Posted by: BeneFIT Corporate Wellness
Date: May 1, 2020
Now is a good time to focus on your health goals
We continue to optimistically monitor cases of coronavirus in Lehigh and Northampton counties, as well in many other surrounding areas in Pennsylvania. As a downward trend occurs, albeit slowly and gradually, health authorities are strongly recommending continued physical distancing for all, and staying at home for those who are able. To cope, we can seek a different perspective and see this as an opportunity to attend to things we ordinarily don’t have the time to do. It could be an excellent chance to work on our own personal health goals, or evaluate where we want to be once the pandemic passes.
A new routine can mean a new focus
Our lifestyles have undergone rapid, dramatic change, and we have had to adapt. We are now either working remotely, home full-time, or still going to the workplace but confined to home on evenings and weekends. These new routines might offer some extra time to think about what we’d like to achieve health-wise, and start to put a plan into action. Here are some examples of healthy objectives you might be thinking about, and how to begin to work on them:
- Establishing a healthy relationship with food: Spending more time at home and worry about coronavirus can both be triggers for emotional eating. Likewise, altered routines at grocery stores can lead to relying on high-calorie staples like pasta. Now is the time to reflect on not only current eating habits, but also those maintained before the quarantine. A good way to start is to ask yourself whether you are happy with how you relate to food, and the kinds of foods you’re consuming.
- Increasing physical activity: Even though gyms are closed, many have stepped up to the plate with online workouts and classes. Virtual exercise comes complete with the motivation that can be challenging when simply exercising alone. It can also provide an essential social connection, as some platforms allow you to see and speak with others working out at the same time. Lots of different types of exercises are available online, from high intensity training to yoga.
Example: LVHN Fitness posts their regular workout sessions on its Facebook page.
- Quitting tobacco: During stressful times, quitting smoking and using tobacco in other forms can be more difficult. Therefore, relying on a scientifically based program can be helpful. The most successful programs combine telephone counseling sessions with nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). This type of program offers more comprehensive support and increases success, as it addresses individuals’ physical, behavioral, and cognitive factors.
- Dealing with stress in a more productive way: People are trying to cope with a wide range of concerns now, from fear of contracting the virus or caring for someone who has it, to anxiety over finances. Sometimes simply speaking with someone knowledgeable can make a difference. Individuals may find reassurance through personal health coaching with a certified health coach – provided through their employer. If stress is interfering with everyday activities, talking with a counselor through an employer-sponsored EAP program can be helpful, and possibly essential.
You are in charge of your health
Because we want to keep ourselves and others safe, we all continue to practice physical distancing and follow the advice of health experts on how to flatten the curve on COVID-19. The same logic applies to making choices about our general health. If we have the chance to contemplate, it’s the perfect time to re-think our choices surrounding topics such as diet, exercise, smoking, and stress. It’s also a good time for employees to speak to their employers about making health a priority at work. By addressing these choices now, we’ll be able to start to reconstruct a healthier routine once life returns to normal.
For more information on health coaching and EAP programs for businesses: