Key Components to Whole Body Wellness – Get Healthier, Happier, and More Productive at Home During COVID-19.
This LiveWell Jefferson Blog Series focuses on the best ways to create a healthy, happy, balanced work and home life. How do we thrive in this environment? We took a deep dive into researching practices that can make a difference, and you can view them all in the Series Intro Post: Thriving in the Telecommute.
This series has included the following posts:
- Practice #1: Explore from a Distance – How to make the most out of your weekends, decrease stress, and boost creativity, April 3rd
- Practice #2: The Power of Structure – Increasing Productivity and Decreasing Stress for You, Your Kids, and Your Pets During the COVID-19 Stay-At-Home Mandate, April 5th
- Practice #3: Prioritizing Mental Health – The Importance of Social Events and How to Celebrate Your Holiday Safely, April 9th
Today we are talking about the impact of coronavirus on our brains, and how we can implement whole-body wellness practices to improve and renew health, happiness, and productivity. The COVID-19 Pandemic has changed our daily routines, expectations for others, cultural and social norms, and the environments we live in. Sudden and drastic changes cause the brain to go into protection-mode, which can impair our ability to function, making us impulsive and irrational.
Kasia Jamroz explains further in her article, How To Optimize The Brain’s Response To Change, “The key aim of the brain is survival…the brain perceives uncertainty, volatility, ambiguity and unpredictability the same way as it would when it registers a threat of a lion in the savannah. It activates the exact same part of the brain and triggers the same reaction — an acute stress response (aka fight or flight response)…Then, unpredictability and uncontrollability, in particular, create a malicious combination with which our brain finds it extremely difficult to deal.”
Furthermore, the Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide, Managing Stress and Coping with COVID-19,“Although they may present differently in different people, symptoms and reactions to stress include changes in sleep or eating patterns, irritability, fatigue, and tobacco and alcohol use.”
Studies have repeatedly shown that physically and emotionally healthy employees take fewer sick days, collaborate more effectively, have more positive moods and greater stamina, are less stressed, and are overall happier and more productive. Whether you are telecommuting, working in an essential-services position, or in between jobs, managing the symptoms and reactions to stress with a personalized whole-body wellness routine will improve your quality of life and that of those around you.
Wellness is more than being “healthy”, free from disease and sickness. A wellness routine is a personalized and proactive approach to living that aims at cultivating success across multiple dimensions of an individual. Wellness is a state of emotional, physical, spiritual, cognitive, occupational, and social well-being.
The National Wellness Institute defines wellness:
- Wellness is a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential
- Wellness is multidimensional and holistic, encompassing lifestyle, mental and spiritual well-being, and the environment
- Wellness is positive and affirming
Wellness routines are personalized to every individual and can include a wide range of practices. Today we are going to focus on three key components that are realistic for social distancing lifestyles and are aimed at helping manage stress and anxiety.
THREE KEY COMPONENTS TO KICKSTARTING A WELLNESS ROUTINE:
- Physical Activity
- Healthy Eating
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY BENEFITS:
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY RESOURCES:
- Check out the CDC’s Guide for Adding Physical Activity To Your Life. They recommend selecting activities you like and creating a schedule for the week. You can view their examples and use tools such as the online activity planner and activity journal to get started.
- American Heart Association’s – Create a Circuit Home Workout Infographic
- No matter how small your make-shift office, you can stay active – Click here for Ochsner Health’s “Get Fit At Your Desk: Stretches, Exercises to Stay Active at Work”
- Orangetheory At Home
- Planet Fitness – United We Move Daily Work-Ins
HEALTHY EATING BENEFITS:
HEALTHY EATING RESOURCES:
- CDC’s Healthy Eating Tips & Guide to Improving Eating Habits
- Ochsner Eat Fit App – Recipes, Grocery Lists, and more!
- American Heart Association’s – Healthy Eating Resources
- YOGA LIGHTSPACE – Virtual Membership
- 14 Ways to Practice Self-Love from Ochsner Health
- Ochsner Health – Guided Meditation Video – Join Jessica Huneycutt as she guides you through a simple mindfulness exercise that you can easily integrate into your daily life to find some calm
If you found this information helpful, share it with others and give it a thumbs up @livewelljefferson on Facebook and Instagram! We want to hear from you! How are you maintaining a healthy lifestyle? Post your comments and questions in the comments section on today’s blog post on Facebook. #livewelljeffersonblog #covid_19 #livewelljefferson #jeffersonchamber #jeffersonparishstrong
Written by Alex Zarookian, Director of Investor Relations & Special Events, Staff Liaison to the Jefferson Chamber’s Health & Wellness Committee
Edited by Emily Anderson, Director of Communication, Staff Liaison to the Jefferson Chamber’s Communication Committee
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Nguyen, Jaclyn, et al. “Managing Stress and Coping With COVID-19.” Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide, 2020. Johns Hopkins Guide, www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787387/all/Managing_Stress_and_Coping_with_COVID_19.
CDC – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) – Daily Life & Coping – Stress & Coping National Wellness Institute