Posted on: August 06, 2021 | 3 minutes read
In this blog Enablis corporate coach and wellness expert, Alison Hutchens provides key advice on how to survive todays challenges and snap lockdowns working from home .
In Australia we are either entering or enduring snap lockdowns amid fresh outbreaks of COVID-19. We are living in challenging and confusing times. Right now, investing in self-care is perhaps more important than ever, both for individual well-being and for the sake of our social health. The question is what can you do to make sure you look after yourself and prioritize your own wellness at this time?
Here are some of our self-care tips:
A great way to prioritize self-care in these uncertain times is to set the intention and to diarize things that we enjoy at the start of every day. Remember self-care can be many things like reading, cooking, mindfulness meditation, some form of exercise, a catch up with a friend online. These activities can help nurture a positive mindset. At the beginning of each day, ask yourself: “What will help me feel good today”?
Some of our corporate clients are dressing in their regular work attire each day when they are working from home. They have reported that wearing the right work attire helps them move into the right “mindset” for the workday ahead.
Many of us have been forced to work from home. While such arrangements may allow for more flexibility with how we structure our days and activities, it may also mean that the boundaries between work time and private time can become blurred. This can easily lead to burnout, chronic stress and fatigue that can have a huge impact on our well-being and productivity. Designating a specific room or space within a room for work only is a wonderful idea if you can accommodate it. This can help separate the “office” area from the rest of a person’s home within their own mind. Thus, at the end of the workday, simply stepping out of that designated workspace can help a person “switch off” their “work mode.” We also recommend scheduling some breaks for meals and recharge time that can also help decrease stress and help a person maintain a general sense of well-being and balance.
We all need to stay informed about the local and global situation. Be mindful that being constantly connected to our devices and being bombarded with news can have an impact on our mental health and well-being. Think about how you may be able to replace your news and social media time with other activities such as mindfulness meditation, exercise or perhaps an online course or workshop for fun. This can help reduce your stress levels. Nowadays Laughter Yoga is another popular stress management tool. A good belly laugh reduces the level of cortisol, adrenaline, and other stress hormones.
A good night’s sleep is essential for good health. During sleep we repair our physical and mental health. Good sleep can help us resolve some of our daily problems. It helps us with finding new ideas for creative projects. Some ways of making sure that you can get to sleep more easily include establishing a sleep routine that involves going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, practicing mindfulness or meditation just before bed, and making sure the room is at the right temperature. Don’t treat your bedroom like a play station. Beds are for sleeping so ban all electronic and mobile devices. The blue light in these devices can trick your brain into being awake and alert. Try and avoid stimulants such as coffee, tea, and chocolate at least a couple of hours before bedtime. Eating foods that contain melatonin may also help. We cover all these tips and more in our online Sleep Workshop.
Find out what works for you. How do you like to relax?
Getting out into nature is a perfect way to find some peacefulness and to calm down the nervous system. Light to moderate exercise is one of the best ways to de-stress your body and mind. That’s because your body releases feel-good chemicals whenever you physically exert yourself. Moving your body mindfully with something like Yoga, Qi Gong or some gentle stretching is also very beneficial. Remember also to eat mindfully. Mindful Eating is a technique that helps you gain control over your eating habits. It has been shown to promote weight loss, reduce binge eating, and help you feel better. You can also try listening to soothing music. Slow quiet classical tunes slow the pulse and heart rate, lower blood pressure and reduce levels of stress hormones.
Good communication is one of the most important tools for dealing with stress. When you communicate well, you can express your thoughts, feelings and needs in a way that promotes mutual understanding and doesn’t cause others to feel threatened or defensive. This fosters positive connections between you and the people you interact with and makes everyone happier; it also reduces the risk of conflict. Don’t forget to acknowledge your limits and nurture your social connections as much as possible. Teams, Zoom and Google are great ways to achieve that.
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