By Tangela, first published on her site. She is a writer and educator based in the US.
When people have to go to work physically, there is a chance for folks to separate the two worlds. You could leave the office at the office and worry about your home life at home. The stress could potentially be divided between the two places. However, with more people starting to work from home, people can’t leave their job at the job.
Myself, for example, I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to work from home. I have a problem with constantly stressing about everything, but I could kind of put my home problems out of my head for a while when I was a work. So when I worked from home, that line of demarcation was gone.
I include schoolwork in this too. I used to get to work early and work on some assignments there. Usually, I didn’t have the energy to work on things after work. Once I got home, I didn’t want to exert so much mental power.
When I’m working from home, it’s all anxiety all the time. Productivity is always on my mind. I stress about work decisions and schoolwork all the time, not to mention home stress. Let’s just say that I argue with my husband before work. I’m in a funky mood, right. Before, I could fume and clear my head during my commute. Get my mind right for talking to the kids. When I’m at home, I have ten minutes between clock in and showtime. Not long enough to decompress at all.
I’m not saying I was in a hurry to get back to class. On the contrary, I want to work as safely as possible. It’s just that people like me that can’t “turn it off” are really burned out. Plus, this new school year feels so much different from years in the past. We are currently three weeks into the year and the stress level feels like a typical late April/early May. The teachers are overwhelmed, and a lot of the kids are over it already. Plus, the ever-present threat of being sent back into quarantine because of the new COVID variants. None of the students in my building are old enough to get vaccinated. We won’t quarantine as a district, but several classrooms have been sent back to virtual learning due to illness.
Over summer break, I felt so much better. I didn’t have deadlines breathing down my neck. I didn’t have work expectations to meet. It was amazing how different I felt. Now, that summer break is over, the stressors are back, and I can feel my nerves starting to fray again. That’s no good.
Other people must be feeling the same.
11 Sept, 2021