Ultimate Guide to Remote Work, and a Bit of Cannabis

Image by: Terre di Cannabis

I can tell you from life experience, working from home has its stresses. It’s the distractions that can throw you off, and this current climate of covid pandemic doesn’t make life easier.

This helpful guide is meant as an early glimpse into a book that I am writing about cannabis and health. If you are curious about cannabis — especially as a cannabis user — you’re in for a treat. You’re going to learn in a nutshell what most doctors and people who know about cannabis don’t know.

I can remember watching the George Floyd video over and over again, then realizing that I was experiencing my own version of PTSD, as a racial trauma that is experienced by millions of people around the world. At this moment, after months of forgetting, you remember breathing as an exercise is what saves you the most.

This blog post is here to give you a guide for how to survive the long days at home and enjoy your cannabis. In a very real way, if you don’t take self-care of yourself, you could land in trouble if no one is there to see you. And when it comes to life, no matter how much you prepare, sometimes it’s not enough.

When it comes to remote work and working with others who are remote, the key is to keep your lines of communication open. When you work from home and use cannabis daily, you want to be sure you’re doing things right and as healthy as possible.

Working from home is nothing new. We as a society were destined to move towards more of it. We’re even finding that staying at home means less colds or flus picked up from going to work (and more divorces and family abuses too). If you get things in order, working at home can be a paradise. Well, maybe a boring paradise of long hours, birds chirping by a window, and being alone looking at a computer screen.

10 Ways to Keep Focused

One of the big problems of working remotely has to do with mental health. Anxiety and depression are possible when people are uncomfortable being alone or cabin fever. Here are my top recommendations for cannabis-lovers who work from home:

1. Exercise is necessary

Mental health affects all of us in our own ways, some dealing with problems better than others. But no matter how much you try, all sorts of experiences or feels can bubble up when you’re forced to face them. You need to find a way to release this stress and tension.

Your body produces chemicals that are very much like cannabis, which gets used when you burn your body fat during aerobic exercise. So it goes without saying, whether you are at home or outside, you need to exercise.

I try to fit in a Friday or Sunday morning stretch and total body break. We all know exercise is good for us. If you’re hard hit trying to figure out what exercises to do, there are plenty of videos on Youtube for home-exercises and advice on running (the cheapest exercise to do aside from walking).

2. Know thyself

People can tell a lot about us by our non-verbal communication. Covid-19 has increased the number of people with symptoms of anxiety and depression. The key is to be aware of how you feel.

Cannabis is seen as helpful for reducing anxiety and depression, bringing a sense of calm and contemplation. So why not, enjoy it. But too much, too often can lead away from it helping and more to it just being another activity.

If you are using cannabis to help with your anxiety or depression, then know how you feel and recognize that cannabis is helping with those steps. This means recognizing that cannabis is a tool and only you can change things.

3. Create a sense of community

One of the hardest parts of remote work is not talking to anyone. For this, I recommend you begin to create the community you want. Begin to reconnect with your network, maybe a high school friend would like to ‘hello’. This could mean reaching out to people through LinkedIn or Facebook.

Be a friend and reach out to family and friends. If there’s a hierarchy of communication, it’s seeing people face-to-face. If you can’t see each other using some video chat tools (e.g. Facebook video chat, Skype, Google Hangout, or Zoom — all free), then make sure you at least can pick up a phone.

You’d be surprised at how much bigger your world feels when add a few more people into your routine of saying ‘hello.’ Not only do they really need it, you reward is a friendship that goes into the future and new stories you can tell.

4. Get some sun (or supplements)

Vitamin D will reduce your chances of getting respiratory infections, a common symptom of COVID-19.

A study published in The Lancet medical journal found those with less vitamin D had more severe outcomes from COVID-19. Vitamin D2 can be easily found in health supplements from plant-based sources, but it is the vitamin D3 that your skin absorbs under the sun that can make a huge difference.

It turns out there is little benefit for people over 70 in taking higher dose vitamin D supplements, it doesn’t do anything more to improve bone strength. But then when it comes to sunlight, vitamin D in natural sunlight offers positive effects to your bones in ways supplements can’t. Vitamin D.

Of course, you should also know that having too much Vitamin D through supplements will also cause calcium to deposit in your blood vessels, causing problems for blood flow. The best thing you can do is to take Vitamin K2 along with Vitamin D3 (combined in a single capsule), since together they promote bone and heart strength.

5. Keep a regular schedule

This means waking up and sleeping at regular times (whatever it takes to get your hours of sleep and hours of work).

In your regular at-home workday, don’t forget to include break times. I usually work between 10 am to about 4 pm, and do all my own stuff in the mornings and evenings. This also includes keeping a regular time for when you consume cannabis.

I schedule breaks every time that I finish a part of my work, stretch my arms and legs for a short walk to the kitchen for water, and then after 15 minutes (maybe take a vape puff) get back to the next thing.

Between the tasks you set for yourself to keep on a schedule, it’s all too easy to get distracted with a telephone call that goes on too long. Sure, Mom is special. So is your buddy on his drive to work, who just want to talk to a friend. All good things, but we need boundaries.

Some people consume cannabis only after meals, for example. After a while, the problem becomes when you increase your tolerance. You can choose to microdose, take tolerance breaks, or simply enjoy cannabis until the sunsets — I would not recommend the latter option since you will miss deadlines and fall asleep sometimes.

6. Have a Project Management Setup

This means having all of your tech tools for your work-desk and communication ready. Here are some tools you might want to have set up:

Office Tools: Google-Suite hosts an email platform, cloud storage, document creation (like Microsoft Office but offers more online collaborative space), and calendars that allow for collaborative activities across teams.

Communications: Slack is an instant messenger platform that bringing questions and brainstorms as a group conversation.

Video meetings: Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype, and GoToMeeting are available.

Manage Projects: Asana can help with organizing all of your projects by team members, topics, due dates, and subtasks. Trello and Sunsama are great for receiving a daily update from each team member.

7. Limit news media but stay informed

Some people (myself included) feel traumatized seeing videos of men dying. Radio talk show personality Charlemagne Tha God is one example of a strong advocate for Black Lives Matter who refuses to see these images. PTSD is a recognized issue that cannabis is helping people with. Stay informed on the latest updates from reliable sources, yet be aware that continuous exposure to news and social media can trigger or elevate anxiety, stress, or panic.

Stay informed by following a few, authoritative resources, but limit your media consumption.

8. Consider free online courses

This year of COVID-19 is a terrible year. No good can be said about this time. However, generations before ours endured hardships and became empowered by their difficult experiences. We can do the same. This could your time to learn something new about yourself or the world.

Are you interested in learning more about cannabis? I am recommending this free cannabis online courses without properly checking it out — but it looks pretty good. Coursera also offers a course on medical cannabis from the University of Colorado, which I would also highly recommend.

9. Distract the mind and be creative

It’s back to exercising, sort of.

Your mind needs something to focus, when you’re free and everything is silent. In being high and having this free time, you might discover a hidden talent or idea waiting to come forth.

How about writing, reading, artwork, cooking, or new exercises. Sometimes a walk listening to a favorite podcast or catchy tune is the best thing you need to get you out of a groove.

10. Learn to Breath

Believe it or not, breathing during times of extreme stress can bring you back from having a bad day. This might be as simple as counting to 10 slowly when you need to come back down.

We all know having the combination of a Covid-19 pandemic and news for social justice can exacerbate our anxiety, which many of us feel every day. This daily and cumulative stress is interfering with our ability to do our best work. But with the right breathing, you can handle stress and negative emotions a lot better.

In a study with veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who struggled with trauma, a study found that breathing meditation reduced anxiety levels after just one week and continued to benefits a full year later while practicing.

So what makes breathing so effective? When we’re stressed, our prefrontal cortex — the part responsible for problem-solving — is impaired, so logic your words come our mangled when you lose control. But if you take a moment to take a few breathes, it is possible to regain some mastery over your mind.

Research shows that different emotions are associated with different forms of breathing, and so changing how we breathe can change how we feel. Changing the rhythm of your breath is a signal to your heart to slow down and relax your parasympathetic nervous system to calm down.

To learn more about meditation and breathing, check out this Youtube video.

Little Secret

The little secret is that you are still going to have bad days. Boredom and distractions are always possible. Without regular contact with your remote managers or team, it’s easy to feel a lack of focus or shared goals.

On any given day, if a situation changes a plan, you might just stop working. It might have nothing to do with work, but a family or friend argument by phone. For times like that, you’ll need to have an honest conversation with your friend who said something hurtful. Or it could be that you have an injury, and you need to make an appointment with a doctor to get it checked out.

Some things are simply outside our control. In this case, it’s wise to embrace a mediation approach to “stress.” If you can strengthen your capacity to withstand difficult emotions in your fight against anxiety or depression (or simply keeping productive after a distraction), then you win. If you feel yourself experiencing a distressing emotion, consider taking a short walk, taking 10 slow breaths, or listening to your favorite song. You are not alone.

Mental health isn’t something that we easily talk about. But thankfully, perhaps this pandemic will make this conversation easier to have. If you need help, know there are compassionate people you can talk to. First and foremost, practice self-care and work with those who can help you.

The coronavirus reminds us that we are all connected, even if it does not feel like it. The months that induce depression and anxiety will affect us each in our own ways. How we find kindness with each other is how we will navigate these rough waters to avoid the storms ahead.

If you need help, talk to people in your support network. Anyone experiencing mental health issues at this time should speak to friends or family members they trust. You are not alone.

In a work context, if you have a problem, talk to your manager or someone involved in human resources. If you need, talk to a trusted colleague. You can talk to them about your needs, if you want to make changes to your work schedule or activities.

The company you work for has a duty of care to take care of its employees.

Links to Additional Helpful and Reliable Resources

Hope for Wellness Help Line: 1–855–242–3310

About the author

Milton lives in Montreal and works at Consult & Grow, a cannabis consulting firm with expertise in GMP-compliant building design and completing the licensing application process for those who want to enter the cannabis industry. Milton has a masters in public administration and business degree. He wrote a bestseller Retail Cannabis Handbook and is currently completing his second book, High Performance: Cannabis and Health.This is part of a related series.

Milton works with Coverleaf, a cannabis clinic based in Montreal. If you live in Canada, you can access medical cannabis through a video-conference with a doctor. If you have questions about medical cannabis, contact Coverleaf at info@coverleaf.ca.

Milton can be reached at https://www.linkedin.com/in/miltonwani/

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Milton The Great

Milton The Great

Milton Wani lives in Montreal and has worked in studying medical cannabis and the business side of the industry.