During these uncertain times, you may find yourself feeling a little uneasy or on edge. That’s completely normal – we are in the midst of a global pandemic, after all – and plenty of people will be feeling the same way. According to data we gathered in March 2020, less than half of Brits feel they have good mental health, and 39.7% of US residents reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
As anxiety-inducing as things are right now, we’ve got some tips you can use to stay positive and focused during COVID-19. And if you’re interested in how consumers in the US are maintaining their health and wellbeing, download our free report for tons of insight:
Tip #1: create a schedule (and stick to it)
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a lot of people start working remotely who wouldn’t have been before. One way to stay productive whilst working from home is sticking to your typical routine and schedule. Working from home is different and takes some time to get used to, but things don’t have to change completely. Maintaining some structure from your typical day-to-day will help you stay productive throughout the week and keep you on track. Make the effort to get out of bed in the morning, shower and get dressed just like you would if you were going into the office. This will wake you up and make you feel prepared to take on the day! Staying in your PJs all day can affect your productivity and mood (and we know you do it – 16.2% of people we surveyed back in March told us that they stick to their PJs when working from home).
Working from home also allows for a lot more flexibility around your working hours, which can be both a blessing and a curse. Consider sticking to your regular work hours. A lot of people feel like they have to work constantly when they take their work home with them and others feel like they don’t have to work as much. Find that happy medium by setting regular work hours and sticking to them daily. This will help you compartmentalize your work life and your personal life.
If you have trouble planning your schedule on your own, invest in a planner or use Google calendar to track your day-to-day activities. Knowing what you need to get done and the amount of time you have to do it in will help you keep your life balanced and stay focused.
Tip #2: create a designated work area
Having a designated work area in your home will allow you to focus more than working from your couch or bed, and also help you compartmentalize. If you don’t have a full-on home office, don’t fear! Any space that you can dedicate to work will do, even if it’s the corner of your bedroom or a specific section of your kitchen table.
Ideally, you should have a workstation that’s designed to help you stay organized and focused during your working hours. Consider investing in an ergonomic work chair, and a table/desk if you don’t already have one.
This separation is important for keeping your work and home life distinct, which is extra important as the lines between home and work start to blur.
Tip #3: use telemedicine and monitor your mental health
It’s important to keep tabs on your mental health, especially during times of increased stress. Excessive stress and anxiety caused by working from home/dealing with a global pandemic can lead to depression, irritability, frustration, hair loss, and weight gain.
Right now, it may be unsafe (or even impossible) to visit your doctor’s office, but there are still ways to speak to a doctor about whatever is worrying you. Telemedicine companies and D2C health brands offer a wide array of health-related services to patients over the internet – no human interaction needed. Many telemedicine companies can even write prescriptions for medications like Lexapro, a medication that can treat anxiety or depression in adults, or Finasteride, a hair loss treatment that can help with male pattern baldness. Lots of people may even feel more comfortable discussing their conditions over the phone or video chat, rather than in person.
Tip #4: stay active
It’s easier than ever to avoid exercising right now, and it can be hard to find the motivation. Our US fitness and wellbeing report found that 30.3% of the 2,000 people we surveyed have been exercising less since the Coronavirus outbreak, and over 50% of those people cited a lack of motivation as the main reason why. Staying active throughout your day can help you focus, remain alert, and stay positive. Exercise is known to help improve your mood and mental health, improve your sleep, and reduce the risk of lots of other health complications. And it may be more important now than ever – 35.7% of people who told us their mental health has deteriorated during quarantine also reported exercising less frequently.
A simple way to stay active is to take a walk before work or during lunch. You could also try taking the stairs in your building a few times a day or working out in the morning, rather than in the afternoon. This helps prevent that late-afternoon slump that comes from sitting still for too long during the working day. Maintaining a healthy diet is also a great way to stay positive and focused right now – and our research shows that many people are finding more time to improve their home-cooking.
Making sure you’re looking after your physical health can be pretty difficult when you can barely keep track of what day it is, but there are things to help you stay on track – try using a fitness tracker to keep yourself active.
Tip #5: rest and relax
You might be feeling a nagging urge to use your newfound ‘free time’ wisely – whether you’ve gained back hours from avoiding the commute or you’ve been furloughed, the concept of ‘toxic productivity’ may have wormed its way into your life recently. And while self-improvement is awesome and can be hugely positive, it’s important to also set aside some time to relax.
Practice self-care, make sure you’re getting enough sleep, and let yourself rest even more than you normally would. A global event can really take it out of you.
If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, try using meditation apps to get yourself to sleep. Not only can meditation help you relax, but it can also do wonders for quality sleep – something a lot of people are struggling to get right now.
It’s important to remember there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Our research shows us that people actually think the Coronavirus pandemic will bring about positive change in a lot of different ways, and in the meantime, brands are stepping up to keep us happy and healthy as we ride the storm.
Interested in how people are maintaining their physical and mental wellbeing in the US? Download our report – it’s packed full of consumer insights, and totally free: