Twelve months ago businesses across the country switched the big light off whilst we got busy with pandemic work from home procedures. It isn’t easy to turn the routines of a whole career on their head. Although perks include emailing in your pyjamas and not having to force small talk in the office kitchenette, the reality for many isn’t so much working from home as living at work. Global anxieties and social isolation were channelled into our disrupted work patterns impacting mood, productivity and motivation. Government statistics estimate 1 in 5 UK adults have suffered from depression during 2020, doubling the previous years’ figures.
As the creative industry I have the pain and pleasure of existing within took a massive blow, so did my mental health. Twenty steps from bed to newly assembled desk felt like a twenty-mile stretch. Missing fast-paced across office planning and regular travel days, new methods of adapting to a brave new world were needed. Searching for anxiety relief and better concentration, I found CBD Oil frequently at the top of recommendations. Having an old friend in CBD’s less legal sister, I decided to dive into daily CBD seeking to improve my mindset.
With the support of the no-nonsense leafie CBD guide, I opted to introduce Power Flower’s 5% Full Spectrum Extract twice a day to my routine and keep a record of the effects on my work from home life.
Day 1 – Monday
I am not a morning person. After an essential morning coffee, I pipette 4 drops of CBD oil under my tongue ready for a 10am start. First up a regular team meeting, where project updates and actions come thick and fast. I feel the cogs turning a little faster as my brain gets orientated. A usual temptation to neck caffeinated drinks until it forces me to focus has subsided. Instead, I’m feeling at ease with the task list and get on making a chart in pretty colours.
Day 2 – Tuesday
I mentioned I’m not a morning person. A big reason for this is bedtime overthinking, I’m a bedside notebook to exorcise demons and sleep meditation playlist type of insomniac. So imagine my delight when, after my evening dose of CBD, I drifted off without a self soothing routine. I greet Tuesday with a full night sleep and prepare for a day of online meetings. Despite the innate awkwardness of web conferencing, the conversations flow. A quick google finds CBD usage has shown improvement in anxiety for 79% of test subjects and improved sleep for 66%. Can’t say I’m surprised by the stats, only the speediness of the results.
Day 3 – Wednesday
Sod’s law, in the week when I’m trialling CBD’s effectiveness at supporting work from home, I’m asked to run an errand to the office. For me, a side effect of following BoJo’s stay at home instructions is worrying about leaving the house, even though I know full well it’s good for me. I’m staring out of the window after four CBD drops and a coffee feeling on edge. After taking a deep breath and putting my big girl mask on, the great outdoors are gradually more appealing. By the time I’m ready to head out the door, the oil is in action. I’m reminded that this method doesn’t offer immediate effects like vaping does, and timing drops 30-60 minutes ahead of anxiety inducing tasks will be helpful in future.
Day 4 – Thursday
Let’s talk about actual work shall we? You know, balancing priorities across multiple projects, daily emails, intense meetings and elegantly formulated spreadsheets. In my job, compartilisation is often made easier by changing locations and cross-collaboration. Sitting alone all day is at odds with the kind of projects we make and concentration can easily wear when working toward an idea rather than a guaranteed outcome. Whilst planning around shifting tiers, R-rates and the rest, I’ve struggled sometimes to keep focus on pushing things forward. By the Thursday of my CBD oil odyssey, I’m listing achievable targets in the morning and finding I’ve ticked the majority off by the afternoon.
Day 5 – Friday
During lockdown it’s been challenging to access the calm and collected mindset needed to function at our best, so it’s a small triumph when I recognise a tangible grasp of the hard graft put in this week and feel proud of myself. Motivation comes in many forms, and being able to take a step back and acknowledge your efforts is a necessity I’ve missed.
The most profound impact I’ve found during this week is in my attitude. At the start of this process, being able to manage negative emotions with proper perspective rather than letting worries escalate was something I’d associate more readily with CBT than CBD. By Friday, it’s impossible to deny that four drops of Power Flower in the morning has helped alleviate nervous energy and the evening doses aided nights of sweet sweet sleep.
A 2004 study suggested that CBD engages with vital metabolic functions that promote healthy sleep-wake cycles. Although the study insists more thorough research is needed, and I couldn’t agree more considering the product development undertaken since then, my personal experience was an obvious relationship between cannabidiol and ability to focus. Whether this was related to dopamine release and my hypothalamus like the study postulates, or secondary results born of better sleep and less anxiety, I’m just grateful to not dread the unread messages appearing in my inbox.
What’s abundantly clear is using full spectrum CBD oil coincided with recognisable change in my work patterns, motivation and stress levels pretty much right away. Increased productivity improved my mood, or is it my improved mood that increased productivity? Either way, I’m doing better than I was last week. As we all share a sigh of relief at the recently released Government-approved pathway back to partying, I’m moving forward with regular CBD dosage, optimistic it’ll make getting back to reality feel as manageable as it did these now all too familiar unprecedented times.