The year 2020 taught us that we could adapt our lifestyles and change routines and habits. Life, as we knew it, took on a more virtual role. As we see 2021 winding down, we have adjusted and learned new ways to live, learn, and work. The adjustment to spending more time at home has its effects. We will discuss some new ways we do things and how they affect us.
Virtual and Hybrid Learning
Learning has changed over the years, which began with many college courses going virtual. However, in 2020 and 2021, younger students had more virtual classes or hybrid learning which combines in-person and remote education. Remote learning has affected the mental health of some educators, students, and parents. Teachers have to adjust their lesson plans, students feel disconnected, and parents feel burnt out from taking on more active roles. If you feel mentally drained, this article by Geneplanet goes over possible reasons and offers solutions.
Virtual education can decrease energy levels and attention spans and increase anxiety and stress. Students may not have reliable wifi, which can cause lags in learning. Home furniture may decrease productivity due to ill-suited chairs or desks. Taking breaks and stepping away will increase blood flow circulation and boost energy. Staying hydrated throughout the day and ensuring proper nutrition will help with attention spans. Reach out to friends and communicate with them by talking on the phone or video chatting to boost positivity. Look into wifi discount programs by contacting your internet provider or your state. This Cable TV article discusses provider programs for students and low-income families.
WFH (Working From Home)
56% of people have been “WFH” or working from home at least part-time in 2021. Remote work is increasingly more common, but to many, it takes adjusting. Despite being “connected” for work, you may feel disconnected from colleagues. Communication, no longer being face-to-face, can lead to poor communication. Our previous blog post Make Meetings More Meaningful goes over how to hold in-person and virtual meetings. Receiving emails can sometimes be vague and frustrating. Sometimes, you will wait for a response, and staring at electronic devices all day causes strain on your eyes and mind. If you do not have an ergonomic WFH environment, you can experience fatigue and soreness in your body.
Express concerns with colleagues or your manager if you see setbacks in productivity or communication. With so many gadgets available, some things help in setting up an ideal workspace. Wearing blue light blocker glasses and having a proper desk lamp help with eye strain. You can burn essential oils for aromatherapy that may help with your frame of mind and energy. Taking breaks and moving around will help loosen stiff and tense muscles. You can rest your eyes by laying down, meditating, or doing something that enables you to escape. The book The Journey of Enlightenment by Ann Purcell offers how transcendental meditation can positively affect your well-being. Getting proper rest, eating a healthy diet, and taking time for yourself will help you cope when WFH.
Change in Habits
Many of us cook more and shop online more, which can strain the body from bending over and carrying packages. Some people may have become more inactive and have seen negative impacts. If you have experienced weight gain, this could be due to eating more and inactivity, fatigue, stress, anxiety, or depression. Discover the Joy of Good Health by John Inzerillo offers tips to live a more enjoyable life despite not feeling your best.
There are supplements on the market to best suit your needs and address challenges. Speak with your physician before starting any supplement regimen. Listen to your body and do not add stress to it. To help with body aches and pains, you can have a heating pad nearby or get massages. You can also take baths with Epsom salts or make your bedroom a sanctuary for optimal relaxation.
If you find yourself in one of these situations and now struggle, be proactive and address your issues. Let your partner or boss know you need a break or try some tips to help remedy the problem. While working and learning from home has its advantages, it also can have its downfalls. Be sure to prioritize self-care and establish healthy boundaries so you can perform at your best.