November 19, 2020

In our marketing meeting today, some people expressed feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed, so we took some time to talk about self-care. In today’s climate and working remotely, there are different stresses than if were in the office – in addition to COVID-19, the election, the state of work, there is also the oncoming holidays which can be hard for some.

Where we work, we have a life-forward culture, but we are also under a lot of stress; so, we discussed some suggestions on how to cope (there are experts who work on these things that you can read up on, and I encourage people to add to this list for more advice. Here are some of the things we talked about:

Take of your body
• Remember to not be hangry, dehydrated or tired – meaning if you feel short or are run down, ask yourself, did I eat? Did I drink? Did I sleep?
• Make sure you get fresh air
• Get Vitamin D by getting sunlight
• Stretch and get exercise

Take care of your mind
• Take breaks, it is easy to work through the whole day and forget to take a breath or come up for air.
o Actually take lunch away from the computer and your work desk
o Take actual breaks every couple of hours, also away from your work
• Intentionally Disconnect – that means no phone, or screen, or Apple watch – as a different kind of break for at least 5 minutes in a day (see “Breathe like a Seal” below)

Remember to be people
• Connect with people – we are not automatons, it is easy to be all business on Zoom and conference calls
o We don’t have the ability to chit-chat as much anymore whether in halls or at lunch so we are created a new norm:
 After a Zoom call, if there no pre-arranged use of the call or there is not another Zoom abutting the call, anyone who wants to chit chat after should just stay on and get some people time
• Learn about other people, in just one session we learned that two people are car buffs, two others are philosophy people, three like Avatar the Last Airbender, one likes cross stitch, two write music
• Take care of each other – In the end we are all people with our own stories and crosses to bear. We may not be able to step in another person’s shoes and see from their perspective all the time but if we understand the everyone has something going on, we may be better able to appreciate each other and forgive transgressions.

Tame your stress
• Breathe like a Seal – Box Breathing –
o In your 5 minutes of disconnect, or if you are feeling overwhelmed or overworked, consider box breathing, a very fast way to bring down stress
• Get some exercise – if it is a one-on-one call that does not require a computer, consider taking a walking call
• Take a hot shower or bath and get away
• Compartmentalize

Feed your soul
• Find or rediscover something that feeds your soul outside of work and give it some attention
• Engage or re-engage your hobbies that have a sense of completion and accomplishment
• Have something to look forward to like a vacation, or a package coming, or a date
• Give praise and encouragement to others in order to get some of your own

Allow and Appreciate
• It is okay to vent and be frustrated – just don’t stay there, have a thought toward resolution at the end of your venting
• Practice gratitude and perspective by remembering what you are thankful for
• Have someone you can talk to about how both unhappy and happy you are. If you are the listener encourage the end of the conversation to be something positive like practicing gratitude and perspective

This was not meant to be comprehensive nor expert by any means, but it helped me today helping my team and I wanted to share with others. Thank you.