COVID 19 quarantine for two months had given sufficient time to introspect about ourselves and our body, as external social factors are very much less interfering with our day to day life. I realized two things,one getting things back to normal will take sometime and second better health is something might save us in longer term,so this time we should utilize better mental as well as physical health.I have set myself some goals where I have decided that I will be better than 10% of current physical as well as mental health than which I had. Here is my journey and I learnt a lot through experimentation about keeping positive mental and physical health. Up to some extent, I also learnt to stay healthy mentally & physically. IT by profession where my profession allows me to work remotely like some of other jobs. Prior to this Covid 19, I use to prefer working occasionally remote, which was by design because I use to believe face to face communication is more convincing since my profile falls under thought leadership and providing the technical directions to multiple teams, understand business needs & work with management in making decisions. And after work hrs work on some of the evolving technologies. After Covid 19 the F2F communication took calendar invites. I learnt in first week itself that this is going to be new normal & I need to make sure that I am staying positive mentally and healthy physically. Let me start with some changes which helped in having good physical fitness & later I will explain about mental healthiness.
Sitting Home Office Desk Position
For someone who might be working remotely very first time, you might feel like working from bed. Trust me this is fun for only for couple of days & this I realized in early ages of my career. Since I use to work remotely very rarely home office desk was not that much frequent, so after third day of my work my shoulder started paining & I realised that there is something wrong with my chair height to my keyboard.
As shown in below image I have made some of the changes
- Purchased Monitor since working out of laptop was making me slouch on to screen
- Made sure feets are supported
- Shoulder relaxed & arm on height of Keyboard with armrest in proper position
My problem was desk & chair is of fix height & my chair base was way lower as compared to my arm in 90 degree, I immediately started using pillow below my sit on the portion which is highlighted & you won’t believe I never faced tired or pain in my shoulder area. I have kept desk next to window, so I can look outside. I have natural light and I also kept lamp on my desk. Believe me you should do this.
Yoga or exercise routine
I am not gym freak & I don’t have body in great shape. Before this new quarantine routine, I use to go to gym on regular basis for at least from last one year. This helped me in overcoming some of my age-old problem of sinus & allergies. I use to sneeze a lot & continuos itching sensation in my nose. Get yourself a nice yoga mat & start doing exercises.For me some belly exercises helped me & it keeps me refreshed as well as charged for entier day,
You can google below exercise this will keep your belly in control to some extent.
- Dying Cockroach
- Pushups or Surynamskar(Hindi yoga word)
- Wall Sit
- Side Crunches
I also went couple of times based on the weather outside for jogging in a closed tennis court. Trust me I am not a gym instructor follow one set of routine exercises you won’t feel lousy for the entire day. I sit for 7-9 hrs at my desk & I don’t feel lethargic in between my day.
This something I started following recently, during exercise & after exercise I started drinking 2–3 bottles of warm water upto lunchtime, which is somewhere in between 12–2 PM.
I also use to drink after my morning routine a glass of water with apple cider vinegar (2 Spoon)in warm water. Try some of the benefits of apple cider vinegar.
This is something I recently started following without fail. There are multiple articles on intermittent fasting but my favorite is 16/8 which gives 16 hrs in between dinner & next days brunch. The days when I follow this, I feel energized and not bulky myself. I do treat myself in between but I get a sense of guilty feeling for that day, so I try to avoid it.
As per Indian old saying one time eater “Yogi(seeker of truth)”, two times eater is “ Bhogi(Indulges in body demands)” & three times eater is “Rogi(Sick physically)”.
I am from India so my diet includes spices in cooking of vegetables, the Main diet includes lentils, beans, chickpeas, rice, vegetable curry with multi-grain flour roti. I have noticed that bread, pasta increases the heartburn. The more you use nonacidic food it is better.
There are numerous healthy diet guidelines available, make your choices in a smarter way.
General ground rule, which I follow
- Avoid fermented food and bread
- Processed meat
- Certain type of lentils which are acidic in nature like toor dal.
For detailed guidelines about rest of the food refer to the below chart, which I refer time to time, this will help you in a great way in terms of heart burn,
1.Give Yourself Sense Of Pride
By doing one good thing without failure makes yourself feel proud, two years back I came across a book “Make Your Bed” which my friend gave. This is a small beautifully written book by Admiral William Mcraven about how his training gave some of the important life lessons. Trust me this will uplift your confidence in work & do one such task before you start opening your laptop
2. Listen to soothing Music
Not all the days are going to be the same but again if you feel defeated or had a bad day at work, I do listen to some soothing music which really uplifts my mood & I feel like moving mountains for the day.
You will find many such 2–3 hrs of videos on youtube & start playing on back of your desk. Trust me it works.
3. Watch light comedy TV
Sometimes after a day full of meetings and interactions over the phone you need a break. Pick any no-brainer show where you don’t want to stress yourself with finding logic or continuous suspense, watch something very light comedy. Make sure you can leave that show or movie after 1.5 hrs and not taking anything in bed. This helped me a lot on a busy day.
4. Read a nice book or listen to the podcast before sleep or hobby
Hard copies I love for reading and sometimes it helps me in forgetting lot of things and I am a different world. I also read sometimes audiobooks from the community library and Amazon.
I also listen to podcasts also, they also help me sometimes in improving some of my shortcomings.
I love traveling so I take virtual tours to multiple countries, museums & national parks. Hopefully I will go to such places once this pandemic is over.
Things which affected my mental health
- Breaking News -I am addicted to news & I keep on flipping the news pages on Flipboard. This won’t help you atleast during this negative phase of everyone’s life. This something I am not able to do.
- Logging Early & working late -Just because I am remote I started sometime logging way early just to finish some of my work, I stopped doing that, I can control atleast my start of the day.
- Sleeping place different from working — Don’t work out of bed, trust me you will have hard time in sleeping.
- Don’t stay late just because you are remote tomorrow.
I am not a Dr by profession but these are some of the things that helped me a lot & some of the colleagues started wondering about, how I am keeping myself charged for the entire day? I have amazed lot of them with the energy I have. I have some more things to work on which I am trying to improve but I thought this article might help someone from my experience & trust me unless you yourself don’t experience, you won’t be convinced to follow. This Covid 19 will go on for long time we just need to make sure we are not losing our health in anyway & let us hope for the best. This my small selfless attempt in helping, which I have experienced.
Stay Safe & Stay Home.