Besides social-distancing, practicing self-care will help us through these trying times.
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Cabin fever has become a symptom of the global COVID-19 outbreak, since working from home became the norm in February. The global pandemic has changed the way people go about their meetings and assignments, making virtual work arrangements the way forward.
The trend, necessary for people to comply with social distancing measures that reduce the spread of the virus, has turned homes into offices. Instead of being a refuge from the stress of a job, the home now signifies being isolated for an extended periods of time, without a commute or lunch hour to break the humdrum. To avoid letting these changes taking a toll on your mental and physical wellness, here’s a quick guide for your self-care as you work from home. If you feel unwell, pick up the phone and make a secure appointment through the HiDoc app for a teleconsultation right in your own home.
1. Maintain social connections
Chatting with colleagues at the office pantry, catching up with a friend during lunch or hitting the gym after work are everyday routines that can no longer be practised — and we’re just starting to realise how much they matter. These social connections keep us focused and promote wellness as we’re less likely to worry when we have a support network.
To overcome the isolation, we need routines that provide us with a sense of normality. Structuring our day not only makes us more productive, it ensures we budget time for self-care. Aim to talk to at least one family member or friend every day. Even a five-minute catch-up can work wonders for your mood. Scheduling weekly work-in-progress teleconferences allows everyone in your team to not only discuss work but also stave off feelings of isolation.
2. Set physical boundaries between “home” and “office”
When your bedroom doubles as your office or your dining table becomes your work desk, your mind is no longer able to associate the home with all of the comforts you used to enjoy. Put in place physical boundaries that clearly mark out “work spaces” and “home spaces”, such as having a dedicated work desk or a screen to block off a section of the living room from the rest.
While seemingly minor, these steps will help your brain adjust to the new reality of having a daily workspace within the home. You’ll be better equipped to “switch off” once the workday is over. Having a dedicated space to eat during your “lunch break” will ensure you keep to regulated eating hours and nip the snacking habit in the bud.
To further maximise productivity, create a setup that mimics elements of an actual office space. Placing a physical calendar with key dates marked out helps you keep your work in order and reinforces that space as a workspace. Place office supplies nearby so you’re not wasting time looking for them in non-workspaces and risk being distracted. When you “clock out”, leave your to-dos in that space (or out of sight if space is an issue) so that you can mentally disconnect and begin recharging your mind and body in your home.
3. Create a morning routine and stick to it
One definitive plus to working from home is skipping the morning rush hour to work. This means we have no excuse for not starting the day off right. And it starts by making the bed.
Simple it may be, but when you make your bed, you will have already accomplished the very first task of the day. It provides a small sense of pride, as well as momentum to accomplish other tasks throughout the day.
Getting dressed for the office might seem silly but it can help you get into the right mindset for work. Skip rolling out of bed in your pyjamas. Instead, maintain the routine of washing up and getting changed into attire that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen in when you’re teleconferencing with your colleagues. This routine gives you a sense of purpose as well as structure to start the work day right.
NB. If you ever experience increasingly severe signs and symptoms of health issues, consult with a HiDoc specialist immediately or reach out to the HiDoc care team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Use the HiDoc app to order a Wellness Package for a comprehensive report, and book a follow-up teleconsultation for a specialist review — all on your mobile device. Sign up to HiDoc Pulse to stay in touch with health information that empowers, strengthens and inspires.
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