We’re all adjusting to the new normal: working from home, helping the kids with school, and handling the challenges of everday life while change is constant. Here are five tips to manage stress and avoid burnout.
Tip 1: Be grateful for the things you already have and constantly remind yourself how lucky you are.
Every night, before going to sleep, I mentally list three things I am grateful for today. For example, I am grateful that I have a job that I love (we know that many people lost their jobs or cannot continue working due to the health crisis); my kids continue going to school and learn new things (YAY!), and they can still do most of their after-school activities and sports; all of my family members are alive and healthy.
Tip 2: When you feel overwhelmed, take a step back and reset your priorities.
Working in a fast paced startup company, we all have an unending list of tasks to complete at work. Then add to the list all the everyday household chores like cleaning, cooking, picking up and dropping off kids, etc. I try to keep a TO-DO list handy and take advantage of services that make my life easier. I am very grateful for grocery delivery services that save me time and a trip to the store. Our grocery list doesn’t change that much from time to time, so reordering go-to items is super easy. I keep quick, 15-minute meal recipes on hand for easy lunches or dinners when time is short.
Taking a quick moment to write out a list and prioritize tasks based on importance and urgency works wonders to clear the mind, streamline your approach, and determine what actually deserves your focus at that moment. And if it does feel overwhelming, I’ve learned to to ask for help. People are usually kind and willing to help.
Tip 3: Take care of yourself – mentally and physically.
Throughout quarantine, I tried (and continue to try) to stay active: go for walks around the neighborhood one or two times a day, ride my bicycle, take online yoga classes.
Finding some quiet time for yourself is important too. In the morning before work and just after the kids leave for school, I enjoy drinking my coffee and catching up the news or scrolling through Facebook. Every weekend, at least once, I try to go to the beach with my family. I love the ocean; we have a special bond. It helps me to recharge my batteries. Before bed, I like to read a book to relax. Lately, I’ve enjoyed the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series, which are filled with inspiring short stories.
Tip 4: Try to keep up with social interactions. They’re super important.
Since we stopped going out during the pandemic, I got a chance to really bond with some of my neighbors. We enjoy having drinks outside on the weekends (while keeping our distance), and share news and even plan future events (“when everything goes back to normal”).
I also enjoy virtual zoom happy hours with my wonderful colleagues or my friends out of town. Those are always fun! And a great way to manage stress 😉
Tip 5: Get a good night’s sleep, cut back on screen time, and make time for your hobbies.
Be it music, or arts and crafts, or fitness, find the time to do the things that make you happy. In my free time, I am always trying to find time for my hobbies or trying to learn something new. Lately, I enjoy painting and baking. Luckily there are lots of Youtube videos and tutorials for both. I also enjoy reading books and playing tennis.
These are my 5 tips for managing stress and preventing burn-out. Being a working parent is hard. We are all trying to do our best at work and at home. But .. we are not perfect and it’s totally fine. Enjoy the little things in life because those are the most important.