How to adjust to our ‘new normal’! Key factors to consider for physical, mental and workspace health
Life is chaotic. People find themselves more time-poor with work hours ever- increasing, not to mention trying to keep up with home and social life. And yet suddenly in the last few weeks, all this has changed. Unexpectedly, many people will find they have too much time on their hands. Many will continue to work from home, many will not be able to do so, stress levels are bound to increase and for many, exercise will suddenly become more of a priority. For others, it will be forgotten about.
This brings about its own set of challenges. Fortunately there are some simple steps to follow for our physical, mental and workspace health, to ensure we move through this phase as easily and comfortably as possible.
If you’re currently sedentary, start walking or try a new form of gentle exercise and allow your body time to adjust to the demands this will place on it.
There are many great online apps and videos but consider your current fitness level when starting out. As your fitness levels increase, so too can the intensity of the exercise.
If you’re already active, why not focus on areas often ignored such as working on mobility. Be cautious of over-training. the temptation to increase intensity and duration of exercise may be high.
If you currently have niggles, aches or pains, now is a good time to address these. Rest is not a solution, ideally you’d want to identify the cause and address this with the correct rehab exercises for your situation.
Avoid sitting still for long periods of time, get up and move frequently.
We’re going through something none of us has ever experienced before and, it stands to reason that this may increase anxiety and stress, neither of which is beneficial to us.
Nasal breathing is brilliant for both the mind and body when feeling stressed or anxious. Breathe in as quietly and slowly through your nose for as long as possible, pause, breathe out through your nose as quietly and slowly as possible, pause. Repeat 10 times and do as often as necessary.
Stick to a routine, wake up and go to bed at the same time where possible.
Keep ‘to do’ lists and acknowledge even completing small tasks.
Practice mindfulness, you can incorporate the nasal breathing here.
For those that can still work from home, having a good working environment is vital.
Avoid getting into the habit of working on your laptop in bed or on the sofa. In both situations, you may find yourself sticking your chin out and hunching over amongst other poor positions which can lead to a host of neck, shoulder and back issues.
Sit at a desk or table where you can rest the majority of your forearm on the table. The table will then hold the weight of your arms, rather than your neck and shoulders.
Sit at a high backed chair which should be pulled right in so that you comfortably sit upright, leaning forward for long periods of time should be avoided.
Keep both feet flat on the floor with hips and knees in line. If you can’t reach the floor, place a pile of books or step under your feet.
Take frequent breaks, move around, stretch and recheck your position when you sit back down.
Most importantly, although we don’t know when this will be over, please remember that if you are injured or in pain, we are here to help. Online consultations are available, and while they may seem new or strange to you, rest assured that they are not new to us.
For more information please email Julia@jtbiokinetics.com or phone 07496 068 206.