Feeling ‘trapped’ from circuit breaker and WFH taking its toll? You’re not alone

PHOTO: Unsplash

Life as a working mum with a young child is never easy. For full-time working mum, Rosselle Fabrez, weekdays are usually a blur as she is busy at work during the day, and after that, it's a mad rush to beat the CBD crowd to get home and spend time with her child.

Hence, she thought that when her company started work from home, this would make things easier as time spent on going to and fro from the office could now be dedicated to her one-year-old instead.

Instead, a whole set of other worries and challenges have arisen. Now that the project manager doesn't leave the house in the morning, her son knows that she is constantly around, and would always look for her, making it hard to focus on work matters at hand.

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To combat this, she now pretends to head to work every day and then sneaks into her home office to start working. "But whenever I hear my son crying, I can't help but rush out to see what's wrong, and he has caught on. More than a month into working from home now, he sometimes cries just because he knows that doing that will summon me, and it can be disruptive when I'm working."

Beyond that, the 32-year old mum is also concerned about the toll that the circuit breaker may take on her little one. "This is the age that he should be running about and exploring, however, he is instead cooped up at home with minimal outdoor playtime. We had earlier in the year arranged for him to attend playgroup classes and start socialising, but with the current situation I hope that it doesn't have any long term impact on his development."     

Still, she continues to do her best to draw the lines between work time and personal time clear, but the same can't be said for her husband. "In the past, he used to be the one waiting for me to finish up work and have dinner at home. Now I have dinner prepared and I'm the one waiting for him as he also has that one more phone call to make for work," she shares.

Even if you don't have a young one of your own, lines can be blurred when you are working from home for long periods, as communication manager Geraldine Ee has found out.

"I often find myself working through lunch and well after official working hours just because there is no physical delineation of work and home space, no colleagues to ask you out and remind you that it's lunch time." The 41-year-old has since made it an effort to pause for lunch at a regular time together with her family members.

She has also reached out to friends whom she knows are living alone and overseas to ensure that they are okay as she was worried if being isolated for a long period might affect them. Thankfully, most of them have found their own ways to cope by busying themselves or setting up routines of sorts for normalcy.

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Working from home and in a lockdown has certainly taken a toll on many, with research showing that it is difficult for some to keep motivated as they thrive off the energy of others, while others are burning out as they feel the need to always be on call for work and thus, do not have enough home-life time.

In China, divorce rates have shot up after the country's strict quarantine measures were put in place.

If you're finding yourself feeling stressed during this period of work from home and circuit breaker, Dr Lim Yun Chin, a consultant psychiatrist at Raffles Hospital, will be sharing how you can unplug from work-life while working from home and de-stress. 

The session will be happening live on AsiaOne's Facebook page, on Thursday (April 30) at 9pm. Accompanied by host Irene Ang, Dr Lim will be sharing tips on coping with being 'trapped' at home, as well as answering questions from the audience.

Join us as we learn how to set healthy boundaries that will relieve the potential mental stress that comes with working from home during this circuit breaker.


Event Title: Ask The Doctor: How to unplug from work-life when #WFH

Date & Time: Thursday, April 30, 9pm on Asiaone Facebook Live

Hosted by: Irene Ang

Guest speaker: Doctor Lim Yun Chin

Topics:

  • Is it normal to feel stressed out or anxious from staying at home?
  • Are you doing the right things to achieve a healthy work-life balance?
  • How can you keep your children entertained with mindful activities at home?
  • What can you do to keep yourself socially active?
  • What can we expect once the circuit breaker period is over?

kailun@asiaone.com