Life is changing for a while and whether you are staying at home or social distancing, you are likely to see some disruption to your normal routine. Think about how you can adapt and creative positive new routines and set yourself goals.
HOME / WORKSPACE
Keep to a normal routine as much as possible. Try to get up and get ready in the same way as normal, keep to the same hours you would normally work and stick to the same schedule. You could even go for a 30 minute walk as part of your new 'commute to work' returning home to start your working day.
Pick a regular time to work, clean, read, watch a TV programme or film, play with the kids or cook.
Set your workspace in a quiet, brightly lit room - move furniture around if needed and remember that this is your new normal for the immediate future.
Improve the air quality of your home: - Regularly vacuum carpets, rugs, and clean the counter tops. - Buy a goof quality air dehumidifier for damp areas to keep mould and allergens away. - Keep greenery in view, but outside if you suffer from allergies. - Buy a good air purifier. - Let fresh air in regularly by opening windows.
Get enough sleep. Target at least 7 hours of unbroken sleep per night in order to improve your mood, make your more productive and improve your concentration during the day. It is important to get a good bed time routine in place and make it as restful as possible, to help you sleep well at night.
Go to sleep at a similar time each evening, this will help regulate your body clock, and makes falling asleep much easier.
Before you got to bed, take some time out to relax to allow you to switch off (i.e read a book, listen to relaxing music, meditate instead of watching tv or other electrical devices as these emit blue light which stimulate your brain to stay alert).
Try breathing exercises or keeping a diary in order to reflect on your day and make you feel more restful and accomplished.
Avoid caffeinated or sugary drinks before bed. These disturb your body's ability to fall asleep. Choose a herbal tea instead. Herbal teas are known for their relaxing properties, for example, peppermint and chamomile helps calm the digestive system and is known for their anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, respectively.
Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol as both disturb your ability to reach a deeper sleep. Deep sleep is the stage of the sleep when your mind and body recovers from the days stressors including brain detoxification, energising the immune system, learning processing and physical recovery.
Keep your room as dark as possible, removing excess brightness by covering your windows or wearing a face mask.
EAT FOR A HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEM
Consume at least 400g of fruit and vegetables each day - 1 apple is about 90g. Blueberries, cherries and raspberries are high in antioxidants (low in calories), whilst supplements such as vitamins C & D also help the immune system.
Drink plenty of water. To calculate your daily water intake in litres (L), follow this equation - weight (kg) x 0.033 (e.g. 60kg x 033 = 1.98L per day) Fill up a bottle and keep it by your work station to remind you to drink. It is vital that we consume enough water daily as your body loses water through breathing, sweating and digestion. The consequences of dehydration are: - Reduced mental performance including visual vigilance, tension, anxiety and visual working memory. - Dry skin and wrinkles - Reduces physical performance - Increased likelihood of chronic kidney disease (if persistent)
Activity levels are different from exercise and training regimes. Target 10,000 steps or 60 minutes of brisk walking each day.
Take 5 minutes at the beginning or end of your workday to sit and breathe. Pay attention to your feelings and thoughts to be more self aware and mindful.
Make sure to stay connected to colleagues, friends and loved ones each day. Especially if you live alone or know of somebody that does. Maintaining your relationships with those that you trust is important for your mental wellbeing.
There are plenty of other ways to stay on top of your mental and physical wellbeing whilst working from home, so explore them and keep note of how you feel before, during and after. Being able to track what works and what doesn't specifically for you is vital to your wellbeing and a positive mentality.