Valérie Fernandez

By Valérie Fernandez

June 4, 2020

Health

5 tips for a healthy mind

Article revised on 4 June 2020

After all the upheavals caused by COVID-19 these past few months, it’s about time you start taking care of yourself. Warning: this article will do you good!

1. Get ready to enjoy more socialization

The confinement these past few months forced many changes upon us, including having to isolate ourselves from the people we love. Now that certain restrictions are being lifted, you can start looking forward to some form of proximity with family and friends.

Of course, it’s still vital to respect public health recommendations when it comes to physical distancing, but you can start to plan small get-togethers with your loved ones. “Rekindle the happiness you used to feel laughing and talking with family and friends,” suggests Martine Éthier, Director of Support Services at Optima Santé globale.

Since March, work has perhaps taken up more space in our lives than anything else, socialization included. “Now’s the time to fill up your oxygen tank with more human contact,” says Éthier.

2. Find your balance

Chances are you put certain activities on the back burner these past few months, which is never an easy thing to do. “If you’re accustomed to playing a team sport that’s currently impossible for you to practice, try taking up a new activity,” suggests Éthier.

Practicing a sport is essential to your wellbeing. Not only does it help you attain a certain level of calmness, but it also allows you to stay fit and healthy. It’s important to find your balance, to learn how to juggle the various spheres of your life by making yourself a top priority!

Don’t hesitate to go outside for a breath of fresh air . . . several times a day! Also make sure to eat well and stay hydrated. And of course, moderate your alcohol intake, especially on hotter days.

3. Reinvent your vacation

Although you can’t leave the country or jet off to your favourite tourist destination, you can still enjoy some well-deserved time off! “It’s important to take some time away from work; it allows you to relax, breathe, and recharge your batteries,” points out Éthier.

That being said, if you normally take two weeks vacation in the summer, continue the tradition this year as well. “Simply reinvent your vacation!” exclaims Éthier. And why not take advantage of the occasion to celebrate certain important milestones or events?

“Usually, the end of the school year is celebrated in class. But that won’t be the case this year. Why not organize an event so that the kids can celebrate at home? It’s important to commemorate the fact that one chapter is closing, and a new one is beginning. After all the challenges home-schooling has brought, it’s important that you make happiness and fun a priority.”

4. Establish a telework schedule

Teleworking + kids is an equation you are more than familiar with by now! But how exactly can you juggle both effectively, without jeopardizing your mental health? “Establish a schedule,” says Éthier. And stick to it—including your coffee breaks and meal times!

“Respect your personal-professional boundaries. For example, don’t answer your emails at night. Fix limits for yourself, otherwise your work life is bound to spill over into your personal life,” adds the expert. Share your schedule with your children, so that they know what moments throughout the day are for family time, and which are not.

5. Talk to your manager

And finally, how can you stay professionally motivated while working at home? Are you feeling less productive or autonomous? Or perhaps you’re experiencing new emotions when faced with certain tasks, thoughts about how things aren’t what they used to be?

“The approach I recommend is talking openly and honestly with your manager. Your perception of the situation is perhaps not the same as theirs. Don’t get stuck with a distorted vision of reality. It’s vital that you ask for help when you need it. Clarify the situation with your manager. An honest discussion is often just what you need,” concludes Éthier.

The Viva Workplace health and wellness program is a turnkey program that’s specially designed to meet employers’ needs with regard to health and wellness promotion and prevention.

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