- Young people are in a work-from-home recession.
- Some people describe the feeling of isolation and numbness as “work-from-home depression.”
- Even though they miss human interaction, many people don’t want to go back to the office.
Young remote workers are stuck in a rut: alarm, laptop, sleep, repeat.
Some people describe the feeling of isolation and numbness as “work-from-home depression.”
Grace Phelan is one of them. She posted a TikTok in October. Because she thought she wasn’t alone. And she was right.
Ms Phelan said working from home and the UK’s rainy winter had left her worried that she would hardly be able to leave her house for the next few months.
“After so many days, I literally rolled out of bed and went straight to my laptop,” she said in the post.
“On a nice day, I might walk to the gym, do a average gym session, come back, and then watch TV. But I don’t really watch TV because I watch TikTok. And Go to bed and do all the same things” again. ”
She said she broke down in tears in front of her boyfriend because the monotony was getting to her, and that she didn’t want to live like this anymore.
“But in the same way, when you start looking for a new job or something, you don’t want to go to the office every day and you have to deal with commuting and talking to people and actually having to work.” I’m wearing makeup,” she said.
“Well, I’m having trouble finding a solution.”
Despite having few followers, Phelan’s videos connected, with dozens of people telling her they felt exactly the same way.
Insider spoke to Phelan. She works at her mother’s sustainability software business, but she trained as a pastry chef at the fine-dining restaurant chain Ottolenghi, she said.
She previously worked in an office as an account manager, but was “completely burnt out.”
“I was working in London, going out four or five times a week and spending far more money than I was earning,” she said. “I’m crazy and burnt out.”
Now, Phelan is in a strange impasse, hoping for a new job but unwilling to accept the price of working in person.
“I felt guilty thinking about how depressed I was being here because I’m privileged to be in a position where I can work from home,” she said.
“But when I looked at the jobs that required me to be in the office every day, I thought, oh, I don’t want to do that either, because I’ve done that before and I’ve done that.” I hated it. ”
A TikToker named Bemsie also made a similar post a few days ago.
She said she wakes up every morning when her alarm goes off at 9 a.m., grabs her laptop and works from bed for about two hours before getting serious.
She then fights distractions like Netflix and TikTok all day, then finishes work, watches TV, and goes back to bed.
“Then I’ll stay up in bed for about four hours and just lay there and do TikTok or whatever, and my mind will be completely confused and I’ll think about things I shouldn’t be thinking about, but I do,” she said. .
“And then I end up falling asleep because I’m too tired to keep my eyes open. And it’s like 4 a.m. at this point. And the next morning, my alarm goes off again at 9 a.m..”
As the weekend approaches, Bemsey said she has little motivation to socialize, even though her co-workers seem to be packing in fulfilling and rewarding lives.
“Why am I stuck like this?” she asked
Dr. Kelsey Latimer, a Texas-based licensed psychologist, told Insider that people who are extroverts and get energy from being around people are likely to have the most trouble working from home. .
“Even if you’re an introvert, it can still be a struggle because of the kind of lack of structure that comes with being at home and going to the office,” she said. “People may become lazy when it comes to getting ready for work, showering and getting dressed in the morning, and they may start developing bad habits such as working in bed all day.”
While this is good once in a while, Latimer says, when it becomes a regular occurrence, it can form an unhealthy cycle.
To combat this problem, Latimer recommended a routine where you wake up, shower, get dressed, and feel ready for the work day.
She also discouraged the idea of working in bed. Our brains associate it with sleep, so we’re more likely to work slowly and feel sluggish. It can also make it difficult to get proper rest.
Latimer says having a small work area, such as a dedicated office or, if you don’t have a spare room, a small desk, can solve this problem.
Phelan said she incorporates walks into her daily routine, which helps, but she can also feel sick if she’s not at her desk.
Beth, a TikToker who posts about living with ADHD, shared her thoughts on the work-from-home slump. She, too, used to be the type to work from bed, she said.
“My life has been so depressing,” she said in one post.
One thing that helped her break the cycle was finding time for herself, whether it was a morning walk, a yoga class, or an hour in bed before work.
“You’re doing something for yourself before you’re doing anything for your employer,” she said. These words make me feel like I’m not just rotting away and working my life away.
As expected, posts about depression due to working from home attracted the attention of naysayers. Some described Phelan and Bemsie as simply “lazy” or told them to stop moaning.
Phelan said that didn’t bother her. The good far outweighed the bad.
“I’m just trying to see the funny side of it,” she said.
“If you’re writing negative things on people’s TikToks, they’re clearly not in a good place themselves.”
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