COVID-19 has transformed our lives in many ways, one of which is our ability to practice self-care. Surrounded by technology, you might wonder what you can possibly do to enhance your own care while disconnected! 

Let’s face it…for many of us, it has been a year since COVID-19 restrictions were created. These restrictions affected many different aspects of our lives, from grocery shopping to our methods of self-care to maintain resiliency. Additionally, we now have meetings, webinars, and classes via an internet platform, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Skype, rather than in person.

Rather than getting up and walking from one class or meeting to the other, we are at a standing or seated desk in a single location. We may spend the majority of our time in an office space all day decreasing our physical activity. In fact, a study published by JAMA Network found that the average person gained, 1.5 pounds per month over the past year (Lin, et al, 2021). Granted, this increase in weight could be from a variety of factors including “stress eating” or changes in activity level.  And although several COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, the use of an internet platform, rather than in-person activities, has understandably continued. By the end of the day, we may complain of stiffness and even more fatigue, due to our inactivity.

To promote self-care during connectivity with electronic devices, take small breaks from the position that you use during your computer activity. Examples of these include (unless medically contraindicated for you):

  • Stand up rather than sitting, especially for consecutive computer activities
  • Stretch
  • Take 3-5 deep breaths
  • Turn your head from side to side, and up and down
  • Shrug your shoulders
  • Perform wrist circles (clockwise and counterclockwise)
  • March, using the back of your chair to support you (Ross, 2021)

You will be surprised how invigorating and refreshing these small breaks can be. Remember, “Practice good self-care so that you have the energy to use your power, rather than feeling too depleted to initiate change” (Stringer, 2012, p.17). We can, and should practice self-care using the 7 tips provided; are you ready to disconnect

References:

Lin, A., Vittinghoff, E., Olgin, J., Pletcher, M., & Marcus, G. (2021). Bodyweight  changes during pandemic-related shelter-in-place in a longitudinal cohort study. JAMA Network, 4(3): doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.2536

Ross, J. (2021). 7 easy exercises a nurse can do at work. NURSE.com. https://nurse.com/self-care-7-easy-exercises-nurses-can-do-at-work

Stringer, H. (2012). Powerful nurses can create change. NURSE.com.16-17.