Health and Wellness Tips for Essential Personnel

While some people adjust to remote work or unemployment, others have had to brave the storm and continue working despite the global health crisis. These individuals, commonly called essential workers, hold positions that are deemed vital to continuing the critical infrastructure within their communities. Without the products and services of first responders and government officials to truck drivers and grocery store personnel, the general public would not survive. 

Negative Impact of Working Amid a Crisis

Though committed to helping the general public and providing for their families, essential workers’ health and safety risks are significantly higher than the average person. Daily interaction with clients, customers, and patients increase their chances of contracting the coronavirus. The long hours and increased responsibilities eventually lead to burnout and emotional overwhelm. 

Focus on Your Health and Wellness

Working in these conditions every day will result in a negative effect on your physical and emotional well-being. Eventually, you’re unable to be there for your family or the communities that count on you. That’s why it’s vital to prioritize your health and wellness. The following tips are an excellent place to start. 

Protect Yourself

Essential personnel often works closely with the general public. Your positions ultimately put you at greater risk of getting sick. While you can’t avoid them altogether, there are things you can do to protect yourself. Ensure that you always have a face mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer at your disposal. Wash your hands regularly. Lastly, ensure that you, your colleagues, employers, and customers follow all health and safety regulations. 

The coronavirus isn’t the only thing that essential workers should protect themselves from. As you’re working more hours, you also increase your risk of workplace injury. Reduce your chances of getting hurt by complying with all workplace safety guidelines, taking regular breaks to avoid fatigue, and investing in items like sturdy shoes, orthotics, work belts, goggles, and whatever else you might need to protect yourself on the job. 

Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

With all you have to do on a given day, skipping meals is very common. You’re rushing out the door in the mornings and forget to grab breakfast. You get lost in a project at work and bypass lunch. You arrive home in the evenings so exhausted that you order takeout and barely touch your dinner. 

It may not seem like a big deal on the surface, but failing to eat a well-balanced meal throughout the day has grave consequences. Your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs, and before long, you start experiencing issues ranging from moodiness and unexplained weight loss to lack of energy and a weakened immune system. 

Get your daily nutrition by eating at least three meals each day. If you’re on a tight schedule, there are quick fixes you could try to ensure you’re getting the proper diet. You can have things like a bowl of cereal, oatmeal, or a fruit and vegetable smoothie for breakfast. Soups, salads, sandwiches, and wraps are ideal for lunch. Lastly, you can save yourself time and money by prepping and planning dinner. 

Make Time for Yourself

Your family needs you, your employer needs you, even your community needs you during this national health crisis. While you want to do everything you can to be there for everyone, there’s not much you can do if you’re not there for yourself. Scheduling week-long vacations might be out of the question right now, but you have to make time for you. 

On your days off, spend some time doing things that bring you peace and happiness. Create an at-home spa experience and take a much-needed bath with essential oils. Sit for an hour in your backyard and read your favorite book. Plan a day trip with your significant other, kids, or friends and explore your city or state. Design a workshop and work on hobbies during the weekend. Whatever your pleasures are, find time in your schedule to indulge and lift your spirits. 

Essential workers are, without a doubt, the nation’s heroes during these uncertain times. If not for their diligence and determination, life amid the pandemic would be impossible to manage. While you have a lot of weight on your shoulders right now, neglecting your own physical and emotional needs will lead to serious consequences. The above health and wellness tips, however, can give you the strength you need to continue doing your job.