Guest Post Written By: Jennifer Scott

While the pandemic has turned many lives on end, creating an environment of stress and uncertainty, we are all starting to recognize there are certain elements of life beyond our control and we’re making life choices accordingly.

From day-to-day struggles around balancing work and family to job uncertainty and learning new ways to eat well and stay fit, we’re all looking for ways to live our best lives, despite trying pandemic-related circumstances. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you need it. Mental health experts, dieticians, and Live Well, Finish Strong fitness trainers are resource professionals who can help you achieve your personal goals.

Stress Management

Health and Wellness

Staying healthy has been a focal point of living in the pandemic. In addition to protecting ourselves against the virus itself, many people are struggling with the ability to shop and eat in a healthy fashion and to put in the same degree of exercise they were accustomed to pre-COVID. Too often we’ve given ourselves “pandemic passes” to eat whatever we like, which often means a reliance on easy-fix comfort foods and take-out.

Of course, eating poorly and being sedentary eventually leads to feeling down and out, which means it’s time to change up the activity dynamic. A fitness coach can help you set and achieve specific goals.

Start by being intentional about self-care, building time into the day for physical activity, and preparing healthy meals. Even when you feel like you don’t have time, the extra energy you get back when you’re taking care of yourself will make up the difference.

Family Time

If you’re caring for and/or educating kids while working remotely, you have a lot on your plate. According to Today, it’s critical to set boundaries between work and home wherever possible. Use creative scheduling and physical boundaries, like closed office doors, and be willing to delegate wherever possible.

Build “extra” time into each day so you won’t be stressed when something unexpected comes up.  Employers recognize remote staffers are managing multiple competing priorities, so don’t be shy about talking to your boss about extenuating circumstances and special considerations. Learning how to advocate for yourself can be uncomfortable, but it’s a skill that will serve you well throughout life.

Career Outlook

If you’ve become unemployed during the pandemic, you’re likely dealing with a different type of anxiety than those who feel overworked by their employers. In addition to seeking out and taking advantage of safety net services you’re entitled to, like unemployment, consider this an opportunity to re-evaluate your career path.

If you’ve ever wanted to strike out in a new direction, this is the time to do it. If you’re on the fence about what to do next, consider utilizing career counseling services with access to a trained professional who can help you assess your skills, talents, and areas of interest. Once you find a new direction, Fast Company says don’t be shy about reaching out to former employers and colleagues, as well as family and friends, for recommendations and referrals. There’s a lot of competition in the market, so do all you can to position yourself for success.

Stress Management

Regardless of anyone’s individual situation, it’s a basic assumption that we’re all facing some degree of pandemic-related stress and anxiety. Combat these feelings by relinquishing thoughts about things you can’t change and participate in regular meditative practices that will help you learn how to calm your mind and center yourself. Stress management doesn’t mean your problems magically disappear, but rather, that you give yourself the mental and emotional space from which to work and move forward.

This is as good a time as ever to remind yourself there are simply some things outside of your ability to manage. We’re all much better served looking for holistic ways to let go of what we can’t control and making the most of the opportunities that are in front of us. Remind yourself as often as necessary: Most of the challenges we’re facing right now are short-term — and some may even have a still-yet-to-be-seen “upside” in the future.

If you need a little extra boost to get you up and moving on the right fitness track, check out Bree Lambert of Live Well, Finish Strong’s coaching services.