Tips on staying healthy while working from home during the pandemic

It all starts with some self-love
Posted at 7:25 AM, Mar 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-23 07:47:18-04

Staying at home all day can lead to a number of health obstacles, mental and physical, that many Americans are learning how to deal with.

Some doctors shared tips with CBS New York on how you can keep you and your family healthy during the pandemic. One health obstacle is posture since many people are working from home on their phone or computer, and not always working at a desk like normal.

"Everybody's going to be in sitting postures, having text neck," chiropractor Dr. Joseph D. Salamone told CBS New York. "These people really need to make precautions and live a healthier lifestyle while we're in this quarantine state."

Stretches to help your posture

Dr. Salamone recommended three stretches everyone can do to keep healthy.

Spinal twists should be done before you get up in the morning. Dr. Salamone said to sit on the side of your bed with your hands on your knees and twist 15-20 times each side.

"What it does is it hydrates your discs and gets you ready for your day," said Dr. Salamone.

Next, Dr. Salamone recommended doing hamstring stretches before you get moving.

Finally, neck stretches. Roll up a towel with elastic bands on each side. Lay down with the rolled towel under your neck and your head bent back with your neck in extension. Dr. Salamone said to do this 2-3 times a day to really help with your posture.

Managing stress from your children

In this stressful time, ER Pediatrician Dr. Sanjay Mehta said it's important to be mindful of your stress and emotions.

"We have to remember we can project our stress onto our kids whether they're toddlers, elementary aged or teenagers," said Dr. Mehta. "We have to be mindful that our anxiety will project onto them."

Managing your anxiety

A recent poll from Axios-Ipsos found that about a third of American adults feel that their emotional well being had gotten worse because of the outbreak.

Chief Master Sergeant Anthony Brinkley, an expert in mental health, says that life is just not the same right now. But it's important that we don't stop living.

Brinkley says most never get beyond the point of fear in dealing with a crisis. It's important to have a plan, follow through and see what happens. You can do the same with coronavirus.

He suggests turning anxious feelings into thoughts of positivity. For example, when you are feeling anxious about the pandemic or your well being - remember that if you're in your home - you're not in danger. You've thus removed yourself from danger!

Be aware of isolation

Loneliness can be hard to overcome if you're working from home, live alone, or rely on going outside to see your friends. Medical experts say that loneliness can lead to depression and abusive behaviors, so it's important to learn how to combat this.

If you're feeling lonely during self-isolation, it may make you feel better to know that you're really not alone in that aspect. Millions of people are going through the same issues through a different lens. There are many ways to avoid feeling lonely when being isolated in your home. Make daily phone calls to a loved one or two! Step outside and get some fresh air to clear your head, or open a window if the weather permits. Some people find journaling or listing to music as a helpful way to stay occupied.

Whatever your hobby may be, you can indulge in that to keep your mind busy.

Continue to have a work routine

It is important to continue a work routine in order to keep mental stability. Many Americans are used to seeing a professional self and a personal self. Now that this professional life is being brought back into our homes, it can feel very confusing.

"The office is not your couch. You have to leave your couch and go to the office in order to work. And that sort of division between work life and leisure time is really difficult to import back to your own living room, your own kitchen counter, your own bedroom, said journalist Derek Thompson. "It's especially difficult right now, I should say during a pandemic, when you have schools canceled, the kids are home, the restaurants are closed. It's a very different situation right now than you might typically have. But theoretically the benefit of remote work is that you have time to focus on your own. You have time to structure your time as you want."