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Virtual coffee anyone?

As a keynote speaker, author and CEO of The Works Company, I understand the mounting pressures on women’s lives and why it is important to share our top tips and advice to support each other. I would love to hear from you, anytime, so please do feel free to get in touch!

We have been thrown into a virtual world, and forced to engage with our ‘video on’ for many a meeting. But have we actually enjoyed all the virtual coffee days with our friends, the wine tasting quiz nights and the duty-bound family calls or is the online socialising getting too much?

Since lockdown began, I have discovered I am more introverted than I realised. I have thrown myself into new projects, tidied up old ones and found the waste paper bin for the others, and it has been very cathartic. A few more weeks of this and I will be ready to face the world, organised and rested.

I needed this time; it has given me a time to stop, re-engage with my professional and personal life and I have discovered some new things about people and life. I have worked virtually on several projects about positive mindset, confidence-building workshops and mentoring. I even managed to work in Canada and Brighton (virtually, of course!) and found new opportunities.

Not so positive days

But what about those days when you wake up not feeling so positive and your energy levels are running low? What do you do? In between virtually hanging out with friends, working, managing the family or walking the dog, it can be difficult to maintain a routine and too easy to flop down in front of the telly with another take-away.

Without telling anyone how you should suck eggs, here are six things that I’ve found helpful to having a life away from the computer screen and a maintaining a positive and healthy mindset.

  1. Exercise every day before 9am. Starting the day with exercise leaves you invigorated and clear-headed and better focused on the day ahead. 
  2. A nightly fast of a minimum of 14 hours. During the week I eat my last meal by 6pm and don’t eat again until 10am the next day; I find the structure helpful. I also prefer to have my main meal at lunchtime and a light snack in the evening meal. It makes me feel more energised in the afternoon and less bloated at bedtime. 
  3. Walk out every day for two hours. I use the time it would usually take to get my daughter ready for school, into the car, to school and back again twice over. I find walking at the end of the day useful especially now with the light evenings. Listening to some nice music, walking by the river and sometimes calling friends makes it almost feel like a normal day.
  4. Switch off everything ‘worky’ by 7pm and find something else to do; cooking, gardening, walking, reading, knitting….whatever you enjoy. For those of us who have been working from home, it can be too easy not to make time for our hobbies and pastimes. 
  5. Have your quiz nights fortnightly! One week I found myself on four different virtual quiz nights, on top of my own work which is naturally online and Skyping with family. I don’t mind admitting I was a teeny bit stressed by it all. I had to take action; being virtual 24/7 does not appeal to me one tiny bit, not to mention the strain on my eyes. I already find I am reaching for my glasses more and more frequently!
  6. And finally enjoy some relaxing time at the weekends to be in your home as you would normally, whatever that means in your world. I enjoy having some treats at the weekend.

So, has the novelty of virtual coffees worn off? Are we bored with online socialising now and do we need it? I would say yes, I definitely need to spend time with my friends and family via the odd virtual catch up, but for now it will be on my terms, I have learnt that running around week in, week out, trying to fit everything in to please others is not constructive in my life, or the others in it.  

Written by Emma-Jane Taylor aka The Inspirational Mentor

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