Due to challenges we are facing because of COVID-19, we should use our time off from work to rest and look after our health and wellbeing.
Many health service staff are working harder than ever and having to adapt to new roles and new colleagues. This can be physically and emotionally demanding. Other staff may be working from home. These changes can cause an increase in stress and pressure on your health and wellbeing.
Tips to maintain your wellbeing while away from work
Physical activity and healthy eating
- Aerobic exercise is great for reducing stress. Consider walking, running, as well as exercise and yoga videos. See YouTube for inspiration on home exercise and yoga. A short walk or workout is better than nothing.
- Maintain your good health habits by setting a routine at home. As stress and demands increase, health habits can often take a hit.
- Make some healthy meals at home to bring to work.
- Limit your alcohol intake.
- Get some sunlight.
Mental health and anxiety
- Increased stress and anxiety are common during the COVID-19 crisis. Uncertainty about finances, childcare, travel and scheduled events can be very stressful. Share your concerns with your friends and family.
- Self-care is important to help you deal with changed circumstances at work and home. Taking action is one of the best treatments for anxiety - seek advice, take a walk or write in a journal about your concerns.
- Simply baking on your own or with your family can help you feel good. Baking food stimulates the senses and increases feel-good endorphins. As well as this, baking foods using healthy ingredients may lead to improved diet.
- Ensure you are getting restful sleep. Right now you are more likely to be very tired after work, you may be irritable and have poor focus and anxiety.
- Try mindful breathing several times a day. Take a moment for low and slow breaths. This type of breathing helps us to calm down and improve our concentration. Meditation programs, particularly mindfulness programs, reduce psychological stress.
Stay connected to family and friends and ask for help
- If you need to care for children or relatives, let your manager know as soon as possible. Ask if your department has plans to assist with family responsibilities.
- Connect with your family, friends and community groups for social contact. You can connect by phone call, Facetime, Zoom, Skype or Google Hangouts to reduce your isolation.
- Consider having a meal by social media with another family or friend.