The rapid shift to remote working, digital meetings and new daily routines was something no employer saw coming. While businesses did their best to adapt to these sudden changes and new norms, employees also dealt with rearranging their lives and creating a new work/life balance. “To date, 69% of employees say they are burned out as a result of working from home since the pandemic started.”
Understanding that the company’s health relies on your employees’ health is key to navigating these new ways of working successfully. We asked 9 of our Wello/Inliv employees how they navigate their days to avoid burnout.
While lying in bed, I start each day thinking about 2-3 things I am grateful for, abundance and health – yoga breathing. With the beautiful weather, Michael (my husband) and I have coffee on our patio before starting our day. We are trying to stay safe, so we are not seeing too many people, but if I do — instead of coffee or food, I ask friends to walk, hike, bike, or sometimes virtual yoga (so we are still doing something together). Virtual yoga has been helpful because I’m close to my sister, who lives in the COVID hotspot – Scottsdale, and this has allowed us to keep in contact during this period.
I try and schedule non-business chats with colleagues to catch up and have virtual hangouts. During my breaks, I’ll play with my dog and usually go for a walk after work to reset my brain/get some sun.
I wake up at 530am drink a glass of water, hit a 45 min yoga session followed by 30 min meditation (I try to do this outside). Then I make my son’s breakfast and wake him up for daycare. He and I bike to his daycare for drop off at 8 am. When I get home, I pull out the juicer and make my wife and I a unique blend of whatever is available lol. At about 8:30 am, I get started on my day at work. Usually, around 11:45, I head outside for a walk and short breathing exercise I like to do on a bench overlooking the water (people passing look at me funny but that’s cool).
Then its lunchtime!
While working from home, I make sure to have healthy food options to snack on and include one “treat” that I wouldn’t normally eat. (Like a cupcake every Wednesday) I wear “gym clothes” when not on zoom with patients. Wearing comfortable clothing allowed me to do better stretches in between longer client calls. It also allowed me to be able to use my full lunch hour to do something active. At lunch, I usually bike, rollerblade or do “urban hikes” in the wooded area near my place. It helped me to get out and clear my mind. It also improved my mood and gave me the energy to last me the rest of the day.
I make sure to exercise every day – I was a competitive swimmer for 15 years, and I find that if I don’t exercise daily, my anxiety increases, and I don’t feel like myself. I use the Peloton App daily to switch up my workouts from spin classes to strength classes, running, yoga and meditation. During quarantine, most of my activities have been in my living room as I don’t feel comfortable returning to work out studios in the city yet. I also have a separate bedroom in my condo, which I use as an office. At the end of the day, I make sure to close the door to ensure I can mentally and physically separate from my workspace. Making sure to schedule time with friends – now that we can expand our “bubble” spending time with my close friends and family has helped separate work from my day to day life.
Establishing a weekly routine has helped me control and anticipate burnouts. I look forward to simple things that allow me to disconnect from work and recharge my batteries. Every day after work, I go for a long walk with my dog to organize my thoughts. Before going to bed, I listen to a TED talk and then meditate for 15 minutes. Tuesdays, I call my family or friends to check-in and get some positive energy. Wednesday nights, I go to (or order from) new restaurants. Trying new food is one of my favorite things to do. Thursday nights, I go out and get drinks with friends. Friday mornings are for a sweet pastry at my favorite bakery. And weekends are for hikes (or swim!) in the mountains.
One thing that helps me disconnect is to leave my phone at home whenever I can. Disconnecting allows me to truly listen and focus my attention on my friends, family, dog, or food on my plate! Disconnecting wasn’t easy at first, but it truly changed the way I enjoy the present. Sometimes, it also happens that my weekly routine isn’t enough, and I still feel overwhelmed. So, I take a self-care day to meditate, go for a yoga class or a mindfulness session.
The most important is to try and be pleased with small wins – not to let negative thoughts ruin an entire day.
I started mountain biking more and making time for that twice a week with friends. It’s still socially distanced but something to regularly look forward to, get the heart rate up and work hard on improving. Having things in your life that you are still working towards, something you’re improving upon or developing, are essential in avoiding burnout.
Shut off for 30 minutes after work every day – no work, no tasks, just take 30 minutes to read or catch up with friends and family before beginning the rest of my night
Turn off all notifications after work to forget about work when I’m not “at the office”.
I would say #1. I have tried to stick to my routine when I was working as best as possible. I found when COVID first hit, it was so easy to keep working late into the night or wake up early and start working right away. I found this was causing me to burnout, so I have tried to stick to the same hours as before COVID and have muted all notifications after I am done working for the day.
#2 I started meditating. Meditating was on my “to-do” list for a long time, and now, without the morning commute, I have taken that time to meditate instead. I have found this has allowed me to be more present at work and sleep better at night. I would recommend this to anyone looking to get a better pulse on their mental health.
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