June 23, 2022

4 mins read

How to “Switch Off” After WFH Teletherapy

Teletherapy has completely transformed the way we view mental health care. Both providers and clients have benefited from its advantages— from having access anywhere to not worrying about a commute. While we all have seen the good of practices becoming virtual there is also a new and rising issue for providers and most people working from home. How do people switch off and relax after work? Working from home provides tons of flexibility but comes with its own set of challenges as the lines between work and rest become blurred. These challenges can lead to feelings of stress or at worst, burnout. Let’s talk about these challenges and how you can overcome them to fully enjoy the fruits of providing care remotely.


Blurred Lines Between Work and Home

Lines can often feel blurred when it comes to separating home and work. When you're working from home, everything you do is in your living space, which is completely different than going into a physical office.

It's really important to have a designated space where you can do work in your home so your body naturally creates differentiation between work and rest. This space, even if it is just a corner of a living room or bedroom with a divider, becomes a place where you are able to focus on your work day. This is crucially important not only for helping you focus during your day as a provider, but also to allow the rest of your home to remain a space of refuge for your non-work related life.

Increased Screen Time

The use of screens increases when work becomes digital which can definitely be draining. Remote work, with its increased screen time, can be fatiguing on your eyes and brain because your eyes are constantly having to focus on a screen with a certain type of light while maneuvering between various pages, documents, and programs. After work it's important to take some time to do things that don't actually involve a screen. Maybe you opt to take a walk, read a book, listen to music, or do something else that allows you to be present and immersed in your environment.

Adjusting to A Singular Location

Feeling static in your own home can also be difficult when you’re used to associating work with a commute that allows you to mentally prepare for your work day ahead. Transitioning to the home workspace can mean your commute is reduced from a car, bus, or train ride into a few steps within your own home. Not only does the work from home life change your pre-work routine, it also reduces interpersonal interactions that we become so used to.

It takes some time to adjust to these changes, but one of the main benefits of this life-change is that we must become more intentional with our time outside the home and with our interaction with others. By running a remote practice, you will have the time and motivation to explore your area and seek out meaningful social interactions outside of the workplace. This can be an incredibly eye-opening and enriching experience.

Ways to Switch Off

Leave your designated workspace

This one is so important we are bringing it up again! If you run a remote practice, you need to create a designated workspace to report to and leave at the end of your work day. Leaving could look like walking out of one room of your home to the rest of your home but it makes a really big difference. It allows your body and mind to know that work is over and it’s time to enjoy the rest of your day. This is especially important for remote therapists, who’s work days can often be emotionally taxing. Separating the spaces in your home allows you to create barriers for what is work and what is home, within your home.

Turn your devices off

If you're able to then turn your phone and laptop off after work, or at least place them out of sight to help you recognize that the work day is over. Some people may be on call or have to keep their devices on for work protocol so even moving away from your devices could be helpful in that case. When you turn your device off, you don't have to worry about any notifications coming in, checking emails, or receiving any calls. This helps replicate the idea of “leaving the office” at the end of a normal day.

Be Firm on the Boundaries of Your Hours

It may be tempting to extend your hours to benefit your clients and be as flexible as possible. However, you have to be firm on your work hours to assure you aren’t overextending yourself. When you start your work day, only start at the time you have decided and when you end, be firm on finishing up your day. When you're off work, be off work.

Do Something to Relax

Do something to relax your mind and body. After a long day of sitting in one spot and looking at a screen you need time to relax and enjoy yourself. Think of how you like to unwind; maybe it's stretching, taking a nap, calling a friend or getting some movement. Do whatever you need to do to feel a sense of calm and relief. Get into the habit of practicing that everyday after work.

It's imperative to completely turn off after a long day of telehealth for many reasons. You need time to yourself, time to relax, and boundaries for yourself. No one wants to feel burnt out or resentful because of work. It's possible to make telehealth work for you. Take these tips and apply them for an easier work day. At Markee, we value the time, privacy, and boundaries of providers who use our platform. Schedule a demo on our site to learn how we can support you as you find your work life balance.