The Pandemic has changed the way we live. While most of its effects are negative, COVID has also taught us to return our focus to what really matters. In turn, we’ve developed some extremely healthful habits that are worth holding onto. Let’s jump right in!
Mental wellness is becoming a priority for more and more individuals, as well as companies. Not only is a proper work/life balance more satisfying, but there are also legitimate health benefits.
- Stress Management | Stress is something that we all adapt too well to. By the time our brains and bodies alert us to the overload, we are usually well past the point of burnout. “Over time, stress also weakens our immune systems and makes us susceptible to a variety of ailments from colds to backaches to heart disease. The newest research shows that chronic stress can actually double our risk of having a heart attack. That statistic alone is enough to raise your blood pressure!” – Mental Health America Not to mention that stress, even subconscious stress is detrimental to our productivity at work. Brain fogs, too much attention to detail (yes, there really is such a thing!), human errors; we are certainly not at the top of our game when our systems are under stress.
- Work Habits | Even with an ideal work/life-balance schedule, we may be taxing ourselves a little too hard while at the office. Slowing down your workday is actually proven to result in higher productivity. Apply these techniques to get more out of your day without risking undue stress.
- Manage your time. Don’t overschedule yourself, and ensure that you have a buffer period between appointments. Strive for 10 minutes between meetings or significant tasks. Always make time for lunch, even a short one, where you can eat without interruption.
- Make the most of your downtime. When you make time for a break, go outside for a breath of fresh air or some sunshine. Even a brisk walk around the block will stimulate your mind and boost your energy. When you leave the office, leave work behind. Your mental health depends on it.
- Learn to say no. It may not sound like a wise idea but do your best to “evaluate your priorities at work…try to shorten your to-do list.” – MayoClinic.org. Be frank with your employer. Now, more than ever, employers and companies are working to build better work environments and invest in their employees. When you can concentrate, finish a task, and provide the attention to detail required, well, you end up becoming the office superhero!
MAKE TIME FOR FAMILY
Are you among those who have taken advantage of modern technology to keep in touch with your family members, far and wide? What about the extra game nights, movie nights, trips to the park and so on with your immediate family? These moments are precious and make life worth living.
- Keep on Zooming. As shaky as their video conferencing might be, even our beloved parents and grandparents have embraced technology as a means to stay connected. Continue to find the time to connect with loved ones, whether it’s weekly or monthly.
- Find the Time. As work schedules return to “normal” and life gets busier, don’t miss out on quality time with your family. Limit your tv time and overtime, making sure you spend every valuable minute with your significant other, kids, siblings, etc., that you can.
BUILD PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS
It may feel as though our friendships have fallen through the cracks since the Pandemic hit. Still, perhaps the circumstances around confinement have simply solidified the ones that count. Build on the good habits you’ve started and continue them even after confinement lets up.
- Buddy Up with a Pal. Set fitness and other health goals with a friend, working together – in person or virtually – to reach your goals. Host a recipe swap over video conference once a week. Join the same app and compare your exercise for the week.
- Develop True Friendships. While your list of “friends” may seem to decrease, look at things in a positive light. The friends you still keep in touch with are likely those whose values and schedules line up with yours. A reliable, close friend is worth more than a handful of acquaintances.
SPEND LESS, SAVE MORE
No doubt you’ve learned to curb spending and improved your ability to save. If not, there is still time! Keep applying these tried and tested tips to keep your personal finances in excellent health.
- Sleep on It, Before You Spend on It. With physical stores closed, we learned to window shop online. Not only did online shopping provide opportunity to ponder over a purchase before clicking on that buy now button, but it also kept us out of product-filled aisles, keeping our carts on point. We encourage you to support local businesses as they re-open, complimenting your online shopping with in-store buys. Just be sure not to fall back into old habits, prioritizing needs over wants and putting what money you can into a savings account.
- Don’t Give Up on Paying Off Your Debt. Keep your purchases to a minimum and stick to paying off your debt, even if it’s one dollar at a time. If you feel like you aren’t making a dent in your debt, give these suggestions a go.
- Make a list of all of your debt. Include the amounts, as well as the interest rates. While making the minimum payments for all of your cards/lines of credit, choose the debt with the highest interest rate and pay as much as you can on it. Continue until you have paid it off. Then repeat the process, paying off the next highest rate of interest while you continue your minimum payments on the rest. Keep on going until you’ve reached your goal.
- Consolidate when appropriate. Check with your bank to see if they will consolidate your debt for you and at what interest rate. Take a look around for other companies offering consolidations, bringing those offers back to your bank for a chance to meet or exceed the offer. One source of debt is far less stressful and allows you the opportunity to face a single interest rate.
- Face unexpected costs with caution. When you face unexpected expenses such as home or car repairs, loss of employment or health issues, it can be all too easy to pull out a credit card or request a line of credit. Accumulated debt and bad payment habits destroy your credit score. Try and start an emergency fund, building a healthy savings account for when the unexpected strikes. If you haven’t worked up to one yet, you can consider a simple, online loan. It’s quick, reliable, and won’t affect your credit score.
As we find our new normal, in what will hopefully soon be a post-pandemic world, let’s keep our focus on what matters – health, family and friends.
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