As many association professionals continue to work from home, they’re looking for new ways to battle burnout, Zoom fatigue, and isolation. This spring, take advantage of the warmer weather and longer days to recharge.

Spring is here, COVID-19 vaccines are readily available, and the cold days of winter are behind us—it’s much easier not to feel cooped up at home these days. However, remote work is still the norm for many professionals, which means they shouldn’t abandon the remote rituals that kept them healthy and productive during the winter. After all, a disruption to your routine, especially in the morning, could derail your day.

With good weather ahead, you can adjust your remote work rituals to take advantage of the spring season. Consider these tips to get started.

GO FOR A SHORT WALK OUTSIDE

Take advantage of the spring weather and go for a stroll when you’re feeling stressed or unproductive. And if you have a park or community garden nearby, make it part of your route. Studies show that spending time in nature has both physical and mental health benefits, such as improved attention, reduced stress, and better mood. In Japan, the act of “forest bathing,” or immersing yourself in the sights and sounds of nature, has become a staple in the practice of mindfulness.

Better yet, go for a group walk with family or nearby friends. Group treks outside have been shown to be as effective as solo hikes at boosting mood, and fully vaccinated people can use nature walks as a chance to ease back into group gatherings in a low-risk environment.

BREATHE IN THE AIR

Don’t have time to get outside? Let the outside in by airing out your home: All you need to do is open your doors and windows for five to 10 minutes a day to let fresh air circulate through your home. The improved air quality will keep you healthy and refreshed, while the higher oxygen levels in fresh air will help you stay alert and focused as you work.

DO A LITTLE SPRING CLEANING

Get into the spirit of the season by taking time to clean your space. For one month, take a few minutes out of each day to tidy up in some small way, including cleaning your electronics, clearing out a junk drawer, dusting your desk, and decluttering digital files. You might notice an uptick in your performance, as keeping a tidy workspace is conducive to productivity.

TRAIN YOUR MIND

Studies suggest that our working memory—the capacity to maintain and manipulate goal-relevant information—is lower during the spring. To keep spring fever from getting the best of you, take a few minutes to do something that boosts your working memory. Brain games such as crossword puzzles, sudoku, and chess stimulate the mind and may sharpen your short-term memory, reaction time, and ability to process information.

CONNECT WITH MOTHER NATURE

In addition to your daily walk, find other ways to enjoy spring in full bloom. Plant flowers or vegetables in your yard and start gardening for a few minutes every day. Or have your morning coffee or tea in the sun on your porch or balcony instead of in the kitchen, and listen to nearby birds. You can use these small pockets of your day to completely disconnect from technology, as digital “detoxing” can help you recharge and improve general well-being.

 

Michael Hickey is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE »