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With states, communities and businesses reopening, many employees are facing concerns about anxiety that might arise during their work hours. Companies are doing their best to increase physical safety measures, social distancing, improved sanitizer stations, masks and thorough cleaning of office spaces. However, you might still feel anxiety during your workday. Your stress is normal due to the uncertainty of our current state of affairs—the unknown factors of the disease, financial concerns, distancing from others and trying to keep the family safe at home.1 One way to counter these concerns is to consider mental well-being as a priority during your work hours.

As you return to a new work atmosphere, it is normal for anxiety to carry over. You may still feel uncertainty about the disease, and you may have concern for yourself and your family after leaving the safety of your home environment. There are some convenient ways to manage your stress and even ways to lessen it or prevent the anxiety from happening.

Often what your mind and body need to address your concerns is within your reach, and managing anxiety can be accomplished with some tools that don’t cost anything.2 When you practice coping with stress and continuing to follow the protocol for protection from the virus, your anxiety can be reduced.

The following are some tips to manage anxiety in your workplace.

  1. Plan for your week at work and practice self-care. Be prepared to fuel your body and stay hydrated. Bring wholesome snacks, lunches and plenty of water to mitigate the fatigue that anxiety can create. Establish healthy sleep routines and exercise throughout your week. You can use your lunch break for a power walk or stretches to keep your body feeling healthy.
  2. Maintain a routine at home and work. Your schedule is what your mind and body can count on when other areas in your life are unstable. You might consider limiting your intake of media coverage and news articles to only certain times of the week. Limiting your time on media during your workday will help you to maintain focus and productivity.
  3. Stay connected. You are not the only one who is returning to work, and many of your colleagues are feeling the same way. Share your positive and negative experiences with a friend, colleague or family member.
  4. Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness meditation can reduce anxiety, depression and even chronic pain as well as help to create a healthier immune system. Long term meditation can cause functional changes in the brain, which can lead to a sense of calm.3 You can download apps like MyLife (formerly known as Stop, Breathe & Think) or Unwinding Anxiety that offer guided meditation and other mindfulness exercises for specific situations.
  5. Remind yourself to practice deep breathing. Breathing techniques are easy to learn and will have an instant effect by creating calm in your body and give you better access to logic and reasoning. Try pausing to practice this deep breathing while at home to become familiar with the exercise. With regular practice, breathing techniques can lessen anxiety and counteract the detrimental effects of stress, anxiety and depression.4
  6. Practice daily gratitude. Challenge yourself to find three things for which you are grateful each day. Gratitude will help to increase positive emotions and memories. During this challenging time, you may have negative emotions from things going on around you; these positive emotions will help to provide some balance and increase well-being.5
  7. Implement Eco-therapy into your weekly routine at work. Spend some time in nature. A walk among the trees and feeling the sun or wind can lift your mood and reduce anxiety. Stepping outside during a break can help to clear your mind and give you a new perspective. Remember to follow safety and social distancing practices.5

Implementing these daily routines can have positive benefits for your mental well-being at work and home. Sometimes it is helpful to write down the above seven steps and schedule them into your week. For example, you might practice gratitude and deep breathing every morning before you go to work, however only walk twenty minutes three days a week. You might create time on Sundays to prep your lunches for the week or schedule Saturdays to hike with a friend. You can determine your schedule and the benefits to implementing these steps. Challenge yourself to make your mental well-being a priority.

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Sources:

1Sood S. “Psychological effects of the Coronavirus disease-2019 pandemic.” Rhime. 2020; 7:23-6. accessed June 4, 2020.

2Matthew Zimmerman, Sanah Ali, Nicholas Jones and Neal Maskrey, "Practical tips for clinicians helping patients with COVID-related anxiety/distress,” (2020), accessed June 4, 2020.

3C. Behan, “The benefits of meditation and mindfulness practices during times of crisis such as Covid-19,” Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine (2020), accessed June 4, 2020.

4Ravinder Jerathet al, “Self-Regulation of Breathing as a primary treatment for anxiety,” Springer (2015), accessed June 4, 2020.

5John C. Norcross and Colleen M. Phillips, “Psychologist self-care during the pandemic: now more than ever,” Journal of Health Service Psychology (2020), accessed June 4.

Go365 is not an insurance product and is not available with all Humana health plans. This is a general description of services which are subject to change. Please refer to Customer Support for more information.

This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical, legal, financial, or other professional advice or used in place of consulting a licensed professional. You should consult with an applicable licensed professional to determine what is right for you.

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Once in a while, you find yourself pulling a quick-and-dirty when you have no time. You eat a cereal bar when you’re on the run in the morning. You shove clutter into drawers and closets when expecting company on short notice. And you probably crammed for a test at least once when you were in school. We’ve all been there.

 

But the good news is that when it comes to exercise, taking a shortcut is still beneficial to your health.

 

The benefit of time-efficient exercise

Experts agree that mini-workouts help with fitness goals like building muscle mass and managing weight.[1] In addition, they can give you a boost in energy, mood, and mental sharpness.[2] Plus, there’s a subtle psychological benefit. If you’ve struggled with keeping up your exercise, completing these shorter exercise sessions can encourage you to stick with it over the long run.

Ideally, aim for 30 minutes of exercise every day. And yes, those 30 minutes could be broken down into three 10-minute sessions.[3]

 

Get some cardio done without equipment

Here’s just one ten-minute aerobic exercise that you can squeeze into a lunch break, between meetings or work shifts, or whenever you find yourself with just a little bit of down time.

If you’re a beginner, try the following with 30 seconds of activity, followed by 30 seconds of rest. If you’re intermediate, try 40 seconds of activity followed by 20 seconds of rest. And if you’re advanced, attempt 50 seconds of activity followed up by… you probably guessed it, 10 seconds of rest.

When ready, cycle through these exercises[4],[5]

  • Mimic jump roping. This is a great way to warm up.

  • Jumping jacks. Feel your heart starting to pump!

  • Planks with shoulder taps. This is where get into a high plank position (it looks like the beginning of a push up) and you tap your hand onto your opposite shoulder. Keep your core tight as you do this.

  • Squat jumps. We’re raising the intensity. Keep your feet hip-width apart and squat down almost as if you’re sitting. Then push yourself up on your heels into a jump.

  • Burpees. Here’s the hardest part. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Then lower yourself onto the palms of your hands and push your feet back into a high plank position. Do a push up. Then pull your feet up to your hands on the floor and push yourself upright with a jump. You can skip the push up if it’s too intense.

 

By the end of ten minutes, be rest assured that this set of exercises gets your blood pumping!

 

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This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. Consult with your doctor to determine what is right for you. Links to various other websites from this site are provided for your convenience only and do not constitute or imply endorsement by Humana Wellness, its parent company or affiliates (“Humana Wellness”) of these sites, any products, views, or services described on these sites, or of any other material contained therein. Humana Wellness disclaims responsibility for their content and accuracy.

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When you think of summer, what inspires you? Maybe an outside picnic in the park, a barbecue with the neighbors on a sunny day or sitting poolside with a cool drink in your hand. Spending time outside is one of the many things that make summer feel like summer. You can create adventures and enjoy what our Earth has to offer.

 

This summer feels a little different due to COVID-19. There may be a new normal for summer activities. Some of our beaches may be restricted and festivals may be rescheduled. While this summer may involve a little more distance and more time inside, there are still ways you can create adventure and fun socially distant activities outside, all while keeping them Earth-friendly to support our planet.

 

Earth-friendly ways to spend your summer:

 

Waste less

  • Use reusable grocery bags when headed to the grocery store or local farmer’s market. One plastic bag takes 10-20 or more years to decompose.
  • Buy only what you will use. You’ll save money and throw less away. Plus, buying food locally is another good way to support local businesses.
  • Less plastic equals a happier Earth! Ditch your plastic utensils and dishware this summer. Also, recycle when you can. Place your plastic bottles, cans and glass in your recycling bin or local recycling area for proper disposal so it doesn’t sit on the Earth’s surface for a while.
  • Use a non-chemical sunscreen. Chemicals in regular sunscreen pollute your skin and harm the environment when you swim. Switch to a natural sunscreen.

 

Do more outside

  • Go on walks or hikes with people in your immediate household. Or meet up with a friend and take a socially-distanced walk.
  • Read a book outside in a local park, or on your patio or balcony for fresh air.
  • Do yoga or meditate outside in the morning.
  • If your local beach or park is open, participate in clean-up events.

 

Adventure differently

  • Lend a helping hand. Whether you’re volunteering with an organization or bringing groceries to someone staying at home, your helping hand can make someone’s day.
  • Get lost in memories. Print out pictures of great memories you’ve had and try scrapbooking them. Or create a memory board for an event you enjoyed, like a concert or music festival.
  • Create an inspiration (or vision) board. Find images and quotes that inspire you from magazines, online or texts that you’ve received and place them on a bulletin board. Display it where you’ll see it often to inspire yourself!
  • Make a recipe using food items and ingredients in your house. Or, try having a fun and friendly competition with friends or family to bake something without a recipe to see whose tastes the best!
  • Spend a whole day outside. Try to spend an entire day outside your home: Laying in a hammock, going on a hike, visiting the lake or even relaxing with a book. At night, go stargazing and identify constellations!

 

No matter where you are working this summer, consider eco-friendly ways to get there.

 

If you’re an essential worker, consider these ideas before your next morning commute. If you’re still working from home, remember these eco-friendly tips when you return to work.

 

  • Bike or walk if you live close enough
  • Carpool with trusted coworkers who live nearby
  • Walk to lunch instead of driving
  • Take public transportation while wearing a mask and socially distancing where possible

 

You can make an impact this summer by living eco-friendly. Some simple changes in your life can make a huge impact on the environment, and you can get creative with what adventure means to you through these changes. Make your own Earth-friendly adventures this summer!

 

 

Sources:

“Eco-friendly home: 10 Eco-friendly activities for your end of summer bucket list,” Force of Nature, accessed April 2020. https://www.forceofnatureclean.com/10-eco-friendly-activities-summer/

“10 Simple tips to have a more eco-friendly summer,” Yoga Weeks, accessed April 2020. https://www.yogaweeks.com/eco-friendly-summer/

 

Go365 is not an insurance product and is not available with all Humana health plans. This is a general description of services which are subject to change. Please refer to Customer Support for more information.

This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical, legal, financial, or other professional advice or used in place of consulting a licensed professional. You should consult with an applicable licensed professional to determine what is right for you.