By Jessica Conant, NENA Director
Golden Sierra Job Training Agency
As we are moving into the second year of the pandemic, we are reminded of the importance of staying healthy so that we are able to provide the excellent service to our customers that we are known for. The more we know and practice healthy habits, the more we can share with our customers to increase their chances for successfully transitioning into the workplace and through these challenging times.
Referring to the CDC site on Coping with Stress (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/managing-stress-anxiety.html), “Learning to cope with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and those around you become more resilient.”
We know what we should do, but are we ensuring that we are actually doing it? Remember that you have to put your own mask on before helping others! Here are some key reminders (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/mental-health-non-healthcare.html):
· Identify those things which you do not have control over and do the best you can with the resources available to you.
· Increase your sense of control by developing a consistent daily routine when possible — ideally one that is similar to your schedule before the pandemic.
o Keep a regular sleep schedule.
o Take breaks from work to stretch, exercise, or check in with your supportive colleagues, coworkers, family, and friends.
o Spend time outdoors, either being physically active or relaxing.
o If you work from home, set a regular time to end your work for the day, if possible.
o Practice mindfulness techniques. Ways to be mindful can include:
§ Breathing exercises, focusing on each inhale and exhale.
§ Eating healthy meals, savoring each bite.
§ Meditating on a positive word (relaxation, ease or calm) or an image that makes you happy.
§ Intentionally connecting to an old friend (electronically, of course).
§ Taking a bath, noticing the warm temperature and its effects on muscle tension releasing.
o Do things you enjoy during non-work hours.
· Remind yourself that everyone is in an unusual situation with limited resources.
· Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting and mentally exhausting
· Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns, how you are feeling, or how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting you.
Challenge time! I challenge you to not only incorporate these strategies into your daily lives, but to encourage those you work with and those you serve to do the same. Create a challenge on social media or in your office to help others add healthy habits into their schedules.