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As many of us get acclimated to the “new normal” of working from home and interacting with our team in a virtual environment, it’s important that we take a step back and think about how we’re treating ourselves during this time as well. Tim Snell, CPP APMP, business growth strategist and coach and APMP’s deputy chief examiner, discussed a variety of wellness tips that can help you stay healthy, focused and productive while working remotely in the free APMP webinar “Working Virtually Through Disruption.”
In the webinar, Snell says that people around the world are falling into a fight or flight response, which can be prompted by constant intake of media coverage and stress about the ever-changing status of public health in our communities. We can help manage this response by moving and keeping active. Snell suggests the following methods:
- If fighting is your default response, try “oozing” to help get rid of stress. “Oozing” means doing movements such as shoulder or hip rolls; essentially, you’re moving your body in an oozing manner. Do this for a few minutes with a wide or shoulder-width stance.
- If you flee, try a sumo stance to get grounded. This is a slight squat with your hands on your hips, quads or thighs.
- If you freeze, try wiggling, which is like oozing but faster.
- If you faint (or you shut down), try opening your eyes wide and smiling.
- If fawning (or taking care of everybody else) is your default response, try hugging and squeezing yourself.
Snell offered some additional evidence-based productivity hacks that can also help keep you mentally well:
- Take regular breaks throughout your work day (Snell recommends up to 20 minutes) — but don’t just go sit on the couch. Mix it up. Take a walk. Work out.
- Look up. When you’ve gotten bogged down in your tasks, take a moment to look at the ceiling or the sky. Snell says this simple action can open you up to new ideas and help change your state of mind.
- Show gratitude at the beginning and end of each day. Find things to be grateful for. Take 10 minutes and list three things in the morning and three in the evening.
- Breathe. Snell, also a breathwork instructor, suggests using rhythmic breathing techniques to help calm anxiety. You can practice this in a 2:4 (breathing in for two seconds, out for four seconds), 4:4 or 4:8 ratio. Doing this for five minutes can help neutralize the stress response.
The overall message is that staying well is important, even if you can’t get outside or to a gym to do it. Taking even small steps can help your well-being. Snell says, “Dial down the junk food, dial down the junk information, dial down a lot of the junk in your life. It’s really time to take care of yourself and stay healthy.”
View the full webinar recording to get more tips for wellness while working from home.