When we’re working remotely or transitioning into hybrid working, remembering to implement exercise and healthy habits into our everyday life is even more difficult than under normal circumstances. If anything, we’ve probably become even less active during lockdown, since commutes or walks in between meetings are not part of our workday anymore.
What is mindfulness? Mindfulness is the idea of learning how to be fully present and engaged in the moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction or judgment (Headspace).
Being mindful means to bring the body and the mind together in the now. Practicing mindfulness helps us anchor ourselves by actively directing our thoughts, instead of letting our mind run wild. But that doesn’t mean that we should force ourselves to stop our thoughts. After all, the nature of the mind is to produce them! Mindfulness is more about bringing ourselves back to the present, when we get distracted and overwhelmed by our thoughts and feelings.
When we first moved to remote working over a year ago, video conferencing apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or WebEx seemed like the perfect solution to all our communication issues. At the start of the pandemic, we even used them extensively after working hours. Remember Zoom quiz nights in lockdown number one? After a year of COVID lockdowns, our excitement about these virtual meet ups with friends and family has dropped. We might even experience a slight sense of dread just reading about yet another Zoom call.
Every day, we are faced with different challenges in the workplace, perhaps a difficult meeting, or a taxing task that we have tried to put off for as long as possible. As we outlined in last week’s article on Energy Management Habit 1: Managing Your Mindset, this is heightened by the ongoing pandemic and our unconscious’ preoccupation with the threat that COVID-19 poses to our physical wellbeing. Stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are continuously released into our blood stream, triggering an amygdala hijack (the body’s fight-or-flight response). From an evolutionary standpoint, our amygdala has thus evolved into our internal alarm system.
Humans are creatures of habit. It’s been over a year since COVID-19 became an all-encompassing threat to our health and wellbeing, and working online has become our new normal. Where we were alert and careful at the beginning of the pandemic, we now view the virus as part of everyday life—a dangerous development, which Bloomberg identifies as the new “COVID Challenge” that we face. The virus might not constantly be at the forefront of our minds. Our bodies and our unconscious, however, are in a state of continued alarm.
Burnout is the state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity according to a recent blog from Jay Chopra, PhD, co-founder and Managing Director of Making Shift Happen and a Herrmann Master Certified Facilitator. We've all felt it, whether it from the extended length of this pandemic or the social conflicts being seen within the communities of many cities and towns across the country and world. We are finding small personal wins but at what toll to our wellbeing.
Remote businesses and teams have long faced the challenge of communicating effectively.
The common perception is that diversity and inclusion is an HR prerogative. But that’s not true.
As a woman leader, business owner, and student of the brain and leadership for the last several decades, I believe it is time for us to change the conversation and mindset about women in the workplace. As G.D. Anderson said, “Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.”
In the spirit of this year’s International Women's Day theme of #ChooseToChallenge, here are 4 areas we should all challenge ourselves to change perceptions.
We are thrilled to participate in the CEO Action Day of Understanding again this year, during which organizations encourage their teams to have discussions to further understand and embrace their differences and work to educate their people to build more inclusive cultures. As your prepare for this year's event, here are a few learnings to keep in mind.