Achieving a Work & Life Balance during COVID-19
It is undoubtedly a strange and stressful time for many women right now, especially for Victorians. Between working from home, home-schooling, running errands and taking care of families, the social impact of COVID-19 is significantly changing how we live our lives.
Being restricted we have all experienced a change in routine and clashes causing an imbalance to our daily routine that once worked for us. With this comes feelings of stress, lack of control and even grieving for the life we once had, no matter how chaotic it was at the time.
Ongoing stress builds an emotional and physical toll on our hearts putting us at an increased risk of heart disease. At Her Heart, we continue to advocate awareness about heart health and look to support you with tips to creating a healthy lifestyle for yourself, family and loved ones.
Tip 1 Create a schedule
Tasks may be piling up day after day and some you push back. This gives you angst thinking how you will get it all done. Here are a to help you get on top of things:
- Create a new schedule – sit together as a family and create a schedule that includes everyone’s commitments and time for everyone to relax or play.
- Time blocks – enforce hard stops from work to allow yourself to focus on what matters.
- Make time to move and exercise – take small breaks to go outside, take a walk or exercise.
- Maximise digital technology – take time to talk to friends and family online or use Facetime and other Apps to break up the day, such as 10 min calls with grandparents, friends or other family.
- Create and separate space – for family time and work time even if it means moving things at the end of the day.
- Managing challenges – work with the school or other organisations to help support you to work and meet the needs of young children, children with a disability or if caring for an elderly parent.
- Organisation – keeping tasks organised separates tasks but also reduces stress.
- Play music – play soothing background music to help with your stress levels and instil a calm atmosphere. Music has been proven to relax the environment.
Tip 2 Managing priorities
Look at what is important to your family and focus on that. Juggling work and home priorities is not easy but having an end time to your day gives everyone structure and allows you to unplug. Pick a time and turn off devices to give your loved ones the attention you struggled to give them all day. You can also create ‘down time throughout the day by placing your phone on Airplane Mode for instance at lunch.
Tip 3 Meditation and mindfulness
To manage stress there are simple exercises you can do to help you relax including deep breathing, massage, yoga, tai chi, music therapy and meditation. Meditation is a mindfulness technique that trains your awareness to achieve a calm mental state. Meditation also has significant benefits for your mental, physical and emotional health such as:
- Promote healthy sleep
- Improve focus
- Stimulating compassion around you
There are many studies that show slowly down the mind helps us relax which helps reduce stress and anxiety and gives you some ‘you’ time. Meditation can be going for a walk, time in your garden, watching the trees move, listening to music or doing a guided meditation. Try each one and find what works for you.
There are multiple Apps and resources that help you relax including Headspace. Try dedicating 10 minutes of your day to being still and see the results. Many people meditate in the mornings however this may not always suit you. Morning meditations provide little distractions. It gets you going and helps you start the day feeling good.
Doing this with your children is also a great way to help them stay focused, stimulated and active. Kids are missing the active and social aspect of school so aim to recreate that environment by keeping them engaged with recreational and physical activities.
Achieving a work-life balance during this time can improve both your physical and mental health. If you found this helpful, share it with your community who may be going through similar issues. For now, stay safe, keep active, achieve balance and stay healthy!
Her Heart is all about prevention and creating balance helps eliminate the risks of cardiovascular disease.
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Headspace’s meditation learning database https://www.headspace.com/meditation-101/what-is-meditation