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Balancing work and family is difficult enough under normal conditions. Since the pandemic, many people are struggling to cope with work responsibilities, helping their children with online schooling, and making sure everything else is taken care of in between. The pressures that build up as a result of these stresses can feel overwhelming. Here are some best practices for balancing work and family life during COVID-19.
1. Set Boundaries
There is only so much that one person can do. After getting home from the office, take some time to relax and de-compress. Even if there are a million tasks that need to be done before bedtime, there is always time to take a moment and breathe. Try to delegate as many tasks to family members that can do them. Don’t try to take on as much as you did before the pandemic. It’s not possible.
2. Practice Self-Care
Take time to meditate, listen to music, and sit in a relaxing bath. We run around a lot after work, feeling as though we need to catch up on time. While accomplishing tasks feels good, it leads to burnout. Practicing good self-care is essential for balancing work and family life. Don’t be afraid to tell your significant other that you need some time for yourself, either. Asking for personal time is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of being human.
3. Say No to Extra Responsibilities At Work
Do what is expected of you at work, and do your best. But do not take on extra responsibilities that are outside of your job description unless you can do so. This is a good piece of advice under normal living conditions, but it’s imperative advice during COVID-19. Only do what you can do, and give yourself a break if you feel it’s not “enough.” Communicate with your superiors and let them know how your workflow is going. Managers are understanding when they know you are doing your best. They are not as sympathetic if your frustrations are not communicated and projects are not finished on time.
4. Find Support Networks
Look for people who can help you through this challenging time. Connect with old friends, find a therapist, join an online support group. Use as many support systems as needed to feel better. COVID-19 can make people feel isolated, so it’s important to find ways to connect with others. Talk to a neighbor, do a safe play-date with a friend and her child (wear masks), or share highs and lows with a trusted friend or spouse.
5. Learn to Laugh
Remember that all of this stress is temporary. Eventually, things will go back to normal and this time of your life will seem like a distant memory. When you start thinking negatively, remember to take a deep breath and laugh at the insanity of the situation. Remember that everyone, to one degree or another, is going through the same situation. Recognizing that this stressful experience is universal can help make you feel less alone. Watch funny movies, laugh with a friend, or share a joke with a spouse. Do whatever you have to do to momentarily lighten the mood and get out of your headspace.
Are you struggling to balance family and work during COVID-19? If so, please call Straight Talk Counseling at 714-828-2000 or visit our website at straighttalkcounseling.org. One of our professional counselors would be happy to speak with you.