Working from home? Or living at work? Pandemic puts new stress on workers

Workers and mental health professional discuss the struggles and best practices for working from home
Workers and mental health professional discuss the struggles and best practices for working from home
Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 12:34 AM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - After almost a year since so many professionals started working from home, many are noticing they feel more like they are living at work.

The process is different for everyone, and mental health experts say this can still be a balancing act.

“It’s been a learning experience, it’s great I love it, I hope it continues,” says Tosha Lilac-McIntyre, who’s been working remotely since the Spring of 2020. Tosha tells us how she enjoys exercising with a desk-elliptical during meetings to keep her engaged and says having an established routine for waking up and getting ready for work has also helped her.

“I think I’m way more productive than what I was, what does it really matter, I’m getting the work done, and I think I’m working harder,” says Lilac-McIntyre.

Other professions, especially the performing arts, aren’t as acclimated to working from home. Claire Bechard is a dance instructor who has since been preparing and teaching classes in her living room.

“There was that awesome separation that isn’t there anymore,” says Bechard about the inability to use a dance studio and the loss of the specialized floors and mirror walls that come with them.

“Now I have to take all my professional seriousness and put it in my living room, and that’s really challenging because you can’t leave your work when your work is on a laptop or your phone,” adds Bechard.

Local therapist and Executive Director of The Willow Center, Erin Wiley says much of this depends on someone’s career field and personality.

For people who work in an office, a commute is usually a great transition time to prepare for going to work and coming home.

“When people don’t have that, they’re more likely to check their email more often. They’re more likely to stay up late and work on things,” says Wiley.

To cut back on stress, Wiley suggests setting boundaries for yourself, physically and mentally.

“For people struggling, even if it’s separate sides of their bedroom, have an area for sleep and rest and have an area that’s designated for work so you tell your mind ‘I’m resting, I’m working,’” Wiley said.

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