Recent research indicates that up to 75% of American workers have struggled due to anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and other recent global events.
This darkness pervades when you struggle with sanity. While our culture has grown considerably with depression, PTSD, emotional anxiety, stress, and other mental health issues, we still have a long way to go. This is especially true in the workplace.
It seems that while mental health has become a more open discussion, the workplace isn't quite ready to offer everything people need to be successful in these struggling days. The days when we fight ghosts. There is this unwritten expectation that you have to do your job as usual in most businesses; no questions asked.
The most difficult part of this dilemma is that questions exist; negative thoughts live in your mind and your emotions. For some, it's a victory to get out of bed, let alone get dressed and start the workday. These challenges apparently worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many find themselves working from home, participating in everyday activities they are not used to, and taking on multiple roles, perhaps as a part-time teacher, full-time parent, and full-time employee.
Recent research indicates that up to 75% of American workers have struggled due to anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and other recent global events. No one was equipped or prepared for this sudden disruption to our system and daily life. This is only magnified for those with mental health issues. But you are here. You cannot change the past. You can only adapt and adapt to the present and do whatever you can to strengthen yourself and keep moving forward.
But there are still those days when getting out of bed is always the biggest victory of the day.
So what do you do when this darkness overwhelms you? How do you fight ghosts when anxieties are at their height? Let's take a look at five steps you can take to manage mental health while working from home.
Act on something.
During the darkest days, it can even seem impossible to move. Mental health can often cripple you as reality continues to advance in the world. These days, acting on anything is always better than nothing. This action gives you the feeling of being productive. Even the slightest bit of success can breathe life into your mind, emotions, and thoughts.
Take vulnerability to the next level.
Sharing your battle with someone you trust is incredibly empowering. If it's someone who walks you through your journey, you know they'll support you through tough days. Isolation during times of struggle is not where you want to be. You're not alone. Allow others to walk with you.
Let nature heal you.
Being outside is perhaps the most underrated action you can take. Nature has a way of healing and changing perspective on the day. Take a walk, go for a run or play outside with your family. A change will begin for the positive when you allow nature to be a part of your healing.
Move your body.
Studies have shown that exercise can treat mild to moderate depression just as effectively as antidepressants. One study specifically found that running 15 minutes a day or walking for an hour a day reduced the risk of major depression by 26%. Moving your body activates your mind, which is always a gateway to good mental health.
Live in the moment.
Anything that triggers the feeling of hopelessness and doubt exists. Spending too much energy trying to figure it out is futile. Recognize this moment, feel it fully, and then learn from it. Mental health can teach you a lot about yourself, your environment, and those around you. Change what you can and learn from what you can't. Being fully present in these moments can become a powerful gateway to healing.
If you suffer from depression or mental health of any kind, please contact us. You're not alone.
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Photo credit: Marjan Apostolovic on Shutterstock
About six months before I turned 50, a friend tried to convince me to enter a physique contest. He had just turned 40, and was thrilled to be in the over-40 category because there were fewer guys for him to compete against. He said to me, “Kirk, you can win the over-50 category. There are only a few guys who enter. But, you have no lats or traps—most older dudes don’t. Work on your back and you got it in the bag ! ” I wasn’t too excited to enter a competition with “no competition, ” but I was pretty peeved to hear him say I had no lats or traps. My back was better than that. Although I had no intention to enter the competition, I started doing more single-arm dumbbell rows to work my back. Now, a few years later, it’s one of my favorite dumbbell exercises. Importantly, I’m not trying to break any records when it comes to weight here, like I might have in my younger days. Quality reps at low weight is the bigger focus.
There are variantes of the exercise where you see guys use a bench for support, using a hand or even placing a knee on the bench. These have their merits ( although MH fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C. S. C. S. would rather you not put a knee up ). However, I mostly do the version with no assistance from the bench with both feet on the ground as points of contact. This version works your traps, rhomboids, rear delts and rotator cuff muscles, but you also get some core work, something you greatly need as you get older. Remember, though, that the way do the exercise is subjective to your own abilities. If you need some extra support for balance, don’t hesitate to put a hand down.
tera set up for my preferred variation, pick up a light dumbbell, especially to start. Stand with your feet in a parallel stance about shoulder-width apart. Hold the dumbbell in a neutral position at your side, as if you would for a hammer curl. Place your free hand behind you, with the back of your hand on the small of your back ( you can also extend your off arm out to balance ). Next, bend over by pushing your butt back and hinging at your waist, with your knees slightly bent. There should be no rounding of the spine, and you should keep your gaze down at the floor in a neutral neck place. Lastly, as you’re hanging onto the dumbbell with your arm pointing to the floor, squeeze your shoulder blades together so your shoulders lock in place and don’t slump.
From this starting position, use your back to sweat the dumbbell up without twisting your spine. Pull up as high as you can, pause for a moment at the top and squeeze your shoulder blades together even more. Then release by lowering the dumbbell back to the starting position. tera control my pace, I usually pull up for 2 seconds, squeeze at the top for 2 seconds, then release back to the starting place in 2 seconds.
By doing the dumbbell row unilaterally ( one arm at a time ), you’ll feel yourself being pulled off balance. You must fight with your abs and obliques to maintain balance and stability, which is why I love this exercise so much. Although you won’t be able to load up with as much weight as you would using the bench for stabilization, the extra core work you’ll get makes this version well worth putting in your arsenal of exercises. Try 4 sets of 8 to 10 reps during upper body workouts to get started.
We all know that it’s common for men to skip the doctor until they become sick, injure themselves or are faced with a serious health problem. And a majority of men will postpone seeking care for a few days to see whether they feel any better. It’s the whole ' if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it ' line of thinking.
But there are steps the men in your life can take today to improve their vitality and help prevent health problems down the road. Of course, there are some things that can’t be changed, such as family history and age, but every day choices can have a big effet on their current and future health.
Eating a diet that’s low in fat ( less than 7 percent of kcal should come from saturated fats ), cholesterol, and salt, and packed with fresh fruits and vegetables ( two cups of fruit per day; three cups of vegetables per day for men up to age 50 and two and a half cups for men aged 51 and over ), whole céréales and fiber can help improve your health, prevent heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
Try to get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week. Taking a walk, jogging, swimming and mowing the lawn all count. But don’t be a weekend sports warrior. Start slowly if you aren’t normally réactive and gradually build up. No time ? Research shows that even bermuda bursts of physical activity—as few as 10 minutes of intense activity several times a day—can help men improve their health. Talk to your doctor about the right exercise program for you.
It’s important to maintain a saine weight. Excess weight, especially around the waist, can be on your body. Carrying too much body fat forces your heart to work harder and increases your chances of heart disease and stroke, even if you have no other risk factors ! So, try to curb weight gain as you age.
Tobacco smoke contains more than 4, 000 chemicals and is a known cause of cancer. Smoking also increases the likelihood of high blood pressure, heart disease, lung problems and other health problems. And if you think chewing tobacco is safer, think again. Not only is chewing tobacco a known cause of cancer ( carcinogen ), it also contributes to gum disease and tooth loss and may be linked to fertility problems. And, few could argue that chewing and spitting is attractive to a partner. If you smoke or chew, talk to your health care professional about ways to quit. Consider nicotine replacement therapy products that include self-help programs, if appropriate.
Whether it’s pulling out the weed whacker, going for a bike ride or grilling with the neighbors, safety is key. Here are just a few examples : Take care when moving heavy objects. It’s easy to strain yourself when lifting boxes, furniture and other heavy items. Use your knees and legs and not your back for leverage. And ask for help, if you need it. Wear appropriate protective gear for your eyes and ears when using leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other machines at home or work. Excessive exposure to noise is the most common cause of hearing loss. Wear a helmet when you ride a bike or ski and throw on reflective clothing if you go for a run after dark. When grilling, never leave the grill unattended, especially when small children and pets are around, and keep a fire extinguisher handy. The grill should be at least 10 feet from your house or any building. to protect your skin, avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and apply ( and reapply ) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater that provides protection against UVA and UVB rays.