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Staying Grounded in a Pandemic: Tips from the Foundant Team

Work-life balance is, well, a balancing act. And for most of us, finding this balance can sometimes be tricky. This is especially true as our home and work life now reside in much closer proximity and maybe even the same room for many of us. It is because of the past year that recognizing what brings refreshment to your life inside and outside of work 1) is more necessary than ever and 2) isn’t the same for everyone. 
 
Here at Foundant, we value this type of balance so highly that we’ve built it into our company culture. Taking care of yourself as an individual both during and outside of work can benefit not only you, but your coworkers and loved ones as well. Part of this whole equation is figuring out what you need during the workday to function at your best. With the year still fresh and new, we thought it would be fun to share a few ways we keep ourselves feeling energized and productive.    
 
Man Balancing on Rock

Get Outside

For those of us working at Foundant headquarters in Bozeman, we are fortunate to live in a place with many socially distant options for getting outside. Even the epic Montana
winters can’t slow us down! 
 
If you surveyed our team about favorite outdoor activities, you’d get a diverse list. And sharing these activities with co-workers can enhance a culture of work-life balance, even if it’s just a shared coffee and a chat over zoom. Before we sent our employees to their individual home-lands, we had different groups throughout the team who would run, ski, attend workout classes together, or mountain bike after work. Getting into the outdoors will always be a favorite way to reduce stress for many of us at Foundant.

In fact, convening in nature may even offer hope and resilience in time of crisis. According to Dr. Keith Tidball, PhD and author of Greening in the Red Zone, it fulfills a deep evolutionary need and builds resilience in humans after large-scale traumas.

“We spent thousands and thousands of years among the rest of nature, that’s how we were designed,” Tidball says. “It’s only in the last couple hundred years that we’ve become separate from it.” (Read more here: Why Going Outside is Good For Your Health, Especially Right Now)

De-Stress with Pets

In our dog friendly Bozeman office, taking a break to play with one of our furry friends is a popular option. Sadly, most of our team and pups are still working remotely. But that hasn’t stopped them from making valued guest appearances during Zoom meetings and in our Dogs of Foundant and Cat Chat Zoom channels! Even at home, a couple office dogs are particularly known for getting into all sorts of mischief, which is usually good for a laugh. If you’ve read anything about the stress relieving benefits of spending time with animals, you’ll understand this one! 
 

Refuel

Do you ever find yourself getting “hangry” (hungry to the point of being angry) at certain points throughout the day? We sure do. When we were in the office, the Client Services team had set up a communal snack table, where team members contribute different healthy (for the most part) snacks, for everyone to grab when hanger strikes. 

We highly recommend keeping a stash of snacks in your home office for the sake of energy levels throughout the day! Or, for a special treat, support a local restaurant and order delivery...something we’ve all gotten extra good at while staying home.

 

Music  

Outside of work (and the pandemic), many of us are big fans of live music, so concerts are a common option to de-stress and have a little fun. While live concerts have been scarce, listening to songs from past performances has a special power of bringing you back to that moment. Listening to music during the day can be a great way to take a break or boost productivity. Our suggestion? An app like Spotify lets you browse pre-made playlists or build your own.

One business coach in Bozeman ran Monday Morning Huddles through the thick of the pandemic to support small business entrepreneurs. Each morning she would start the Zoom meetup with some of her favorite tunes and dance away on camera. As a holiday gift to her followers, she shared her Spotify Huddle Playlist with everyone. Talk about personal touch and a way of elevating your virtual relationships!

 

Change of Scenery

Most of the Foundant team uses adjustable desks, allowing us to switch between sitting and standing. The bravest and strongest of us have even hauled them all the way home. This simple change can be a nice way to break up the day and get a quick energy boost. Plus, studies show sitting for long periods can be detrimental to your health! But, getting away from your desk can also help. For those of us who’ve moved back to the Bozeman office, we’re lucky to have a coffee shop right down the road. When it’s safe, you can find a few of us working there or taking a break to refuel. The same is true for those who are still remote. Just like any town, there’s no shortage of coffee shops around Bozeman. Sometimes just a short walk and a different backdrop can launch your creativity and focus back into gear.
 

Other Tools

There are a plethora of apps and other tools out there to help you reach your most productive mode and increase your balance between work and home life. Here are a few we’ve been enjoying lately:  
 

  • Headspace - This app offers an easy and fun way to track and improve mental health habits! It helps with the daily focus and self-discipline remote work demands!
  • GoodReads - Are you a bookworm? So many of us at Foundant are! With this platform not only can you share favorite reads, but you can also find solace and relaxation in discovering more.
  • Zombies, Run! - While exercise is a common goal, the motivation to do so can be hard to find. With this app, let the audio storyline of the zombie apocalypse be your incentive. Who knew physical motivation resided in the undead?

 

A focus on what brings you energy and refreshment can help you be your best self. 
We love hearing about others’ favorite tips and tricks to keep things balanced and improve focus. We hope some of our go-to options might help inspire you!

About the Author

Lauren Neulinger is a Learning and Development Specialist at Foundant. She believes in thoughtfully crafting educational resources and tools, with the goal of empowering learners of the software. Lauren holds a Master of Public Health degree with an emphasis in health communications, and previously served as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Outside of work, Lauren enjoys exploring new trails across Montana with her husband and dog (Rocky - a blue heeler mix).

Profile Photo of Lauren Neulinger