Stuck at home thanks to coronavirus stay at home orders? You’re not the only one in this situa-tion, but that does not make it any easier.
Across the world, countless people have left their regular lives to head home and work, parent and entertain themselves in an effort to reduce public transmission of the virus. It’s a lot of changes all at once, which may leave you feeling stressed out, overwhelmed or otherwise un-well.
Through the pandemic and stay-at-home orders, we all have to figure out how to be employees, partners and parents, and stay healthy. Though taking care of yourself might feel a bit harder these days, it’s as important as ever.
With the sudden transition to working from home topping many people’s list of stressors, we’re here to help with a few tips to focus on health and well-being while you work from home.
Set Aside ‘Me Time’ Before and After Work
For those of us who are accustomed to a commute, it can feel quite unsettling to go from home to work from home without any transition. If you are struggling to get into work mode, that might be why.
Instead of moving from the shower to your desk, or worse, opening your eyes only to bring your laptop into bed, try to create a division between work and home with a pseudo-commute.
Whether it’s taking the time to sip your coffee, listening to some music or loosening up with a few stretches, be sure to build in some me time. The same holds after work. Allow yourself a break between business and home life.
Create a Routine Including Rest, Breaks, and Meals
With so many hours of the day spent at home now, it can be hard to keep track of what you should be doing and when. Especially if your work isn’t scheduled consistently, you may find yourself staying up too late, sleeping in and forgetting to eat or stay hydrated.
While, of course, some people’s schedules will have to shift to accommodate COVID-19-related changes, it’s a good idea to create as much structure and routine as possible. Make sure you’re getting enough rest and that you are getting up with enough time to avoid rushing to your work. Make break time a part of your daily work schedule, just as you would if you were in the office.
During those breaks, and any other time your body calls for it, be sure to eat and drink enough water. Good nutrition and hydration are particularly important in stressful times.
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Your gym is closed. Your exercise classes have shut down. You may not even be able to go for a walk or run, but you still need to keep moving to stay healthy. It’s all the more important if your remote work has you sitting down at a desk for much of the day.
While you may be under stay at home orders, you can still keep moving safely. Many companies and organizations are offering virtual exercise classes. And there is always a yoga video or workout to be found on sites like YouTube. Even if you only have 15 minutes to stretch, it will help your body and your mind. Any kind of movement counts.
Stay in Touch with Work, Family and Friends
When you are used to regularly connecting with co-workers, moving to working solo can leave you feeling disconnected. Keeping in touch with your colleagues, managers and other work con-tacts will make it easier to stay on track with your job and to-do list.
It also keeps those work relationships going so your team is bonded and ready to collaborate. Use different tools to keep in touch, from video chats so you can see one another’s facial ex-pressions, to quick emails or chat messages for fast connection.
Outside of work, it is equally important to stay in touch with friends and family to avoid loneliness and isolation—for you and for others. Technology makes it easy to check in with loved ones, though some of your family members may not be comfortable with using more complicated methods. Even a phone call, however, can go a long way.
It’s important to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread by staying at home when instructed. With these tips and a general focus on self-care and well-being, you can respond to the challenges and demands of this new way of life until everyone can be together again for work or social activities.
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