5 MINUTE READ | April 15, 2020
COVID-19 Crisis Perspective: All About That Work-Life Balance
Pandemic. That word still doesn’t seem real, yet it very much is and affecting lives all over the world. From the global scale to the personal and work lives of every being on this Earth, change is happening. As an undergrad at TCU and the editorial intern at PMG, the classes and work I do no longer take place at libraries, coffee shops, and West 7th. Everything has transitioned to where I am currently sitting — home.
Thank goodness for technology because I can still attend my TCU classes via Zoom, and communicate to my manager at PMG through digital work platforms and Slack. However, I’m not saying that the transition has been smooth sailing. Working from home presents new challenges that I’ve never considered. Three days a week, I attend my Zoom classes from 10-2 pm, work for PMG from 2:30-5:30 pm, and then go back to class mode to start homework that was assigned for that day. I am well equipped with my blue light glasses, laptop, screen monitor, iPad, and a phone that rings more frequently from friend check-ups and news updates. All the work and school blends into one as I sit in the same chair and look into online video chats, sort through open tabs, and work on various documents.
While some of y’all may have the problem with staying focused in this new work environment because of running children pulling your leg to play and barking dogs wondering why you are still home, I’ve faced the opposite. With everything I need at my fingertips, I just grind with no need for a stopping point. If I need food, I will eat and work. If I need to stretch, I’ll stand and work. The one commonality that stays constant throughout it all — work. The inherently “good thing” turns into an unprecedented danger during this unprecedented time.
So what to do? Three simple words: take a break.
Let’s just kill two birds with one stone and multitask.
Attending my first week of online classes and working from home has been a learning experience. One lesson I took away was how much more effective breaks can be if you use them right. With already being at home, there’s no wasted time walking back to your residence to drop off your books or grab a snack. You’re already there. It can be easy to fall into the trap of multitasking because it seems more effective, but it’s not. Stanford University conducted a study in 2009 that shows how the brain can’t juggle multiple strings of information at a time. So what should I do during my 12-1 pm break? Don’t forget the meaning of “break.”
A break is an interruption to an ongoing activity, which, in this case, is work. Find a stopping point and walk away with the purpose to focus your efforts on your wellness. Here are three categories to choose from during your break(s) each day that offer different ways to care for your mind and body wellness:
Thanks to both technology and the fitness industry for partnering together to create online workouts to get the blood circulating and heart working. This article from CBS News gives a list of businesses that are offering free classes that range from high-intensity boot camps to mind-restoring practices. If these workouts aren’t your vibe, know that a good ole’ run around the neighborhood will also do the job.
While working out can both uplift morale and give you fresh air, sometimes the last thing you want to do is use your break to expel more energy. Another way to use your “work interruptions” is by destressing via coloring pages and meditation. These apps and websites offer ways to rest and restore the mind to be in better condition to get back to work.
Okay, so you don’t want to work out because that requires “work,” nor do you want to slow the mind when it’s on a grind. No need to explain, I totally get that way sometimes, too. However, you have to break to keep your sanity because while we all want to “keep calm and carry on,” we may just drive ourselves insane by not setting boundaries to this new work life. We all know those times when we get delirious from brain overload. While this is a cue to stop, it can be also a reminder to laugh. Let your breaks be what they should be — fun! Don’t get me wrong, this COVID-19 is no joke, but while we take the issue seriously, we shouldn’t have to take ourselves too seriously. These links below can serve as your best remedy on a work break:
“It’s time to break.”
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The phrase that no one wants to hear, yet often said after well-thought reason. Just like how it’s going to take time to comprehend this pandemic, we must also learn how to adjust to these new work environments. Know that 1) you are not alone, and 2) taking a break can be one of the most productive things you can do to enhance your work and better your life. It’s all about that work-life balance.
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