t work from home
While many office workers are working from home, there are plenty of jobs that require you to go to a workplace. For example, if you’re a healthcare worker and you are confronted with challenges all day, you need to switch off when you get home. Limit your news consumption to give yourself a complete break and find something that brings you pleasure in your downtime.
What to do in your ‘switched off’ time
Research suggests that it can take up to 21 days to establish a new habit, but the effort can be well worth it, and benefit your mental and physical health.
Switching off is different for everyone. If you’re an active person it could involve exercise, a hobby, or socialising, but for some, it might be something more passive like watching TV or reading.
“it can take up to 21 days to establish a new habit, but the effort can be well worth it, and benefit your mental and physical health.”
Adjust your expectations
It’s not necessary to be 100 per cent productive every day so don’t be hard on yourself.
You should adjust your expectations and treat yourself and others with kindness. If you have a really trying day at work, you might just want to sit on the couch and watch a light-hearted TV program to chill out.
Start a new hobby
Why not start that hobby you’ve been thinking about for a while, or return to something you used to enjoy?
Do something for yourself that will bring you satisfaction and pleasure. You might want to learn a language, try your hand at a musical instrument, work on your culinary skills, create a masterpiece, or even start a blog.
Make exercise part of your routine
Exercise has many benefits well beyond physical ones. Your mental health also benefits. The easiest form of exercise with very minimal outlay is walking, and if you have a dog, they’ll love you for it.
Running, cycling, swimming, playing golf or tennis might be more your style. Find a form of exercise that you enjoy and find some friends who enjoy the same thing. By committing to meet a friend to exercise you’re much more likely to keep it up.
Another option is setting up your own home gym, or join a local gym if you prefer to exercise with others or attend classes.
Socialise in person or with the help of technology
Many research studies have shown the benefits of social connections for physical and mental health.
Face-to-face socialising is great, but when it’s not possible you can also meet up via video or over the phone.
Enjoy some Edenvale during your downtime
Enjoy the taste of premium Australian wine, anytime and anywhere, with the Edenvale range of alcohol removed wines. Edenvale is a high-quality, sophisticated Australian lifestyle beverage that offers the taste and full complexity of premium wine, just without the alcohol content.
You’ll find select Edenvale varietals at Dan Murphy’s, Coles, Woolworths, and IGA, or you can buy your Edenvale directly from our online store or one of our online retail partners – Sansdrinks, CraftZero, Brunswick Aces and Free Spirit Drink Co.