By Payeli Ghosh
It’s 2022, and the virus is still lurking around. The pandemic has made anxiety a part of our professional and personal lives. People are reporting professional burnout at all-time high rates due to stress, lack of sleep, societal and economic concerns, and a substantial increase in illness and loss of lives of dear and near ones. The impact is colossal, and global.
The unfortunate reality in our society is that women are expected to handle the majority of domestic work, whereas men focus on their paid professional engagements. Recent reports suggest this has resulted in distorted focus, plummeting levels of motivation, and even depression among women.
But, there’s no room for despair. Here are some simple tips to help you tide over these tough times, and change adversity to advantage.
Health is Wealth
Lack of physical movement when working from home could cause major health issues. The time saved from your daily commute could be spent on physical and mental exercises. Seek medical help when you notice less than optimal bodily and mental functioning. Drink water at regular intervals. Do not skip or delay your meals. Sleep well.
Talk, Talk, Talk
Find time to talk to friends and family openly about the challenges you might be facing – at work or at home. Be candid with your team about hurdles and shortfalls just as you would share accolades. Maintain a steady cadence with them for chit-chat just like you would do over coffee in the office. Encourage others to share challenges and make an effort to seek help if you need it.
Plan well, and don’t overwork
Prepare a daily schedule that includes slots for caregiving and chores, and factor in time for unexpected events. Setting a school-like routine for your children at home can help in a big way. Do only what is realistically possible and don’t stretch yourself beyond limits. Working late by avoiding sleep does not imply that you are alert, engaged, and productive. Establish clear work-life boundaries’. Work with your team to calendar ‘no-call, no-meeting’ days.
Speak your mind
Rise above the stereotype that only the “woman of the house” is responsible for household chores. Ensure that the family members share tasks. If you have elders at home, they can play the role of teachers for your children. Even at home, “NO” is not a terrible word. Even though it’s essential to strike a balance between professional and domestic work, you need not set off on a guilt trip if one takes priority over the other occasionally.
And live happily ever after
It’s a challenging time for all of us, and of course we weren’t prepared for this. We cannot be supergirls, supermoms and super performers all at once. Despite all the planning and support systems, things might fall through the cracks. And when they do, try to look at the brighter side. You get more time to be with your family. You get more time for yourself. You get another chance to upskill and reskill for the emerging future.
This virus too shall pass! Add the potion of passion in all that you do, and you’ll thrive in any circumstance. Good luck!
(The author is Co-Founder, Chief of People & Operations & Operations, JIFFY. ai. Views expressed are the author’s own.)