How did you do, working at home this week? The last number I saw was that 50% of America will be under stay-at-home orders by the end of this week. The other half of the country is strongly encouraged to stay put, and if that isn’t possible, definitely use social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus.
What’s so very weird about this time is that so many of us are enjoying a beautiful spring and warming temperatures while so many people are sick and even dying. It’s a jarring juxtaposition. What we have to remember is that there will be an AFTER, and we need to be healthy when we are called on to help our neighbors and do our best work. Self care during the coronavirus outbreak isn’t a luxury. It’s important.
I heard someone call this the Great Recess. In fact, I’ve spent a lot of time this week trying to build in extra activity– without touching anything!!–for my whole family as our world has gotten so much smaller.
Here are some ideas to take care of your physical health while you obey your stay-at-home orders:
Use a good office chair. If you don’t have one, you can still buy one for home delivery. Answering email from the sofa for an hour might be ok, but your back will complain that it’s not the place to spend an eight-hour workday.
Get out of the house more. This month is different from your regular work from home routine. Because of the coronavirus lockdowns and social distancing, we aren’t even getting small amounts of physical activity from shopping, kid carpool, getting to the gym, and regular everyday movement. Unless you are prohibited, run or walk once, twice, even three times a day. If you go out with small children, try to get them to wear their winter gloves. It might remind them to stop touching things like poles, railings, and their face.
Think of your driveway as the new playground. Get out and play with your kids, your partner, or your pet.
Get reacquainted with all that old sports gear you’ve got in the basement and garage. You’ll either use it, or you’ll realize it’s time to toss. Either way, it’s a win.
But rethink which sports fit the situation. Contact sports and activities where multiple people touch equipment is out right now. Here’s what 6 feet apart really looks like...it’s farther than you think.
Dust off your bike. Spring has arrived. Even if it’s a little chilly, air up your tires and give your bike a DIY bike tune-up. Order supplies now from your local bike shop or online if you need to replace parts, since online delivery could take longer than usual. Biking has been mentioned in most articles I’ve read as a great no-contact, social-distance-approved outdoor activity.
Enjoy the added time with pets. Studies show that petting your furry friend or watching fish tanks can lower blood pressure and increase the brain’s happy chemicals. Dog owners, you have a built-in excuse to take a hike.
Live in a condo or apartment? Run or walk the stairs. Bring along your favorite podcast, and you’ll easily have a half-hour of activity under your belt. Or try this hotel room workout, great for small spaces and no gear required. Here’s a secret…sometimes I do a workout like this in regular clothes if I’m too lazy to change. You have my permission to try this time saver.
My family, all four of us, have been doing free workouts from PopSugarFitness every day. We choose videos that are between ten and thirty minutes. You don’t need equipment, and all four of us can comfortably do the moves in our relatively small family room. I’ve figured out that if we do them right before dinner, everyone stays pretty focused.
Cutting your commute gives you time to stretch or meditate. Do a self-guided or app-lead yoga series. Even 15 minutes can get you to breathe deeply and center yourself for the day.
If you need to organize your home office before you can settle in, that’s not a bad thing. Organizing and cleaning can burn calories, too!
Does all this sound like one more thing to add to your list this week? I feel ya. But trust me, six weeks from now, the scale and your real pants–the ones with a zipper and a button–will attest to whether you sat on the couch all day and night, or you added some activity to your stay-at-home routine. It’s unclear what weekends look like when you can’t leave your house…just like the last five days! Find some play that you enjoy, and see if you can add it to next week’s work-at-home routine.