Many of us are just beginning to realize how the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting our lives. Even if we aren’t directly affected by the virus, we’re dealing with disruptions to sources for food and supplies, meetings, travel, and social interactions. Many of us are also working from home and are isolated from our usual support groups. All of this has the potential to take a toll on our physical and emotional well-being.
What can we do?
What can we do to maintain our well-being under these challenging circumstances? Perhaps most importantly, we can focus on the things we can control – and try not to dwell on things that are out of our control. On top of the list of things we can control is taking care of our physical and mental health. That means making a conscious effort to eat well, exercise regularly, manage our responses to the stressors around us; and even at a distance, stay connected to family, friends and our communities.
If your organization has a well-being initiative in place, it may have an on-line wellness portal that provides access to resources in all of these areas. This is an easy and convenient way to take action, especially if you are already participating. If you’re not already participating, consider signing up now and take advantage of its resources. Many well-being platforms offer challenges and contests so you and your fellow employees can virtually compete individually or as teams in a variety of health-promoting activities including physical activity, nutrition, hydration or mindfulness.
In addition to what your employer may provide, there are many resources available on the internet. By searching on a few key phrases like, “healthy food during isolation”, “body weight exercise videos”, and “mental health during self-isolation”, you’ll find countless resources to help you get started. In fact, if you’ve been intending to focus more on improving your health and well-being, there may be no better time than now to get started. Your optimal health and well-being are crucial to surviving and thriving in the face of present-day challenges. And let’s not ignore that we all need to stay connected socially and emotionally, if not physically. We’re in this together, and if we’re thriving, we’re in a better position to help others.
Put on your armor.
Many of you are nodding your heads and saying to yourselves that you’re going to do this. But if you’re wondering how you’ll get started and will stay with it, consider using a mindset that motivates you. For me, practicing daily healthy habits like nutritious eating, intentional movement/exercise, mindfulness and staying connected, is metaphorically like “putting on my armor” to face the challenges of the world. What should be encouraging to all of us is these actions are within our control – unlike so many other things these days. Be well!