Ways to support your mental and physical health during COVID-19
By Vanessa Cole
Drastic changes and inconveniences in our lives can lead to declines in both mental and physical health. The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” With the current state of our global pandemic, it’s important to take care of ourselves and our family to ensure that you are all truly healthy.
If working from home is unchartered waters for you, these tips will help to navigate the tricky task of meshing your work and personal life while staying mindful of your health and wellbeing.
Maintaining personal wellness
- Plan for breaks. For all the hard workers out there: make sure you set aside time for your sanity! It’s important to exercise, relax, and take breaks. According to research, you can maximize your productivity by scheduling brief breaks for every 50-90 minutes,
- Set reasonable workday goals. Understand that remote working might speed up some tasks and slow down others. Expect collaborative tasks to take more time. By setting daily goals you can maintain productivity and understand what to expect from yourself. This can help keep you on track as well as help reduce stress.
- Establish boundaries with coworkers and family. Decide on your availability to each of them and set realistic expectations. If you work a 9-5, your coworkers can expect your full attention during these hours, and minimal attention outside of them. In addition, make it clear to your family that even though you are home, you are on the clock during regular work hours.
- Take advantage of training opportunities. Many educational organizations offer free certificate courses, and internal softwares such as Hubspot offer courses to better understand what they offer. If you find that your workload has decreased due to the pandemic, benefit yourself and your company by studying relevant topics!
- Finally, avoid social media and internet wormholes about the pandemic. Not only does getting lost on the internet decrease your productivity, but it increases your stress. You are already doing your part by staying home and staying sanitary. Try to limit your exposure to stress inducing commentary on the matter.
Maintaining physical wellness
- If you are sick, take a sick day. If you are too sick to get out of bed, convey that information to your supervisor and don’t hesitate to take a day off.
- Keep it moving. No more stairs, commute, or even things as simple as walks to the water cooler or lunch room. Be sure to get up and walk around your home multiple times a day. You can even wander the house while on conference calls. Better yet, with your time freed up and no one around to notice if you’re sweaty, you have ample opportunities to get a real workout in! Take a morning jog to wake up, or do a quick workout on your lunch break. Not only will it get your blood pumping, but it’s a nice change of pace.
- Pack a lunch. Eating out is limited amidst the pandemic, but nothing is stopping you from stress eating an entire bag of chips every day. Control boredom-eating and stay on schedule by packing a healthy lunch every morning.
- Give your eyes a rest. Staring at a computer screen all day is not healthy for your eyes. Try blue light glasses, putting your computer on night mode, or following the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, stare 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It sounds wacky, but it helps to reduce strain on your eyes!
- Keep it sterile. When working from home, we practically live on our laptops, so it’s best to ensure that they are squeaky clean! All you need for your phone and laptop is rubbing alcohol, cotton swabs, a microfiber cloth, and compressed air. Make sure to use the compressed air first and clean any dirt or dust out of the inside of your tech before moving onto the outside!
As you embark on your journey to find the work from home methods that work for you, stay mindful of the tolls that such a drastic change can take on your wellbeing. Please ensure that you are actively contributing to both your mental and physical health as there is a direct link between the two. We encourage you to stay mindful of your diet, exercise and mentality, and use this time to your advantage in order to improve your overall health!
For more tips on how to effectively work from home, check out our other blogs here:
- Tips for working from home during COVID-19
- How to maintain communication and productivity when working from home
- 12 tips for parents who work from home
- How to manage newly remote employees