The pandemic’s good news is we have learned a lot about how to keep ourselves healthy. The bad news is we are not doing a very good job at it!
Over the past year, dodging the virus was the only priority for most of us. As a result, many of us became too stressed, tired, and overwhelmed to eat healthily or exercise because of work, out-of-school kids, and lockdown restrictions. We missed critical screenings to detect physical or mental stress. But with the country getting back to normal, isn’t it time to address the accumulated poor health habits that may be affecting your life, work, and productivity? Here are four signs that will help you acknowledge that you might have a problem.
1. Every day is a physical struggle, but you won’t see a doctor.
While it was hard to see your doctor in 2020, most clinics are now working hard to catch up on patient visits. Men, who are less likely than women to have seen a doctor in the past five years, tend to tough out aches and pains, even if it prevents them from doing their best at work. At the same time, others let fatigue, depression, and general malaise keep them from reaching their full potential. If these sound like you, it’s time for a checkup!
2. You ignore the palpitations, sweaty palms, and crushing apprehension you feel driving into work.
Pandemic-related anxieties like workplace and vaccine safety, whether to mask or unmask, and being around others again are in the news. Family loss, trauma, or psychological issues may worsen these symptoms. Fortunately, fear and anxiety are common and can be treated. Please do not ignore your mental health. Seek help from your doctor, psychologist, or workplace wellness program at once.
3. Weight gain is affecting your wellbeing, self-esteem, and mobility.
If someone tries to help you feel better about your COVID weight gain by saying, “You’re not alone,” believe it!
61% of Americans reported packing on the pounds, with many reporting gains of 15 to 29 pounds of undesired weight (APA, March 11, 2021). Lockdowns, stress, gym closures – whatever the reason, people who gained significant amounts of weight during the pandemic put themselves at greater risk from COVID-19 complications, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Weight can also make it harder to sleep, meaning less productivity, alertness, and the ability to return to your pre-pandemic super-employee self.
So, jumpstart your weight loss by making a plan and getting a friend or co-worker to help you stick to it. Cut out bad habits like too much alcohol, coffee, takeout, sugared drinks, eating from the break room, and snacking on that chocolate in your desk drawer! Include an exercise regimen, like brisk walking 30-60 minutes per day and some online yoga to de-stress you when you get home.
To ensure they reduce at an effective rate of one to two pounds a week, many people find success by cutting back on simple carbs, increasing their vegetable and protein intake, and consuming small amounts of healthy fats such as avocado and olive oil. If you are a vegetarian, limit high-calorie additives like protein powder, fats like coconut oil, and processed packaged vegetarian meals. Your plate should be filled with natural vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Of course, healthy meals don’t have to be boring! Amping up flavor is the key. Check out the meal plans and healthy recipes on Eatingwell.com. Once you are back in your pre-COVID clothing, you should begin to reap health benefits like lower blood sugar and cholesterol, better sleep and energy, and more focus and productivity so that you can bring your A-game to work! You can find helpful CDC recommendations and exercise tips here.
4. You sense your boss is ghosting you.
Does your boss look the other way when you pass in the hallway? Are regular emails, meeting invites, and feedback sessions waning? Such signals could mean that she is not pleased with your overall productivity and performance. Before you set up a meeting, take an honest look at aspects of your mood, attitude, and performance:
- Are you often late or absent from work?
- Are you at your desk but experiencing presenteeism; you are “present” but not mentally there?
- Are you missing deadlines and making team members pick up your slack?
- Do you often complain to others about health issues?
A ‘yes’ answer is the likely reason for your manager’s disengagement. To fix this, ask yourself:
If this was my business, would my work ethic make it a success or a failure?
If you know your job performance has been slack and you wouldn’t hire you, take charge. Tackling your role with renewed energy and vigor ̶the same star performance that got you hired ̶ will help transform you and your company to its pre-pandemic success.
If you can work but struggle with the idea of reentering the job market, take the leap. If you snooze, you might lose out on that dream job when enhanced unemployment benefits run out (“Why It Pays to Go Back to Work Now!”).
Employers are desperate for help to rebuild this economy. And opportunities abound right now. Partnership Employment can ease you back into the workplace by placing you in exactly the right job – temporary or permanent – that will help you regain your confidence. So dust off your wardrobe and buy a new planner. Contact Partnership Employment today so you can get back in the game of life!