Due to the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home (WFH) has become the norm for many businesses and companies. Even though we are all working in the perceived comfort of our homes and have done so for what is now a prolonged and uncertain time period, it is important that we consider the toll this can take on our mental health. Below are some ways to make sure you are taking care of this vital part of your well-being during this time.
Maintain a Schedule
It is easy to break a daily schedule, especially when you are not required to wake-up and commute to work. Maintaining a daily routine is important for your mental health. Try to keep your sleep/wake-up time similar to what it normally is during the work week. This will keep your body on a consistent schedule.
Whether or not you are a fitness buff, it is important to complete some sort of exercise daily. Being cooped up inside can take a toll on your mental health. Sitting outside for a bit of Vitamin D intake, walking outside for any moderate-prolonged time period, going for a run, or participating in a home workout are all examples of activities we can do to stay active. For those of us who are missing the gym, there are a large number of free workout apps and workout videos on YouTube to help get your daily gym session in at home. A lot of these workouts require no equipment at all! If you are venturing outside for a daily walk, remember to keep your social distancing. These walks can be a perfect time to explore different areas where you live!
Meditation and Breathing Exercises
Anxiety and stress can make you feel like you are losing control of your thoughts and mindset. Meditation and breathing exercises are great ways to bring your mind back to a positive outlook. Just like with home exercises, there are also many meditation and breathing activities online and free! Taking 5 minutes at the beginning and/or end of your day to meditate and focus on breathing will help clear your mind of everything going on and all the triggers of stress.
Being stuck in your house can make you want to binge-eat all day long! However, this goes back to maintaining your daily routine. Only eat when you are hungry, not because you are bored, anxious, or stressed. This doesn’t mean you have to stick to a strict diet, but is a better time than ever to try out new recipes! Under normal circumstances, when we get home from work we usually would rather cook something quick and easy, but now that we have the time, why not try something new! There are millions of recipes out there and the internet makes it easy to find some new things to try no matter the random ingredients remaining in your refrigerator.
Binge Watch TV Shows & Movies
Turn off the news and binge watch a new show or movie. One of the biggest things that can cause stress and anxiety during this time is constantly listening to the news. Though the updates are important, you should not leave it on for an extended period. This can cause unneeded stress during these challenging times. From OnDemand Cable and Netflix, to Disney+ and Hulu, etc., there are countless streaming services available for our entertainment pleasure. Check out some new shows, movies, or even documentaries!
If you are feeling anxious, stressed, or overwhelmed, you are not alone. The uncertainty of this time breeds these negative emotions. Remember to keep your mental health needs a priority as the COVID-19 pandemic lingers on. Engaging in all the above alternatives can help alleviate the stress that builds up from all of this uncertainty. Just know that we are all in this together, coping and managing our daily lives as best as we can!