COVID-19 has unearthed and re-defined many established practices in Industry. Here, we offer suggestions for maintaining your physical and mental well being while working from home in a time where:
- Your personal life and work-life are now placed firmly within the 4 corners of your house.
- Your personal, work and social life all revolve around digital interfaces. (unless you live with your friends)
- You may be feeling cramped and stifled emotionally, physically, and mentally.
During COVID-19, work from home has become a privilege afforded to many, but it comes with its struggles, as well. One key problem is managing our mental and emotional well being - something most of us struggle to do pre-pandemic, but it's increasingly crucial during one!
An added layer is that we’re in a period of hyper-communication with our colleagues and acquaintances. Boundaries are porous, stress levels are high as we worry about work, loved ones and increasingly uncertain times. Establishing boundaries is a critical need.
So how do we set boundaries for ourselves? Routines.
Setting and honoring routines is a critical way that we can establish these boundaries and maintain our sense of self and centered-ness.
This morning routine allows me to tend to my mental, physical and emotional needs all before I start my day:
1. Waking up at your natural rhythm (If I have an early morning meeting, I’ll start my day earlier and sleep earlier).
Sleep is important to me, so I make sure that I am able to get enough. Waking up at an early time also helps me feel accomplished at the start of the day.
2. Working out, doing yoga, pilates, and qi-gong for the first hour.
I have a spinal condition called scoliosis, so it’s important for me to practice some form of stretching & strengthening exercises every morning to stabilize my spine and strengthen the muscles.
However, working out is beneficial for everyone.
I incorporate qi-gong because it’s a wonderful and easy breath to movement practice that will help your blood flowing and bring you into a tranquil state to start the day.
(If you’re interested - here’s a link to someone I follow: https://secure.holdenqigong.com/immunity-emergency-kit/)
3. Practicing Wim-Hof or a sequence of Pranayama (Breath Control). Followed by a cold shower for 2 - 4 minutes.
The Wim-Hof method, like many pranayama (breath control) techniques along with cold showers have helped me immensely.
Some of the benefits include:
- boosting your immune system
- improving concentration
- improving your mental well-being
- increasing willpower
- increasing your energy
- relieving some symptoms of depression
- relieving stress
- improving sleep
If you’re interested here’s a link to the method: https://www.wimhofmethod.com/breathing-exercises
4. Meditating 15 - 30 minutes.
Self-explanatory. There’s a lot of talk about the benefits of meditation. If you’re stressed, anxious or generally stuck in your head. This is a great way to sink into your body, calm your mind and learn how to deal with rampant emotions and thoughts.
I use https://insighttimer.com/. It has courses and meditations from a variety of different teachers. Regardless of whether you’re a beginner or an “expert”, I’m sure you’ll find something on here. If not, there’s a huge number of resources available online.
5. Smoothie for Breakfast after 16 hours of intermittent fasting.
It's packed with my daily dose of leafy greens and nutrients. Additionally, it cultivates my gut flora and helps ease the load on my digestive system.
I make my smoothies with:
- 3 scoops of organic baby mixed greens
- Coconut yogurt
- Oat milk
- 3-4 bananas
- Vegan protein powder
- Almond butter
- Cordyceps & Chaga
- Turmeric powder
6. Sitting down for 5 - 10 minutes, reflecting on what I’d like to accomplish during the day with my personal life and work life.
COVID-19 has upended our lives as we know it. It has also created opportunities for us to lean into our wellness practices and take care of our biggest asset - our health and vitality.
It’s ironic that a global pandemic has forced us to put a microscope on ourselves and all the practices of nutrition, physical and mental practices that keep us in tip-top shape.
Overall wellness is a baseline for your own well being and outlook. It’s also something we can work towards, no matter what stage we think we are at. Keeping in good mental and physical health will give you the best chance to fight off anything that may come. More importantly, it will help you stay sane in these strange and unpredictable times.
If you have any questions or would like to get in touch for more resources, please feel free to reach out! firstname.lastname@example.org