Stand Up!

Hi Dr. Jim,
I hadn’t anticipated how totally stationary I would be while working from home. My back hurts and I gained weight. It’s taking a toll on my motivation. Help!
-Jean-Claude*

 

Jean-Claude, I’m with ya!
When I start working on the computer I can just slump into working and blinking and not get up. Here’s what I try to do. I set a goal of what I want to accomplish month-to-month, in terms of some kind of exercise, and try to reach 80-90% of that.

The next thing I do is every 35 minutes I stand up and get away from the computer for a short time. Also, when I get to the point where I feel like I’m not getting anywhere, I’m wasting my time, I just get up and go for a little trip around the house to snap out of it.

When we are working remotely we also start snacking on stuff. I have a chocolate bar in the fridge right now, I haven’t been eating it for the last two days because I gotta discipline myself. Discipline equals freedom equals health! Hang in there, get disciplined, have a good time.
– Dr. Jim

*names have been changed

Get Out There, Keep Breathing

Dr. Jim,
I’m naturally an introvert, but lack of social interaction is affecting my mental energy and I don’t know what to do about it.
-Rishad*

 

Hi Rishad,
We’re finding that with a lot of people these days. We’ve been doing this for weeks now and even so called introverts can have a difficult time.

I recommend a couple things. At least once a day go out for a walk, even though you might still be doing that alone, getting out of your physical space can help.

Also, depending on where you are geographically, meet with someone once or twice a day within the allowed distance. You can have social closeness while physically distancing.

The other thing to try is connecting with a couple of friends, particularly in the evening, where you can have a chat and talk about whatever is going on, there is a lot going on in the world!

So, connect with others either in person, online or by phone, go for a walk, get out of you physical space, I think those are very useful things to do and can really bring your energy up.

Give it a shot, see how it works, and keep at it. This too shall pass, so get out there, keep breathing!
– Dr. Jim

 

*names have been changed

Give Yourself a Break

Dr. Jim,
The stress/anxiety I am feeling as a result of all the sudden changes due to COVID-19 is affecting my motivation to work. What should I do?
-Louise*

 

Hi Louise,
This reminds me, yesterday afternoon I was in the grocery store, and I got to the point that I was so frustrated I just wanted to lay down in the aisle like a 2 year-old having a temper tantrum. That’s part of what we are all experiencing these days.

About motivation, the number one thing to remember is take regular breaks throughout the day. Do not try to do everything at once or stay glued to your seat all day. You’ve got to take breaks, it’s really important.

Another thing that is really useful is calling one of your colleagues to have a conversation about your shared experience, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful. Or you might want to get everybody on team together on camera for a brief portion of the day so everyone can interact with each other as you would in the office. That can help with motivation and could add a little humour to the day, raising the levity of the team, which can be very helpful.
– Dr. Jim

 

*names have been changed