Is commuting to work worth your emotional well-being?

That notion is what some recent research is revealing. UCHealth psychologists are claiming people who work remotely may end up dealing with emotional exhaustion. In fact, numbers from the National Bureau of Economic Research show that work is interfering with personal life.


UCHealth psychologist, Dr. Ross, offers some intriguing insight into this research:

“One of the ways we think about burnout is it’s this constant threat appraisal," he said. "What’s coming? What do I need to screen for? What do I need to prepare for? And even though maybe work doesn’t feel like it’s a threat, if we’re always doing this, ‘Oh what’s next? I need to be checking in,’— that cognitive energy plays into emotional exhaustion."

He elaborated, saying, "That need to transition is a human need. And we need to be creative if we're working from home, we need to be creative in terms of how we go about getting that need back."

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With countless people now working remotely due to the pandemic, emotional stress and imbalance seem easy enough to slip into.

Dr. Ross explains how emotional exhaustion is a pillar of burnout and recommends making it a daily ritual to focus on something other than work while at home. He advises getting up and moving, even if it's just to get in and out of your car, may help you "fake" your commute—and it'll get the blood flowing!

Dr. Ross emphasizes that consistency is key.

“It would be really helpful to kind of find this formula that works for you that you can replicate day in and day out. If it’s snowy like it might be the next few days maybe you can still go for a walk, but you put on your boots and jacket and you can still engage in that ritual, just like you would if you were coming back from the office."

Is "faking" your commute something you want to try or have already tried? Let us know in the comments.