Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, citizens around the world are faced with the reality of carrying on everyday routines within their home, including telecommuting and schooling. Staying home is essential for “flattening the curve” and preventing the spread and potential exposure of COVID-19, but the change in routine is leaving many in unfamiliar territory – especially when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle.
It is now more important than ever to prioritize our physical, mental and emotional health by practicing healthy habits at home. Social distancing measures, put in place due to the Covid-19 outbreak, mean that many of us had to suddenly switch into a working from home lifestyle for an indefinite amount of time. This may be an awfully complicated alteration that may affect our work productivity as well as our wellbeing and wellness if we are not prepared for it or if we do not adjust quickly.
Since I am no exception to this work-from-home lifestyle I decided to put together a quick list of things I have been doing and that you could do as well that might help with your work-life balance and productivity if you find yourself hitting a plateau. Below are some resources to help you stay productive by eating well, moving more and feeling better during this time.
1. FIND A SPECIFIC SPACE
If you do not regularly work from home, you may not have a dedicated workspace or struggle to set up a new routine. Have a space that you designate as your workstation instead of checking emails, voicemails or texting in front of TV or spreading work out on the kitchen table. Make your space a stress-free zone of quiet and solitude where you can concentrate. If you don’t have a separate room, find an area with minimum traffic flow or a corner of a room off from the main area.
2. BLOCK THE NOISE
Block extra noise with noise cancelling headphones or earbuds. Studies show that a delicate blend of soft music combined with soothing nature sounds—such as waterfalls, raindrops, a rushing brook or ocean waves—activates the calming part of your brain, helps you concentrate and lowers heart rate and blood pressure.
3. CALL FRIENDS/WORKMATES THROUGH VIDEO
Make sure you have your company’s telecommuting devices hooked up and ready to go so you can stay connected with team members or office mates and you’re available for video calls and teleconferencing. I’d also encourage you to call friends and check on them every once in a while to help with the loneliness. If you start to feel very lonely, consider setting up a support group of friends and colleagues who are also working at home by satellite. I find it easier to get through some tasks while facetiming or skyping friends and talking about nothing than just to be in my own head trying to extract something that might not be there. Be mindful we need that social interaction, even if it’s through video.
4. GO OUTSIDE
If you can still go outside, enjoy some fresh air by going for a walk, run or bike ride! Some people might also have backyard space, so I’d take full advantage of that. Now that you’re spending a disproportionate amount of time at home, I encourage you to get outside as much as possible. Vitamin D from sun light can help your immune system too, so that is another reason why you should take advantage of that. Mounting research shows that spending time in nature lowers stress, helps you relax and clears your mind.
5. KEEP A CLEAN SPACE
Be mindful that contact with other individuals increases your risk of being exposed to COVID-19 and spreading bacteria. If you have to get outside and go to the pharmacy or store and want to reduce your risk of spreading germs in the home, you should definitely: Immediately washing your hands with soap for 20 seconds or longer upon each return home; Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces daily, including door knobs, light switches, remotes, toilets and sinks
6. STICK TO A MEAL SCHEDULE
If you had to suddenly switch to home cooking or to staying at home all day, you or your family members may be finding it difficult to follow a regimented meal plan and feel inclined to reach into the cabinets for extra snacks throughout the day. I’d suggest sticking to a normal meal schedule to help with productivity. I also put together a list of healthy snacks that might help you get through the day. Staying at home at this time is very important as well as keeping a good and balanced diet. Filling each plate with produce, lean meats, dairy and healthy fats, will help us to get what we need to help keep our immune system strong.
I would say that maintaining a fitness routine without going to the gym is very possible. The key is functional fitness — utilizing simple tools and movement patterns to mimic the way we move. Training at home doesn’t have to be expensive. With some resistance bands, dumbbells and using your own body weight, you can mimic a gym workout. You can even use normal house furniture.
8. EAT PROPERLY
Some restaurants are still open for carry-out, but more time at home likely means more time preparing food in your own kitchen. Make sure you're fueling your body with healthy meals and snacks during this time. According to an article Written by Lana Burgess and Medically reviewed by Katherine Marengo LDN, R.D., specialty in nutrition, on July 10, 2018, “The immune system consists of organs, cells, tissues, and proteins. Together, these carry out bodily processes that fight off pathogens, which are the viruses, bacteria, and foreign bodies that cause infection or disease. When the immune system comes into contact with a pathogen, it triggers an immune response. The immune system releases antibodies, which attach to antigens on the pathogens and kill them. Incorporating specific foods into the diet may strengthen a person’s immune response.”
Feeding our body certain foods and drinks can be of great help to keep our immune system strong and increase the chances of not getting sick, especially at times like these with the massive concerns for the COVID-19 spread.
9. STAY HYDRATED
Keeping your body hydrated is the bare minimum you can do to optimise mental and physical performance and health. As a professional swimmer, I always have to make sure my body is at its maximum level of hydration, so I can perform at my best during everyday workouts and swim meets as well as working from home and performing the task at hand. Water is still the best to sip or gulp while you're at work. If plain water doesn't do it for you, try chilling it in the fridge or with ice. Still too bland? Try flavoring your cup with a wedge of lemon, lime or orange, or chilling some in your fridge at home with citrus or strawberries.
Depending on my daily workout, I do switch or add a sports drink into the mix of my daily hydration. Walking around with a water bottle or sports drink bottle has become part of who I am. Staying hydrated not only helps me to stay on top of my physical performance, but also I make sure I am always at my best mentally.
Products like Hydra-Guard Sports Drink also help me to make sure I have my proper amount of Vitamins and essential electrolytes. One bottle has 20% the equivalent Daily Value of Calcium we need alongside with only 5g of REAL Sugar and no artificial anything.
We should always remember that vitamin and minerals — particularly A, C and E, as well as zinc — play an important role in keeping the immune system strong and staying healthy while working from home. Staying at home at this time is very important as well as keeping a good and balanced diet. Filling each plate with produce, lean meats, dairy and healthy fats, will help us to get what we need to help keep our immune system strong.
Our body also needs fluids and electrolytes to function at its best. That’s especially true when you’re suffering symptoms like fever, coughing, diarrhea and vomiting, which can easily dehydrate you. Proper rehydration helps with recovery. Drinks with essential electrolytes such as Hydra-Guard Sports Drink have been recommended by the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics for decades to relieve symptoms associated with virus-related mild to moderate dehydration in both adults and kids. You could use the code JOAO10 for a special discount on the website, and I also recommend you to subscribe to the newsletter because they are always releasing special codes for even higher discounts on their products.
The CDC says if you’re experiencing symptoms of coronavirus — including fever, cough, shortness of breath 2-14 days after exposure — seek medical attention immediately. Today is a great day to start taking the best care of yourself. Don’t skip on great nutrition, hydration, rest and exercise. Help others do the same. And, for the latest information from the CDC, please click here.