After a couple of months of working from home and adjusting to the new normal set in place by the COVID-19 pandemic, it isn’t unlikely that many people have already established routines that help them get through each day. Such routines are possibly the reason why 54% of the professionals surveyed by USA Today say that the current lockdown has had a positive effect on their productivity. However, being productive doesn’t necessarily mean that you are taking care of yourself as much as you should be. After all, professionals today are not simply working from home, they are remotely working in the midst of a global health crisis. To help you make sure that you are properly caring for your overall well-being, here are some tips on how to self-care in self-isolation:
Taking Sanity Walks whenever you can
After months of self-isolation, some states are finally easing lockdown restrictions in order to help boost the economy. While people are still advised to limit their trips outside, as long as you wear a mask and stay six feet away from others, taking Sanity Walks would not be a problem. Aside from helping you stay active, Hillary Cauthen, an executive board member for the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, highlights how walking outside can help boost your mental and emotional state by releasing happy hormones such as dopamine and endorphins. Switching up your speed while you walk can also alter your brain chemistry to assist in increasing the availability of anti-anxiety neuro-chemicals such as serotonin. As was explained in a previous post on Sanity Walks and Sun Spots, consider switching up your routes every now and then or listening to an entertaining podcast to keep things interesting.
Invest in ergonomic office equipment
The idea of being able to work in bed or while lazily sitting on the couch is nothing short of appealing. However, if you fall into a habit of working this way, you are setting yourself up for some serious health issues. For instance, an article by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted how poor working style can cause the development of different work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). Some of these WMSDs may include carpal tunnel syndrome, back injuries, chronic back pain and arthritis. Fortunately, with the right ergonomic office equipment you can dramatically eliminate or reduce your exposure to WMSD risk factors. For home offices, the things you have to really focus on are the desk and the office chair. When looking for an ergonomic office chair, Dr. Maj S Bakhtiar Choudhary, an Occupational Health and Sports Medicine Specialist, suggests going for one that has a backrest of 90 to 95 degrees to give your back sufficient support. When it comes to desks, pick one that provides enough clearance for your knees, thighs and feet. Make sure that it is of the right height so you can maintain good hand and wrist posture when using the keyboard or mouse.
Take deep breaths and practice mindfulness
With so much going on in the world today it’s easy to see how the mind can simply go into overdrive and become overloaded. When the mind is in a constant state of hyperactivity, the body also becomes hyperactive – or worse, overstimulated. As a result, the physical manifestations of restlessness, lethargy and fatigue start to arise. In addition to this, Healthline also notes how people who are dealing with mental fatigue can experience digestive problems, stomachaches, persistent head pain and sleep disruptions. Fortunately, the key to keeping the mind calm is as simple as taking a breath, literally. By practicing various deep-breathing techniques Vogue explained how you can deftly restore a feeling of well-being on demand and experience a sense of balance. It is also a good idea to start practicing mindfulness. Make it a habit to approach everything with an open and an accepting attitude. Focus on what’s happening around you and pay attention to how you feel.