Online teaching, while being fun, is no piece of cake – working across different time zones can feel like a virtual jet-lag, and achieving work-life balance may be hard to come by. Proper self-care can help beat burnout and keep you rejuvenated.
Sleep is as important as food. Sleep deprivation knocks you back physically and emotionally. Getting less than 7 hours of sleep regularly can severely affect your body’s ability to function well. Working out a consistent sleep routine and developing healthy sleeping habits is important.
Eat balanced meals. Foods rich in vitamins and magnesium can help reduce stress. Avoid added sugars and limit your starches like bread, pasta, rice, and other grains if you spend long sitting hours at your desk. Control portion size. Avoid caffeine while working late nights or early mornings. An apple a day keeps the doctor away and can help you stay awake.
Your workstation should be comfortable and should allow you to work in a neutral posture. Make sure the lighting is right (not too bright, not too dim), and pay attention to the position of your computer and the height of your chair and desk. Avoid clutter as that can distract you and stress you out. Move around and do quick stretches when you have lesson breaks.
Bottling up feelings does not make them go away. Stress is a normal part of our lives. it is important to recognize and manage it to avoid physical and emotional fatigue.
Share your experiences – good, bad, or ugly, with a close friend or a family member. Talking about feelings is not easy but will help you take charge of your mental wellbeing.
Finding time for yourself is not always easy. Balancing personal and professional commitments can be strenuous. Spend some time doing things you enjoy, it will not only help you to relax and de-stress but also give you the energy to rise to everyday challenges. Give mindfulness a go. It helps to overcome distractions and focus on the present.
Your lifestyle choices shape your mental and physical health. Yes, there are times when these may not be free choices, duties and responsibilities may restrict you.
Health cannot be neglected in pursuit of happiness.
Start with small changes, try swapping that extra cup of coffee with an apple. Do what is right for your body. Take care of yourself.
Stay tuned for our next on how to earn more by switching from being a hard worker to a smart worker!
-written by Preeti Lamba
Let’s face the facts folks. We are working from home and this is our new normal. Teaching online is not the same. Yes, I know …it’s horrible for your eyes, awful for your back, and terrible for your mental health. But what if I told you that there is a way to make the best of this situation? I have found that the best way to turn something negative into a positive experience is by looking at some of the advantages of the situation. Do not despair my friend! I have 9 foolproof teaching hacks that will help you to live a healthy lifestyle while teaching online AND prevent you from going insane!
After working from home for a while, you may have noticed your back hurting from sitting in one spot for a long time. A standing desk can help you avoid developing more serious health problems in the future. Moreover, it also gives you the option to sit or stand throughout the day. As we all know, standing while teaching feels more natural; in the same way, a standing desk would help you feel more active and productive. If you want to try a standing workstation, check out the proper ergonomics to help you figure out the correct positioning of your computer according to your height.
Sometimes I find myself forgetting to take breaks when I am working from home. I forget to leave my desk all day and that leaves me feeling drained and overtired. I’m sure there are also others who feel the same. Or those who instead have a hard time concentrating at their work station and take too many breaks! This is where the Pomodoro Technique (introduced by Francesco Cirillo) helps us all: We pick ONE task, set a timer for 20 minutes, and work until the alarm rings. It’s a free productivity tool that can help you avoid feeling burnt out! Do try it out; I guarantee that it will help you improve your management skills.
Hydrate your mind and body and you nourish your soul. Honestly, this should have been my number #1 life hack. When working from home, it’s easier to stay hydrated – you work right next to your kitchen. Too lazy to get up and fill up your water bottle? Invest in a high-quality durable water bottle to keep you motivated! Or upgrade your water by adding cucumbers and mint for flavor. Better yet, go ahead and download a hydration app that will help you remember to meet your daily water intake for maximizing your healthy lifestyle.
I had the same issue. I tried everything! I got an extra monitor to add a second screen; the wider screen helped me manage more open tabs and boosted my productivity without compromising my eyesight. For example, I had my lesson plan on one screen while my zoom class on another. I also downloaded f.lux, an app that adjusts my screen settings to match the indoor lighting at night. Yes, I often work late, after my kids go to sleep so this has been a good (free!) decision to prolong whatever is left of my vision. Okay I lied, I didn’t try everything. I still have yet to try blue screen glasses! I have been seeing them all over social media and I’ve read rave reviews.
One of the best ways to combat this awful feeling (and also so I don’t murder my family) is to meal prep on weekends. I simply set aside 2 hours (yes only 2!!) to plan, prep, portion, and pack away all our meals and snacks for the weeks. This has been a game-changer! This approach can help you to reduce decision-making fatigue regarding munchies for the week and helps maintain a regular, healthy eating schedule. Added bonus: I don’t waste ANY time during weekdays stressing over what to make, cooking, and then cleaning up the mess. Do the same for snacks: cut up all your fruits & veggies, make your dips & store them in jars, assemble trail mix, etc. Here are some healthy meal prep recipes to give you some more ideas!
one of the things I noticed that really improved my mood was sticking to a normal routine. I go to sleep at night and wake up at the same time every morning (except Sundays, duh). In the mornings, I make breakfast and do the same household chores I did before I left for work. I also shower, iron my clothes and get dressed (head to toe because hey! What if you need to get up from your desk and everyone sees your pajama bottoms?). This is a simple routine that doesn’t need any extra effort; it was how I got ready for a full day of teaching in life before Covid-19.
Look for any excuse! Run out of milk? Volunteer to go grab it. Walk the dog, take out the garbage, go for a quick run, or just take the kids to the park. Enjoy the sunshine! But please remember to wear a mask! Honestly, the most important thing is to get movement in your day. So even if you are NOT leaving the house, you can do a 20-minute workout on YouTube, yoga with the kids, or light stretching before class. Look into synchronizing your Apple watch to help you track your steps for the day.
Living a healthy lifestyle while working from home should not have to be rocket science. We should try to adjust and adapt and make the most of things. The pandemic will not last forever folks! One day, hopefully soon, we will be able to walk into our classrooms, high-five our students, and enjoy the feeling of taking attendance on pen and paper. Ah, those were the days. Till then, remember to hydrate, test negative and stay positive!
-written by Hamza Abbasi
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