In light of the Coronavirus, the public is working from home these days. Under normal circumstances, working from home can be a nice break from everyday life. Enjoy the freedom of a long commute and the luxury of working in a sweatshirt.
But this situation is anything but typical. Harpreet Gujral, executive of the Integrative Medicine Program at Johns Hopkins Sibley Memorial Hospital, offers tips for staying focused and healthy during the pandemic while working from home.
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Greet The Day
If you awaken in the morning and feel insecure because your routine is so different, Gujral suggests a 15-minute ritual to prepare you for your day.
“I recommend taking care of yourself for 10 to 15 minutes in the morning. Then, I take a moment to think of three things I’m grateful for. It can be as simple as a cosy blanket, a safe home, warmth, trees in spring, blue skies, or trees in bloom.
Many of us choose up our phones as soon as we’re conscious, but Gujral says she makes it a point not to pick up her phone for at least 15 minutes.
Breathe To Relieve Stress
Before the day’s stresses take end, Gujral recommends focusing with a few breaths to relieve stress.
“Take a few minutes to focus on your breathing. A technique called 4-7-8 breathing, or relaxing breathing, helps you focus on taking deep breaths. The exercise is simple: inhale for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7, and exhale for 8. Practising this for four breaths four times a day can reduce anxiety and reset the autonomic nervous system. said Gujaral.
Move and Stretch, Inside and Out
Staying active can boost immunity and improve mental health. Unfortunately, it’s common for people to focus on stress rather than physical health. Try 10 minutes of qi gong movements to help you practice mindfulness, or use stretches and yoga poses to bring awareness back into your body.
Even if you don’t know how to practice these disciplines, you can close your eyes and focus your attention on your feet to feel more grounded.
Physical distancing doesn’t mean you have to self-isolate or stay indoors. On the contrary, activities such as gardening and hiking outdoors and observing nature help reduce anxiety and improve well-being.
Getting outside in the sun for 15 minutes every day helps the body produce vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency can create susceptibility to colds.
Good nutrition is essential during stress, but trying to boost your immunity with supplements may not be as helpful as simply eating whole foods.
Consuming meals rich in plant foods, especially fruits and leafy greens, is good for your health. Also, increase intake of various products to get more phytonutrients.
It’s a good impression to eliminate inflammatory foods like sugar and bad fats. These foods can be more tempting when you’re feeling tense or anxious. Make home-based dishes with ginger and turmeric. Adding some rosemary to your meals can support your focus. Drink plenty of water and consider green or black tea.
In Your Home Office
Bring something from nature to your home office. Rocks, branches, flowers, even a picture, photo or screensaver showing a beautiful and relaxing scene can help you remember nature.
Listening to music that motivates you can help you focus and improve your mood.
It can be challenging to concentrate when everyday life is out of whack, and the future is uncertain. So use social media with caution.
Aromatherapy can make your home office extra conducive to quiet productivity. However, it’s significant to remember that essential oils are not an effective treatment for any medical condition, but they can help improve mood or create a more relaxed environment.
It’s also important to have touch with your friends, especially those who cheer you on and to agree with people when in doubt during this difficult time.
Practising mindfulness and gratitude is also conducive to your well-being. Taking time each day to affirm yourself can improve your mental health and mood.