4 ways to achieve a better work-life balance during the COVID-19 pandemic

Parent working at homeGiven the recent evolution of the rapid spread of coronavirus, many parents are now working at home while educating their children at home. There are few opportunities to leave home and engage in activities that were once part of the normal routine to get away from the daily stress of work or school life. Today more than ever, the search for separation of work for adults and school for children requires determined action.

Coping with the demands of the job or school can drain a person’s resources. If these resources are not replenished during the recovery time, the person may run out. Burnout is a condition that affects employees when they are stressed for long periods of time. Burnout is the result of resources exhausted due to the demand for employment and little or no action to replenish these resources. Two main features of burnout include emotional exhaustion and feel ineffective in their ability to perform their duties (Greenberg, 2002).

In order to prevent parents from becoming exhausted in the face of the increased demands of their new responsibilities of schooling their children at home and possibly maintaining their own work, research on the prevention of burnout can be applied to their current situation. In addition, children can adopt these strategies in their daily routine to stay in good mental and physical health during this period. According to research, the most restorative activities for a person in his recovery time include taking frequent breaks, psychological detachment, relaxationand mastery and control (Brough et al., 2014).

4 tips for reconciling professional and private life amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Tip 1: Take frequent breaks throughout the day and on weekends.

Why: Processing job applications can deplete an individual’s resources, which are replenished during recovery time. Research indicates that breaks throughout the working day and at weekends are crucial to survival stress (Landsbergis et al., 2012).

How to do this during mandatory home stay orders:


Cardiovascular activities for short bursts throughout the day. Go for a walk, ride a bike or go for a run. If you can’t get out, try to find a training video that incorporates exercises you can do at home.


Use your weekends to recover from stress at work and at school. If you can go out with the family, spend time biking, going for walks, or doing some outdoor activity like playing fishing. If you can’t get out, play card games, board games, charades, or activities that let your brain detach from job or school stress (Csikszentmihalyi and LeFevre, 1989).

Do not do it

Do your homework or work on weekends. If possible, don’t check business emails over the weekend. If your situation does not allow it, try to schedule an hour each day of the weekend so as not to engage in professional or school activities.

Tip 2: Detach yourself psychologically from work and school.

Why: Sonnentag and Fritz (2007) found that people who could get away from work (ie, turn off the stop button) after working had higher well-being. They were also more satisfied with their jobs and experienced less emotional and burnout. Although we currently cannot physically leave our office or home school, there are calendar segmentation tactics that we can implement during the work day to prevent work related problems from entering the workplace. recovery time.

How to do this during mandatory home stay orders:


Find a time of day when you “leave work” or “leave school”. Perhaps you are making an announcement to your children: “School is over for the day!” For yourself, you may have a designated time during the day or in the evening when you stop working and do not resume work until the next day.


Plan times of the day when you allow yourself time alone. If your situation prevents you from having time alone due to the age of your children, perhaps turn on a screen for your children for an hour so that you can temporarily detach yourself from your requests.

Do not do it

Check your work emails before bed and, if possible, don’t leave your phone on at night. This allows to sleep cycles (a long recovery time) to be uninterrupted by outside requests.

Tip 3: Meditate.

Why: Research on disturbing– a concept related to hindering posting – has shown that the time people spend worrying can be reduced by intervention strategies (Sliter et al., 2014). One way to reduce concerns is to implement meditation and breathing strategies when you feel overwhelmed.


Incorporate breathing exercises and meditation strategies throughout the day. There is mindfulness apps, videos on YouTube, and social media personalities who offer free breathing and meditation exercises for daytime use.


Involve your children in breathing exercises, meditation strategies and yoga practice. Several free YouTube videos offer yoga exercises designed for children.

Do not do it

Use an excess of substances like alcohol or cannabis. Despite the immediate effects that substances can have to mitigate anxiety, the persistent use of this excess product over time can actually make a person more anxious and more depressed. In addition, it can prevent a person from learning to manage stress and anxiety through healthier coping strategies such as exercise and meditation (Amen and Amen, 2018).

Tip 4: Master something.

Why: Another important element of job posting is mastery. At work, we are often expected to control our reactions, our emotions and our actions. Successful recovery involves doing an activity that prevents us from thinking about the demands of the job, giving us the opportunity to “let go” and let go of that element of control. Some good activities for this include creative endeavors, sports activities and learning options (Hahn et al., 2011).


Try to master an activity unrelated to work or school. It may be a musical instrument, a sport, an art, a blog, or a dance routine. Research shows that these types of activities allow the brain to detach itself from outside demands and use creative regions of the brain that are not used during school or work activities.


Encourage family members to participate in their own mastery activities.

Do not do it

Use social media as a mastery activity. Mastery involves controlling your activities and often social media is a place where you cannot control your environment or what appears on your daily news feed. Try to avoid using social media as the only way to get away from the demands of work or school. In fact, many studies have reported that people who spend more time on social media have increased rates of depression (Chowdhry, 2016).

Although these strategies seem simple, how often do we implement them? Difficulty coping with stress is linked to burnout, physical health issues and mental health issues. By implementing small changes throughout your day, you can help prevent poor health outcomes for you and your family members.

We may not be able to control what goes on in our daily experiences at home, but we can implement daily, practical interventions that lead to general well-being during this difficult time. If you find it difficult to cope with the current demands of your professional or family life, please consider talk to a therapist.

The references:

  1. Amen, D. G, and Amen, T. (Producers). (2018, March 12). Marijuana for alcohol. The Brain Warriors Way podcast. Retrieved from
  2. Brough, P., Dollard, M. F., and Tuckey, M. R. (2014). Theory and methods to prevent and manage professional stress: Innovations from around the world. International Journal of Stress Management, 21(1), 1-6. doi: 10.1037 / a0035903
  3. Chowdhry, A. (April 30, 2016). Research has linked the heavy use of Facebook and social media to depression. Extract from
  4. Csikszentmihalyi, M. and LeFevre, J. (1989). Optimal experience in work and leisure. Journal Of Personality and Social Psychology 56(5), 815 to 822. doi: 10.1037 / 0022-3514.56.5.815
  5. Greenberg, J. (2002). Manage behavior in organizations. (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  6. Hahn, V. C., Binnewies, C., Sonnentag, S., & Mojza, E. J. (2011). Learning to recover from stress at work: effects of a recovery training program on recovery, recovery self-efficacy and well-being. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 16(2), 202 to 216. Extract from
  7. Landsbergis, P. A., Grzywacz, J. G., & LaMontagne, A. D. (2012). Work organization, job insecurity and disparities in health at work. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 57(5), 495 to 515. doi: 10.1002 / ajim.22126
  8. Siu, O. L., Cooper, C. L., & Phillips, D. R. (2014). Intervention studies on improving well-being at work, reducing burnout and improving recovery experiences among health workers and teachers in Hong Kong. International Journal of Stress Management, 21(1), 69 to 84. doi: 10.1037 / a0033291
  9. Sliter, K. A., Sinclair, R., Cheung, J., & McFadden, A. (2014). Initial evidence of the buffering effect of physical activity on the relationship between work stressors and individual outcomes. International Journal of Stress Management, 21(4) 348-360. doi: 10.1037 / a0038110
  10. Sonnentag, S., Ganster, D., and Perrewe, P. (ed.). (2009). Research on stress and well-being at work: recovery from stress at work. (Vol. 7). Bradford, West Yorkshire, GBR: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.

© Copyright 2020 All rights reserved. Authorization to publish granted by Amy Quinn, MA, MS, LMFT, therapist in Newport Beach, California

The previous article was written only by the author named above. The views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns regarding the previous article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button