When we first heard of the Coronavirus, most of us didn’t think much of it. It had a jovial name, and it felt as though it was a million miles away from us. But here we are, weeks later, and the virus has an official name of COVID-19. Its effects are knocking on our back door. Workplace safety is now a going concern as the virus looks poised to spread quicker than a water cooler rumour.
It’s easy to feel helpless and scared when the world appears to be on the brink of disaster. One critical thing to do during a worldwide emergency is to focus on what you can do in your piece of the world. Leveraging what you can control is so beneficial. It boosts your confidence and keeps you from the spiralling anxiety trap of what you can’t control.
What can you do as an employer or an employee to mitigate the effects of this extremely contagious virus?
As an employer, if having employees working remote is a concern when it comes to tracking their work time, there are tools available like Dovico’s Timesheet. If you were using a paper-based or spreadsheet solution, now would be the perfect time to take it online.
As an employee, we’ve all heard about stocking up on hand sanitizers, washing hands and stocking up on toilet paper (LOL). But, here are some things to think about to give you back control of your life during an uncontrollable time.
1 – Work from home
Working from home is the best option to stop the spread of this virus. But not all companies have that option. So if you have to work in a shared workspace, limit meetings, keep office doors closed, and sanitize shared spaces such as kitchens, board rooms and public-facing counters.
If you feel the least bit sick, stay home! Especially if your work environment is in a shared office space like a cubicle or a collaborative team environment. I know this is common sense to most, but often, common sense gets lost in a whirlwind of panic.
2 – Keep your desk clean
Helping your immune system is crucial during a pandemic. Keeping your office space and desk clean will go a long way to unloading the burden from your body’s best shield against sickness. This would be a great time to give your workspace a good ol’ fashioned dusting, followed up by a disinfecting wipe. Maintaining a clean office space will also make you feel good and give you a sense of accomplishment that you’ve done what you could to keep your workplace virus free.
3 – Talk about it
As a sufferer from bouts of anxiety, nothing triggers my fears more than worldwide panic. We’re all being hammered with social media posts about the dangers of COVID-19 and jokes about Coronavirus. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry about it. And now, with the theme of social distancing, we’ll be left thinking about the potential future fallout even more -in solation.
Anxiety, which is not addressed, can put a strain on your body, causing your immune system to weaken. A weakened immune system is not what you need right now. Aside from COVID-19, you’ll open yourself up to general cases of flu and colds, which at this time will only add to your fear. You can see the vicious cycle here.
Be sure to talk about how you’re feeling throughout all of this. It’s OK to be fearful of something as significant as a worldwide panic. Your feelings are not to be dismissed. There is a sense of security and comfort that comes from speaking about how we feel, we’re not alone with our anxieties.
4 – Get outside
Whether you work from home or are in the office, take more breaks outside. While our world may be feeling a little darker these days, it is getting brighter outside, and spring is almost upon us. Go out whenever you can, breathe that fresh air, and, if possible, take a brisk walk. Walking even 15 minutes will significantly reduce your anxiety level, on top of clearing your body of stale air.
5 – Move around
With the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League and countless other sporting events being put on hold, we will have a lot more time to be bored. Now is your chance to double up or put a start on your exercise routines. When your blood is flowing, and your sweat is pouring, your cortisol (stress hormone) levels will drop. There is no better chance than right now to get active outdoors.
6 – Be aware of your food
Food choices are another thing altogether during this time of global unrest. Working from home may cause you to snack a little more with extra available food choices. Also, when you’re stressed, you may reach for comfort foods more than you normally would.
Be aware of your food choices, are you eating because you are hungry? Or is it because you are scared, or bored, or both? Sometimes, you may even mistake hunger for thirst. Always drink more water.
Choose foods that will bring the inflammation down and boost your immune system up. Foods such as berries, dark chocolate, avocados and peppers are all great snacky-type foods that will help your body fight off any virus. Some great natural supplements that you can take are oregano, turmeric and vitamins C and D.
Give your body some credit, it was designed to be a global virus warrior, give it the right fuel to win the fight!
We’re all in this together!
These are just some of the things that you can do to get more power over your life when everything appears to be out of control. Our big world has gotten so small, and the gaps that once divided us have narrowed. We are all experiencing some anxious times right now, but be assured that you are not alone, we’re all in this together.
Here are some informational links that may help you get a better understanding of the virus and how you can take back control:
- World Health Organization: Rolling updates on coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- World Health Organization: Advice for the Public
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Government of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html
- Business Insider: 7 science-based strategies to help you deal with coronavirus anxiety
- Dovico: 10 Ideas to Build Healthy Minds at Work
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