Maintaining mental and physical health during the pandemic is a challenge. And there’s no uncertainty that both of these drastically impact your motivation. Both at home and at work. While physical activity hasn’t officially scientifically been connected to motivation, we know that setting personal goals and achieving them provides us satisfaction and dopamine that can be beneficial to our desire to evolve.
When we diminish these opportunities, we start to feel a “slump”. There’s no debate that any honest professional you ask right now is going to tell you they aren’t as motivated as they may have been at the start of the fiscal year. It’s not a time right now where there is a lot of positivity to revel in. Which poses challenges on the mental health side.
How can we take steps to think about our health during this time? Both physical and mental? We need to ensure that we consider the much needed productivity we have to bring to the table for our employers and colleagues during this time.
Mental Health Ideas
Maintaining mental health isn’t going to be the easiest right now. But it’s vital to a clear mind. Being able to start your work day with good judgment can certainly assist in the process of making better decisions that can lead to successful outcomes. Meaning, mental health is more vital now than it could ever have been. Here are some simple steps to consider:
- Take up meditation. With kids and spouses being at home, there can be little time to feel a sense of calmness. But our minds need a moment of clarity to reset. Take up the act of meditation, even for 10-minutes before jumping into your work day. Tools like Calm are easy to download and use.
- Force positive thinking. Spending time to go through mental exercises is similar to the act of physical activity. You are goal setting and ensuring that you uphold your commitment to the act. Sitting down and writing a list of 4-5 bullet points of positive things happening in your life can be vital to combat negative obsessions.
- Send positive communication. When we have negative obsessions and thoughts, we tend to speak in negative ways. We become more cynical and counterproductive with our communication. Forcing ourselves to communicate positivity, even when we aren’t certain of the positivity, can be impactful for those around us. Our colleagues, supervisors, and more. Similar to the email that you might write after an interview (or sometimes referred to as an interview thank you note), send emails to your network and ask a simple question, “How are you doing right now?” This is the most positive note you can send. Be empathetic and support your current colleagues, previous colleagues, or close work acquaintances.
- Focus on what you eat. It’s true, what you consume will have an impact on your mental clarity. As a child if we were to gorge on chocolate all night, we knew that the following day we were going to feel “off”. Focus on doing your best to consume healthy sources of energy and assist yourself in the process of having clarity.
If you feel like your mental health is in a place where it needs immediate help, you may want to consider online therapy programs, which are accessible to everyone during this time. TalkSpace is a wonderful platform to help you do just that, speak with a licensed therapist virtually.
While these are only a few ideas, all of them show leadership and support productivity both at work and at home. It’s imperative that we start to think about productivity at work since nearly all business verticals are being impacted by the pandemic. And it’s up to us, the employees, to be supportive to sustaining the business, thinking creatively, and serving customers in whatever way we can.
Physical Health Ideas
Physical health is harder than mental health. Simply because governors in each state are treating their reopening plans differently. And while some gyms or exercise facilities may start to reopen, it will still be with a limited group. Making accessibility more difficult. So how can we think about physical health as a form of boosting our productivity? Here are some ideas:
- Start gardening. You most likely have tools in the garage, shed, or even on the roof in more urban areas. Gardening is great for two reasons, it disconnects you from technology that can be overwhelming (a mental health benefit), and gives you physical activity. You are bending, kneeling, digging, and getting your hands dirty. Not only is this a great physical activity but it is rewarding as well.
- Help a friend or family member with their outdoor needs. Similar to gardening, under proper social distancing guidelines, we can start to think more like a community. Have family members meet to help each other out with their yard work on the weekends. You’ll be outside, have the opportunity to be active, and make progress with landscaping. All of these things are rewarding.
- YouTube simple workouts. This one you’ve most likely seen discussed already. But the great innovation happening right now is that more personal trainers, yoga instructors, and physical health advocates are choosing to post their knowledge online. There are more opportunities than ever to take up a simple at home workout. For example, try this intermediate CrossFit workout that you do outside, on your own.
- Use your stairs. Undoubtedly you have stairs in your home, apartment complex, or building. Walk up and down them intentionally, until you feel tired. Stairs are a wonderful physical activity because they stimulate your heart rate and overall blood flow. You’re guaranteed to wake up the following day feeling stimulated and motivated.
Physical activity is certainly tied to your productivity at home and at work. All physical activity releases endorphins. These are very important body chemicals that can help to reduce stress, increase mental awareness, and improve your cardiovascular efficiency. This will have an impact on your work.
Stay focused, productive, positive
While it’s not the easiest time to do all of these steps, it’s important we don’t let ourselves drift into a negative place. We have to uphold ourselves to staying positive, working with new environmental variables around us, and focusing on the needs of work, family, and more.
There’s no better time to show your leadership than now. The act of goal setting, productivity, and accomplishment is a repeating wheel of positivity. There isn’t a single human in the world who can debate that the feeling of accomplishment isn’t valuable and profound. Now’s the time to move forward and practice these grounding acts that can help us do that as individuals, companies, communities, and a country. Stay focused, stay positive!