Since the start of the coronavirus, essential workers have been on the front lines trying to serve the communities they live in. Though grateful to be in a position to still care for their families financially, the health and safety of essential workers are constantly at risk. Their jobs put them in close proximity (or direct contact) with the coronavirus on a daily basis. Not to mention, the weight of the world on their shoulders as they strive to be there for those who need them most.
To put it lightly, it’s a lot on the physical and emotional well-being of essential workers across the country. Living under this amount of pressure on a daily basis, unfortunately, puts them at an even greater risk of contracting the coronavirus. Seeing as how this is an outcome that nobody wants, it is imperative for essential workers to prioritize their health and wellness during the pandemic. Here’s how:
Make Sure You’re Eating Well
As an essential worker, you’re often more exposed to the coronavirus than others. In order to reduce the chances of contracting the virus, it is essential that you keep your immune system intact. A large part of that is being mindful of what and how often you eat. Your body needs vitamins, nutrients, and minerals to survive. Most of this is derived from the foods you eat.
Make sure that you’re eating a well-balanced breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Whether this means waking up earlier to prepare your meals for the day, finding an affordable means to order takeout, or asking your supervisor for a 15-30 minute break to eat, it is vital to your health that you’re eating properly.
Keep Up with Physical Fitness
Another part of keeping your body and immune system strong is physical fitness. When you’re physically active, you flush toxins from the body, strengthen your immune system, boost your energy, and reduce the chances of developing life-threatening diseases. Therefore, exercise needs to be included in your schedule.
Finding it hard to exercise when you’re always working? There are some things you can do. You could wake up early and take a 15-minute walk, follow an exercise video, or complete some workouts and stretches of your own. If this isn’t an option, you can work out while working. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further from the office and walk through the parking lot, go for a walk on your lunch break, or even complete some stretches and exercises in the office.
Identify Triggers and Reduce Stress
If ever there was a time to be stressed out, a pandemic would be it. That being said, too much stress can weaken your immune system and your emotional wellbeing. Therefore, you have to find a way to cope. The best way to execute this would be to first identify the things that trigger your stress so you can eliminate or reduce them.
If you’re absorbing too much coronavirus content, scale back. If you feel you’re working in poor conditions or your employer is not providing you with the safe working environment you feel is necessary, speak up about it. If you’re worried about spreading the virus to your loved ones, take precautions like wearing personal protective equipment, changing and washing your clothes, taking a bath or shower when you come home, and washing your hands. If you work in a high-risk job like healthcare, you may feel best by staying away from the home to safeguard your family.
Look Out for Warning Signs and Seek Help
Last but not least, make sure that you’re paying attention to your physical and emotional health. If you start to notice that you’re not feeling well, it is imperative that you make note of your symptoms and seek help. There are healthcare facilities that offer telemedicine in Louisiana and other states across the country where you can be seen and treated by a doctor without having to leave your home. The same is available for those who are experiencing emotional strain. Talking with a therapist via phone or virtual call can help you to cope during these stressful times.
Essential workers are desperately needed to continue to fight this national pandemic and serve the communities they live in. Being in such high demand, however, creates a whole different set of fears and worries than employees working from home or those who have been laid off. As a result, it is vital that essential workers prioritize their health and safety by using suggestions such as those provided above to protect themselves, their families, and those they serve.