Building Your New Healthy Routine
October 19, 2020 / Employee Wellbeing Best Practices
With the closing of workplaces, gyms and recreational spaces, COVID-19 has drastically changed our daily routines. Despite some easing of restrictions and reopening of businesses, the sudden and unexpected upheaval of our normal schedules has had lasting effects on our behaviors and our wellbeing. It’s no surprise that many of us have adopted some less-than-ideal habits since having our normal routine disrupted after the outbreak of COVID-19, like avoid exercising or making unhealthy food choices.
While we may have initially found comfort in spending more time on the couch bingeing a new series on Netflix or waking up minutes before a Zoom call and working in our pajamas all day, establishing a healthy daily routine is vital to our wellbeing.
October is Emotional Wellness Month and Health Literacy Month. Download our wellbeing calendar for a month’s worth of actionable strategies and tips to help you manage stress and improve your health outcomes.
From the time you wake up to the time you go to bed, we’ve got some tips to help you adopt some new behaviors to improve your physical and mental wellbeing.
- Establish a healthy morning ritual to boost your energy and help you feel your best all day long. Drink a glass of water, sneak in a quick stretch and sit down for a nutritious breakfast. And if you’re someone who enjoys exercising in the morning, set your alarm a little earlier and get your workout done! Whatever your morning includes, make sure you allow yourself enough time to avoid any added stress caused by rushing through your A.M. to-do list.
- Even if you’re still working from home, it’s important to “get ready for work.” Rolling out of bed and hopping on a meeting in your pajamas can negatively impact your productivity and ability to focus at work. While formal business wear may not be necessary for your home office, even putting on a nice shirt and pants can make a difference in your work performance.
- For working parents, establishing a routine for children who are at home practicing distance learning is imperative. Creating a schedule for your kids can provide some much-needed structure and set expectations to help reduce interruptions during working hours. If you’re caring for younger children or have to handle drop-off and pick-up from daycare or school, it’s important to communicate your needs (like flexible hours) to your employer.
- Schedule breaks throughout the workday – including a lunch break – to boost your wellbeing and your effectiveness on the job. Taking regular mini-breaks can alleviate stress and help you reduce the risk of burnout over time. When hunger hits, carving out time to step away from work for lunch can help you make healthier choices and promote mindful eating.
- While breaks are great, save TV time and chores for after work hours and weekends. These types of activities create additional distractions that can make it difficult to refocus when break time is over.
- Sticking to your regular office hours while working from home can assist with work-life balance. It can be hard to disconnect when you work and relax in the same space, so establishing boundaries for yourself is key to keeping stress levels in check. Try doing something actionable at your sign-off time, like prepping a healthy family dinner, fitting in some exercise or tidying up the house to physically signal that the workday is done.
- Set yourself up for a healthy tomorrow by preparing for the day ahead and taking time to unwind. Gather your ingredients for a nutritious breakfast and lunch, lay out your work outfit, practice gratitude and do something enjoyable and relaxing to help prepare your body a good night’s sleep.
Change is tough and establishing a new routine can feel a little overwhelming. But taking small steps each day leads to long-term behavior change and a stronger sense of overall wellbeing. With the right tools and support, you’ll be on the path to a healthier, happier you in no time.