By Legal Futures’ Associate BARBRI Altior
As many of us work from home during the coronavirus pandemic, not only are we moving less (most of us anyway) which can have a negative impact on our physical and mental wellbeing in itself, but we are also surrounded by negative news, facing increased pressure from working away from the team, and some will also be on home-schooling duties. It’s a lot to take in and has been a big adjustment for many of us, but this is why it’s more important than ever to prioritise wellbeing and reduce stress (where possible) over the next few weeks. With this in mind, Alisa Gray, director of business development at BARBRI Altior shares her top tips to help get you off to a positive start.
Don’t forget your routine
This is an incredibly important one and is something the BARBRI Altior team touched upon in our recent post around remote working. It can be easy to let your professional life slip into your personal life when your home has now become your office too, but it’s important to maintain boundaries to ensure you’re protecting your wellbeing. Plus, shaping a routine can help to maintain your motivation levels – we’re creatures of habit and having a set routine can help us mentally prepare for the day ahead. If you’d usually have a cup of coffee, take the dog for a walk or start with some motivational reading before heading to the office, stick to this routine and adjust accordingly for your life of remote working, where possible and safe to do so.
Feed your mind, with the right stuff
The World Health Organization has warned of the problems that social distancing and remote working (as well as the general state of the world right now) can have on mental health. We’re bombarded by terrifying daily statistics on the news, our time outside is limited, everything seems uncertain and there are more stress factors at play if you’re a parent home-schooling your children. That’s why it’s more important than ever to feed your mind with positive activity. This could be reading your favourite book, taking up meditation, listening to some calming music – whatever helps you to relax. Plus, if you’re speaking with our team, please remember that many of us are now qualified Mental Health First Aiders so if you need support, don’t be afraid to ask for it.
Plan in physical activity
Whether you’re a regular gym-goer, enjoy taking hikes or aren’t typically active at all, don’t ignore the positive impact that movement can have on your wellbeing at this time. Research from Harvard Medical School saw ‘a 26% decrease in odds for becoming depressed for each major increase in objectively measured physical activity.’ This could mean getting outside for a brisk walk, a run or even a home workout – whatever helps to release those all-important endorphins – aim for 30 minutes or more. In turn, this can help to improve energy levels, mood and overall sense of wellbeing. If you’re looking for some inspiration, you might want to consider joining the Body Coach for his live-streamed 9am P.E lessons, and kids can join in too.
Staying motivated and managing stress levels
Your stress levels might be higher than normal at this time – please know that’s completely normal and we’re all feeling the same. When this happens, it can be all too easy to forget about the things we enjoy and retreat to the endless scroll of our smartphones. Yet it’s important to make the time to relax and focus on your hobbies – you still need your downtime, it’s essential. However, I appreciate that work commitments may also be getting on top of you as the world deals with the fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, so you may want to consider how courses like Altior’s ‘Time and Stress Management’ which can help you to cope with additional or rapidly changing workloads and stay motivated. Spend this time investing in yourself personally and professionally because after all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
With so much negativity and uncertainty in the world at present, it’s more important than ever to focus on yourself and your wellbeing. Remember, boundaries are important, especially as technology means you can be reached at all hours of the day, and you should consider moulding a routine that suits your needs. With this, map out time in your day where you can focus on your mental and physical wellbeing and don’t forget, take the time to invest in yourself – it could prove essential once all of this is over.