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Beat the blues while working from home, social distancing

When you wished for a break from work, you didn’t mean this. Working from home and social distancing sound like they’d be a nice break from the routine, but this powerful virus is upending life as we knew it and leading to unprecedented stress levels for many.

Here are a few SWIFT tips to help cope during these trying times:

- Get dressed. Yes, pajamas are so comfy. But getting dressed puts us in a mindset ready to tackle whatever the day may bring. Good news: every day is casual Friday when you work from home!

- Resist the urge to go on the “comfort food” diet. With the kitchen only feet away from our work station, it's tempting to graze all day or worse to turn to unhealthy comfort food when we start feeling stressed. Comfort food is good in moderation but will make us sluggish and ultimately hurt our health. It’s more important than ever to fuel our mind and body with food that will help us be at our best as we make difficult decisions and adapt to a “new normal.” Try to eat at least one healthy meal a day.

- Take breaks. We are dealing with something like we’ve never dealt with before. Some of us with kids at home. We hop from one thing to the next without pausing to check in and process how we’re feeling. Take a 5-minute break every hour to stretch, take a quick walk or get in a quick workout. SWIFT clients are familiar with the 4-minute high-intensity interval training workout as part of our private, in-home wellness program, and those four minutes are proven to be more beneficial than running a mile. Step away for a few minutes to save your sanity. Oh, and regular breaks are proven to help increase work productivity.

- Be social—from a distance. Our challenge to you: have a non-work-related phone call (or video call, when possible) with at least one person every day. Bonus points if you talk about something other than the coronavirus! It’s important for our mental health that we maintain contact with friends and family, especially as we’re isolating ourselves against the virus.

- Combat stress and depression. Anxiety is high all around the world as COVID-19 fears rise and the virus impacts our daily lives more and more. Make time for yourself. Build up your strength to work through life’s new challenges by exercising. Meditate. Take a walk outside. Watch funny movies and TV shows. Play games with your kids. Cry. Punch a couch cushion while yelling at it. We could all use a best friend to tell us it’s going to be okay when we don’t make the best decision under the stress. If you can’t be with a friend right now, be your own best friend, and be kind to yourself.

It’s OK to feel overwhelmed. Though we are apart right now, you are not alone. And if you need someone to talk to, contact the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746.

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