RWL209:How to avoid isolation and stress

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Have you ever found yourself at the end of a workday feeling more like a robot than a person? I’ve been there – literally attached to my desk, ignoring the toll it was taking on my health. But I’ve since learned the power of regular breaks and self-care, and I want to share these game-changing strategies with you. I’ll share  my personal journey from burnout to balance and how a health-first perspective has supercharged my productivity.

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Speaker 1:

Hey, it's Alex, once again from the Remote Work Life podcast. I hope this finds you well, wherever you may be in the world, and thank you so much for joining me on the podcast. And today, once again if you haven't tuned in to these regular episodes that I'm doing to share a quick tip with you, related this time to prioritizing self-care and taking regular breaks to combat isolation and stress. And these tips that I'm sharing are based on my own experiences and based on experiences of people that I've either interviewed or met, and I hope they can help you. Some of these experiences, I guess, have been the most transformational things, or at least the things that have been transformational for me, in optimising my own experience whilst working on a remote basis, and more often than not, I'm working from home. So, although I've worked from other locations as well, remote work from home is the the preferred option for me at this particular point, um, although I do, as I said, work at other locations. So let's let's talk about prioritizing self-care and taking regular breaks to combat isolation and stress, and this is something that's familiar to me because, again, I perhaps used to be on the other side of things. I certainly prioritised work. You know work not to say that work is not important, but I think if you don't have your health and if you don't take care of yourself, then you probably are not going to be in a position to be effective at work or, in some cases, you may not be in a position to work at all. So looking after yourself is a priority. Certainly, your health is your priority and prioritizing self-care is something that should be at top of your list. As I said, I wasn't very good at it back in the day. I'm by no means perfect now. I need to still get better but I've taken steps and been deliberate about my self-care and taking regular breaks to combat isolation, and isolation was something that I really suffered with because I focused so heavily on work. I focused on getting things done. I would stay up till crazy times, I'd get up at crazy times and finish at crazy times in order to get work done without considering my own health, and I eventually uh burnt out. So, yeah, um, here are a few things that I would suggest, uh, that you could consider at least consider in implementing into your, your lifestyle if you're working on a remote basis, in order to improve that scenario.

Speaker 1:

So taking breaks breaks are very important. They've been very important. They are very important to me and I would recommend actually scheduling, scheduling in regular breaks. Put those breaks into your calendar so you can see them, so your team can see them, so people who are close to you can see when you, when you're on a break. It's not very nice when you're on a break and somebody who can see your calendar knows you're on a break. Then you know, calls you on. It calls you while you're on your break, but at least if it's, if it's in the calendar, they can see it and hopefully they won't call you while you're on your break. So scheduling those regular breaks in um, but also it can remind you as well, it's a good reminder for you just to get up and do something that's not related to work. That could be, I don't know, stretching, it could be taking a brief walk, it could be reducing physical strain and improve it. Can it can help to reduce that physical strain and improve your focus.

Speaker 1:

There was a point again where you know I wouldn't have, you know I didn't necessarily have the number of breaks that I needed and affected, for example, my, my back, I, I don't have the best back, but um, just put it mildly, but if, if I don't walk around, if I, if I sit down the whole day, I definitely exacerbate any issues that I have with my back. So taking wellness breaks is definitely something that I I do and I need to do. What other things? So incorporating self-care things into your daily routine Again it's related to wellness breaks, but doing things like exercise, doing things like engaging in hobbies. So there are times when, for example, I'm on my break and I might just play my electronic drum kit, for example. It just takes my mind away from work and when I come back to my desk I'm refocused and ready to go again. So you may have your hobbies as well, that you've perhaps put by the wayside. Maybe it's time to reinvigorate or to reintroduce those hobbies to your sort, your daily routines.

Speaker 1:

That's number two. Number three social connection. So the rumour is that remote workers, especially people who work from home, don't speak to anybody outside of their house. They stay in all day. They don't have any interaction with anyone apart from people on those video calls. That rumour is well, for my part, it's a false allegation. And you know, for me social connection is one of the most important elements of remote work, and that connection is not just virtually, but it's also meeting people, uh, physically, you know, being able to see people touch people as well. So, and that can help to um to, to remedy and help you with your self-care and, uh, help you with if you are feeling, and help you with if you are feeling isolated or stressed for any reason. Social connection is so important. Stay connected with friends, with family, with colleagues, to combat feelings of isolation. It can be done through, as I said, virtual socialising or in person meetups when possible. You can even meet with your team as well. You can even have those away days that so many other remote teams have. So that's number three.

Speaker 1:

Number four is, yeah, eating, because eating can, in a way, force you to have a break. It forces you to do something that's different to work. I mean, don't get into the habit of taking your food with you and sitting at your computer and trying to work while you're eating, because that just sort of defeats the whole purpose of prioritising self-care and taking regular breaks, doesn't it? So don't take your food with you to your desk, have it in a separate place and enjoy it. So that's number four. And then number five, it's wellness resources, so utilising wellness resources and support services to combat stress and isolation. You might tap into counselling, mental health resources. You may have a mental health buddy on your team or within your business. There may be educational materials that either you can find online or the business that you work with can provide things on stress management, on resilience, all those different types of things.

Speaker 1:

So what I'm saying here is, when you talk about prioritising self-care, what I'm saying here is when you talk about prioritizing self-care and taking regular breaks to combat isolation, think about all the resources at your disposal.

Speaker 1:

Think about all the things that you can do and use the resources that you find most interesting and relevant to you and put them, apply them to your schedule, apply them to your schedule, apply them to your situation and hopefully I'm hoping that that will help you to turn things around, because prioritising self-care and taking regular breaks can combat isolation. It can reduce stress, I believe, and significantly improve your overall well-being. Hope that's been helpful to you today. If it has, please consider sharing with somebody who you feel may benefit from hearing this, and I just want to say thank you for tuning in today. I'd encourage you to reflect on your own circumstances where prioritising self-care is concerned and take action today. By all means, reach out to me and on LinkedIn if you have any questions about the podcast or if you have any suggestions for guests or any podcast episodes, and I wish you all the best.

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