Like many of us, Louise Smith was forced to make lifestyle changes in lieu of the pandemic. What she learned during those months would forever alter her perspective on how to manage work and life. Luckily for ARM and her team, she began to incorporate everything she’s learned about mental awareness into the billion-dollar tech company.
As a Change Specialist overseeing business solutions, she says the challenges of multiple lockdowns helped her put well-being and self-care into perspective. Fortunately for professionals, a similar trend of wellness is emerging. Corporations adopted different wellness programs to help support employees who were feeling under pressure. Investing in corporate wellness does not just benefit employees but also employers. Productivity increases, absenteeism decreases, and total medical costs decrease.
Smith discusses some of the lifestyle changes she implemented in order to create a genuine work-life balance.
BYP: How did your wellness journey begin?
Smith: Reality being, the mind remembers activities, but my body, having been stuck in the same chair, same position, day in day out for months, needed to get back up to speed. Instead of being kind to myself and going slow, I was trying to add yet another set of tasks and unrealistic expectations for myself.
BYP: What did you do to make a mental and physical change?
Smith: It took close friends and family calling [me] out for me to realize all my focus and effort was going into pretty much everything else…. except me. So, I started blocking out time in my day for me.
I was looking for an exercise to help build strength and stretch out my body from being hunched over my desk all the time. Also looking for something that would help calm my mind. A real help to me on this was picking up Yoga.
BYP: Are there any other changes you made?
Smith: I began to re-explore old hobbies like playing the piano. I also dug out my old flute and did cross stitching and embroidery.
By doing these activities, or just taking a break, I felt my happiness and creativity rising. I feel stronger and calmer, able to focus more and tackle challenges as they arise without feeling so overwhelmed or burnt out. I’ve been able to support my friends and family more and bring this newfound creativity to my work.
BYP: What is the importance of wellness?
Smith: Self-care, I think, is a key part of wellbeing but too often gets overlooked or forgotten amidst all our other life pressures and commitments. But no matter what’s going on, it’s vital that we take time to look after ourselves, ask for the help we need, and prioritize time for ourselves.
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