By now we should all be aware and understand the severity of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and should be taking action to stem the spread of it by staying home and avoiding social gatherings, the gym, the office and/or visiting friends and family who may be at higher risk of contracting the virus. . But by doing so we will be spending a lot more time at home. Our homes will essentially turn into our offices, and gyms, etc. We are here to help you cope with this extended period of isolation and to try and help you make the most out of the current situation. Here are some tips on how to stay productive and stay fit during self-isolation/social distancing.
How to stay productive
Most of us aren’t used to working from home, which means we need to figure out how to stay on task in a new environment that may not necessarily lend itself to productivity. But there are a few ways to deliver results and avoid going stir-crazy, from setting up a good workspace, to the way you talk to your team/colleagues.
Crank up the communication
Pandemic or not, the key to working from home successfully is having clear communication with your boss and colleagues – knowing exactly what is expected of you. It is important to have really clear-set expectations for communications day-to-day. This could be achieved by having a 10-minute call to either kick start your day and/or wrap up the day. The majority of people spend most of their working days in close proximity to their boss or manager which allows communication to flow more easily and effortlessly. But that doesn’t necessarily translate when working remotely and communication breakdown is even more likely to occur if your workplace is not used to working remotely. Your manager/boss may also not be used to managing people virtually, for example or your company may not have a ready-to-go suite of tools for remote workers such as chat apps like Slack or video conferencing apps such as Zoom.
Working from home can also feel unstructured and isolating even for those who are accustomed to it. The feeling of loneliness can make people feel less motivated and less productive. So, when you do communicate with your boss and team from home, it helps if as much of it as possible can be richer communication that’s face-to-face and instant. This can be achieved by using online tools and apps such as Skype and Zoom.
Treat it as if it was a “normal workday”
Just because you can lounge around in your pyjamas and work from the comfort of your bed doesn’t mean you actually should. Take a shower and get dressed as if it were a normal workday and try stick to your normal morning routine you would have if you were heading to the office. If you don’t already have a home office, do as much as you can to create one, or a space exclusively for work. Not having a well-equipped home office space can cause a temporary decrease in productivity when working remotely. So instead of lying in bed with a laptop or sitting on the couch with it, try something more deliberate. This could be as simple and easy as moving a desk/table/nightstand into a corner far away from distractions, placing your computer down and sitting in an upright chair, like you would at your office desk. This also serves as an important signal to those who live with you that you’re “at work”. Create boundaries within your home that your family members understand. With a dedicated workspace where you can concentrate, it becomes easier to be more productive and enjoy the benefits of remote work.
How to stay fit and healthy:
Staying active and fit during self-isolation is extremely important, not only for your physical health, but for your mental health as well. These are challenging times and it is more important than ever to make fitness and health your priority. You are still able to stick to your fitness goals while self-isolating/socially distancing yourself.
Spend a few minutes stretching in the morning
Whether you’ve only got a few minutes or twenty, spend some time first thing in the morning stretching out and working the joints and muscles as this can be beneficial for both the mind and the body.
Spend some time – even if it is only for a few minutes – outdoors every day. There is something calming about connecting to nature, even more so during times of uncertainty and stress. Whether you decide to take your home workout outside, or just decide to switch off for a moment and walk around the garden, it is important that you breathe some fresh air, get your body moving and help relieve some of that stress and anxiety you may be experiencing.
Break Sedentary Activity – Take short Walks
One of the best exercises you can do is to walk because it is easy to scale up or down depending on your fitness and doesn’t cost a thing! One of the best ways to relieve stress is to pop on some headphones, put on some music and put of foot in front of the other. However, some people may not have the luxury of space to walk for longer periods of time and the lockdown has strict regulations that may prohibit certain activities. Having said this, it is important to get up off your chair each and every hour (more if possible). Get up and get your body moving, don’t sit for many hours on end or hunched over a keyboard. Get up, have a stretch or make a cup of coffee and go stand outside for a few minutes.
Do home workouts
Now you may need to alter your workouts according to what you have available at home or what you can improvise with, but it is important to maintain your workout routine/regime. Get creative by using your home furniture to help you achieve some of your workouts and substitute where you need to. Stream some home workouts to get some inspiration if need be, but ultimately there is no excuse not to exercise.