• Kat Truman

5 Things Every Essential Worker From the Pandemic Should Do Right Now

I’m looking at you healthcare peeps, support staff, grocery store workers and first responders! You’ve been in overdrive for over a year now with little to no time off and a mountain of stress that makes Mt. Everest look like a mole hill.

As life gets back to a more normal pace some of you might have a little trouble kicking it down a notch. Being in high gear for so long, it probably became somewhat of a normal feeling to be running on empty, going through the drive through at Wendy’s for dinner and not remembering what a good night’s sleep feels like.

It’s time to put yourself first (or at least 10th) and make a few changes:

  1. Plan some time off. You deserve this. Even if you don’t travel anywhere, take a stay-cation and get out of “work mode” for as long as you can afford to- whether that’s a long weekend or several weeks.

  2. Take some time to reassess your schedule. Just because you had to work 24/7 during the pandemic, it doesn’t mean that you should continue working at that pace. It’s time to down shift from work and add some balance back into your life. Sign up for that cooking class or softball league after work again, schedule in time to take the dog for more walks, or just make some non-negotiable time for reading a book you’ve been dying to start (or finish?).

  3. Treat yourself to something fun and relaxing. Again- you deserve this! Everyone needs a little fun in their lives- especially you! Schedule a massage, dinner at your favorite restaurant or an overnight get-away from your responsibilities.

  4. Breathe. You made it, but probably stopped really breathing about halfway through April of 2020. Take some deep and relaxing breaths- really using your abdominal muscles on the exhale to engage your parasympathetic nervous system (the system that helps us to calm down). Fight or flight time is over. Help your body calm itself down with some diaphragmatic breathing.

  5. Put away the alcohol and chocolate (and anything else you were using to “get through” all of this) and give your body the healthy things it needs- good food, sleep, some light exercise and whatever else you do to refill your tank.

You were the pillars of strength we all relied on to get through this past year and a half, but now it’s time to take care of yourselves if you haven’t already. Why not start now?

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