Remote working; How to avoid brain strain, energy drain and zoom gloom 
 
Have you wondered why, with less travel-time, less frustrations with public transport and/or parking issues, you feel fairly drained by the end of your working day? 
 
7 steps to stop brain strain below 
 
The overall impact of video calls and training has yet to be fully understood or studied but many of us can certainly feel it! Just organising a video call or being on one brings in a level of anxiety which is an energy sapper to begin with. 
 
Video calls require more focus and concentration than face-to–face meetings. We automatically work harder to process non-verbal clues like facial expressions, the tone and pitch of the voice as well as body language (difficult to judge on a screen). All these are essential for ease of comprehension. 
 
Managing the assimilation of information input combined with intense focus requires a lot more brain energy than before Lockdown. 
Many have said that the following 6 points are real benefits which they have gained from lockdown; which one is the odd one out? 
 
1. More family time 
2. Doing nothing and not feeling guilty 
3. No commuting 
4. Cleaner air (and clearer skies) 
5. Getting to know the neighbours 
6. Listening to the birds singing 
During the lockdown, we have all had time to reassess and re-prioritise. What will the "new normal" look like for you when you return to work?  
 
Join business thinkers and thought leaders as the share their impressions and views about getting back to work - 11 June, 12pm, free virtual event -  
 
 
Very often, the thing we fear and have to deal with turns out to be the best thing that ever happened but it is hard to see that at the time. 
 
 
When facing change, we naturally go into a state of “high alert” meaning that our fight/flight/freeze system is working overtime. When this happens we produce chemicals which stay in the body and can cause long term chronic illness like cancer, stroke and heart disease. 
 
The impact on the mind and body can be feelings of tension, feeling on edge and apprehensive, excessive worrying, panic and expectation of the worst outcomes.  
 
We become anxious. We have known for many years that these negative and fearful emotions produce illness. Follow the link to the study and list of potentially stressful situations involving change and the results we can expect to follow. 
It's easier than ever to be fired up, wired up and tired out. Video meetings are a lifesaver in many ways but also an energy zapper. There can't be many who aren't thankful for the video meeting platforms - what a brilliant tool for all of us! 
 
But many are beginning to feel "Zoom fatigue". The downside of this is impacting us as much as the furloughing, tragic statistics and everything else which is part of the current emotional mix. 
 
What to do to stop yourself from feeling totally drained by the end of the working day? 
 
 
Our lives will be easier all round – this was the claim during the initial take-up of the Internet. The fact of the matter is that we find ourselves in an increasingly complex, confusing, challenging and chaotic world. 
 
It’s true, a lot of the drudgery and monotonous chores have been replaced by AI and Apps. If you stop for one nanosecond to think about it, the advances are pretty amazing. Take book-keeping, we simply aim the phone camera at a receipt, click and immediately it populates our bank accounts and balances the books.  
 
Turn back the clock 30 years and entries were done mainly by hand, pen on paper, slow, time-consuming and boring. But there is a price. We have lost the buffer of time that our brains need. 
 
Our software programme is run by our emotions; it isn’t what we know, it is how we feel about what we know. 
 
One person's exciting challenge can be another's difficult ordeal. 
Peace and solitude for one may be a silent, lonely hell for another. 
 
Just like the computer, the hard drive becomes overused, overloaded and will wear out. The hard drive will always wear out eventually but how quickly depends on many variables like the brand, size, type, and environment in which is used. We are the same. 
 
Our “brand” - this could be our upbringing and values. 
Size and type could be measured by how many challenges we have had to face and overcome which has increased our resilience 
Environment is about how well we treat ourselves, paying attention to diet, rest, sleep as well as our mental, emotional and physical health. 
If you look around at the world, there is more dosh sloshing around than ever before. Governments can print additional funds when needed and millionaires are as common as muck compared to 2,604 billionaires in the world.  
 
So creativity depends on something else. What stops us, cramping creativity? Usually it is stress, pressures and worry. 
 
The brain evolved in 4 stages. The cerebral cortex, the part needed for executive reasoning, creativity, foresight and planning, is the last evolutionary development. The earlier, more primitive sections are collectively called "the reptilian brain". Part of our safety and ancient mechanism is a system to signal danger using the reptilian brain with the primary risk assessor, the amygdala. 
Building a career, a business, a family. Coping with everyday pressures and ocassional adversities- they all take their toll on our body. New research has been published recently which shows exactly what stress does to our brains.  
 
We all have an inner threshold of how much we can take before it impairs our judgement, productivity and function. This new research has also found that it actually can alter the structure of our brains. 
You can’t touch, smell, taste or see it but you can feel it – the moment you walk into any room, at work or home. A bad atmosphere; the palpable effects of negative and intense emotions; someone sitting in a cloud of silent fury and anger, a group of people smilingly on the defensive, or a couple with rigid rictus smiles together but not together. It can unnerve, unsettle and affect your decisions as well as your mood.  
 
You can catch it over the phone, it comes from all directions. For example, you hear from a client who is going through a trying time and offloads onto you. He ends the call feeling lighter and happier but you are left with a drained feeling as you have picked up and are carrying an unwelcome burden. 
 
This is especially trying if you work with someone who is always negative, complaining or just seems to be in a permanent bad mood. This can be exacerbated if your work revolves around people going through challenging times. I find that solicitors and barristers in the family law area can often be affected with difficult and harrowing cases; not so easy then to protect your attitude and emotions. 
A new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers finds higher levels of stress are associated with lower odds of conception for women, but not for men. 
 
This study of almost 5,000 women trying for a baby found those who reported feeling the most pressure from commitments were 25% less likely to conceive. 
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