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In the final instalment of our new article series, we're sharing insights from RGD Members on how they're maintaining their physical and mental health during this difficult time.
Missed Part 1, Part 2 or Part 3 of our series? It covers ways you and your team can stay connected while working remotely, tips for boosting your and your team's morale and ways to separate your professional and personal life while working from home.
We hope this series provides you with inspiration and support!
4. What are some of the ways that you're taking care of your mental & physical health during this change?
Work right now is a great distraction from what is happening in the world so that is helping instead of endlessly watching the news and social media scrolling. Personally, getting my creative groove on offline by painting helps me a lot as well as getting outside for walks and doing yoga. Having meals with family and doing video calls is also a must for me right now. Being connected to RGD Members through our Board and Committees has also been a highlight.
— Wendy Millard RGD, RGD Past President and Director of Design Services at Empire Life
— Nancy Mullin, Graphic Design Manager at BDO
Creative projects outside of work are helpful; there is nothing better than the “Look what I made” feeling. I’ve been catching up on crochet projects, and playing with paint with my daughter. Getting outside for walks and bike rides are essential to change my perspective as often as possible.
Mental health is always a factor in our business, as well as any other. I feel much more ‘disorganized’ comparatively to when I’m in the office, but beyond that, our family is getting out and walking (the dogs are loving this right now) and taking breaks; eating at the right times helps keep a sense of normalcy. My daughter has started an Instagram fitness group and I’ve been trying to make sure I exercise more.
— Mark Roberts RGD, VP Creative at Davis Agency
A few walks a day, desk yoga, bourbon and CBD. ;) Other staff have shared their yoga routines, stretching exercises and tips on home office ergonomics.
— Nelson Silva, Creative Director at The Works Design Communications
Doing yoga every day at home. I either join a live session on social media, find a video on Youtube, or sign up for an online class. Yoga has been a huge part of my life for over a decade, but I'm finding it's even more important for my mental health during this time. It also feels really good to get my heartbeat going and work up a sweat!
Going for walks outside. The fresh air is amazing for my mood. Even if the weather isn't wonderful, I love getting outside and moving my body.
Having an at-home routine is really helpful for my mental health. As humans we find comfort in routines, which is part of the reason why so many of us are struggling with the sudden changes that the COVID-19 crisis brought.
— Ceri Higgs Provisional RGD, Graphic Designer at Techboomers.com
I make sure to go out with my kids at least once a day for some fresh air—rain or shine. I keep in touch with my family, through group chats and FaceTime. We’ve even set up a few games of Drawful, to play against each other–it’s hilarious! We’re also all competing in a potato challenge, but all I’ve been successful at growing is some mould. I’ve been riding my bicycle (indoors, on a trainer, since it’s not great weather yet!) and doing some workout videos to keep active. At the same time I'm also letting myself be a loaf on the couch. I’m always reminding myself of the privilege I have, the fact that I still have a job, the fact that there’s still work to be done, and that I can do that work safely from my home. I have an incredible team, who’s only a message away, and a wonderfully supportive community.
— Sarah Prouse RGD, VP Creative Possibilities at Fusion Design Group
Just like before, every morning starts with coffee (albeit now at home and not my local Starbucks) and reflection; followed by 45-minutes of reading. This has always been my meditation time, and it’s no different now. From a physical point of view I have never walked more in my life! I’m also eating better (every meal home-made, no takeout).
— Will Hum RGD, Principal & Creative Director at Clear Space
I have a dog so keeping to a regular schedule of taking him for a walk helps ensure that I get outside and move at least a little bit each day. I try to keep my laptop and working area to one specific room where I can focus and have an extra monitor, though occasionally if I’m on the type of call where screen viewing isn’t necessary, getting up and walking around to a different area can help break the monotony and put my mind in a fresh place for thinking.
I’ve been checking up on friends and neighbours over email and it’s nice to hear how some are finding the time to pick up hobbies like sewing or cooking—or even just Marie Kondoing their homes! It can be hard to avoid checking the newsfeed every hour and reading that tenth article speculating on when things will go back to normal, or how many cases have grown in various global hotspots for the virus. I’m trying to catch up on some good fiction, using the Libby app to borrow books digitally from the library, and working on figuring out how to best schedule video cocktails with some friends.
Personally, I love food, wine and cooking, so while I’m missing going to my favourite restaurants, I’ve been cooking up a storm of great food and we’ve cracked open some nice wines to enjoy. Snuggled up with my dog on the couch watching some Netflix, sipping a nice glass of wine—I’m thankful for those good moments. At times like these, enjoying the little things can make all the difference.
— Caroline Bruckner RGD, Director of Design Strategy at Ove Brand | Design
Thank you to everyone who contributed their thoughts to this article series!