From being a gymnast in her youth to her education as an athletic trainer, wellness has been at the center of Leah Bond’s life for as long as she can remember.

“Personally, it’s the thing I do just for myself every day,” said Bond, human resources business partner at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE). “When I don’t exercise or take this time for myself, I can tell I am more stressed and just feel off for the day. Now that I have a family, living a healthy lifestyle is something that I want to pass along to my kids by setting a good example for them.”

Even though it took some brain training, Bond enjoys the time she takes to exercise and get active.

“I never dread a workout,” she said. “It took a long time to get that mindset, but getting some exercise while connecting with people, having a laugh or dreaming up big ideas is about as good as it gets in my mind.”

Like others as they moved to work from home, Bond found wellness slipping away from the center at times.

“Early on when working from home was still new, it was a novelty to order takeout, have happy hour and stay up too late,” said Bond. “It didn’t take me long to realize that these habits were not in line with my goals and that if we were to be working from home for a long period of time, I had to develop a new routine.”

She had to be creative at her desk and make sure she had time away from it.

“Early on I found myself, like many others, sitting in on Teams calls for hours straight with only a minute between meetings,” she said. “My husband got me a sit/stand desk, which was a big help. I also try to block off time each day to get up and move around, go for a walk or do another exercise.”

Usually, that blocked off time is over lunch, so she can spend time with her family.

“My husband is working from home, too, and our kids were with us all summer, so we took this time to eat lunch together and then go outside for a walk or quick bike ride,” said Bond. “It was a good way to connect as a family in the middle of the day and burn a little energy. I also found that taking this break helped my productivity in the afternoon.”

Bond loves the outdoors and said it is her go-to when working out, but when she can’t get outside, her kids help her stay motivated.

“My kids introduced me to something they use for indoor recess on cold days called Go Noodle,” she said. “Go Noodle has funny videos that you can dance along to, and we’ve done those from time to time.”

She also focuses on her wellness by cooking healthy meals, getting enough sleep and making it to the gym when it’s safe; furthermore, she knows wellness goes beyond physical activity.

“I realized early on that I was struggling with the lack of social interaction I was having due to COVID-19 and social distancing,” said Bond. “I’ve made it a point to reach out regularly to family and friends and find ways to make these connections, even if they look a bit different than they did before. COVID-19 made me realize just how important these connections are for my social and emotional well-being.”

For more articles like this, visit Health and Wellness.

*Wise & Well is a monthly wellness series highlighting BCBSNE employees and their dedication to health and wellness.