by Jess K November 19, 2020
In our most recent blog post, we shared tips for creating a cozy atmosphere in your home as a way of ringing in and enjoying the fall season. However, as many of us are spending most of our time indoors, we know that it can be difficult to draw the line between our pleasure and our to-do lists; to figure out how to set boundaries while working from home. The transitions were abrupt: afternoons in the office or co-working space replaced by Zoom calls on the couch. For those living alone, the closest thing to a coworker might just be your next door neighbour. The morning commute has been shortened from bed to desk. As we approach wintertime, it may become harder to prevent our work from overlapping with our care practices as we continue to adjust but we’re here to chat about the importance of putting our boundaries into practice as a way of preserving and uplifting general health and mental well-being.
DRAW STRICT LINES
In conversation with Brené Brown, sisters and co-authors Emily and Amelia Nagoski shared Herbert Freudenberger’s definition of burnout circa 1975: “The three components of burnout are emotional exhaustion, decreased sense of accomplishment and depersonalization.” It is an alarming state to be in (like many, I learned about burnout the hard way – through excruciating first hand experience) but by setting the right boundaries, we can begin the journey of striking a balance between our outer worlds in an effort to maintain emotional wellness. If this topic feels new to you, I would highly recommend diving into this honest and eye-opening conversation as they share their extensive research on the biological stress cycle while offering methods of returning to a state of relaxation.
All of this is to say that giving yourself space to breathe can help you recharge and properly evaluate your needs. It’s a surefire way to realign with caring for yourself, especially when things get overwhelming. Here are a few examples on how to begin:
Photo courtesy of Lori Roberts of Little Truths Studio
LEAD WITH COMPASSION
Are you running on empty? When your attention is scattered and poured into deadlines and seemingly endless to-do lists, it can be hard to remember to congratulate yourself. To zoom out and look at the bigger picture, and realize how good of a job you are doing by simply showing up for your responsibilities. Here are some ways to shift your foundational thinking to allow for self-compassion and time that is sacred and carved out for your benefit and enjoyment:
Photo courtesy of Headspace
LEARN FROM THE EXPERTS
Similar to the Nagoski sisters, there are many people who are coming forward to open up conversation around the importance of emotional wellness, especially within the context of hyper-productivity. Here are a few easy access pathways to those who are skipping the small talk to get deep:
And you don’t have to travel too far outside of your comfort zone or means to get some professional insight. Talking to your medical practitioner about stress management can unlock many doors, especially since it manifests in the body in so many ways. The idea of self-love floats around so easily but once you dig into the science side of it all, it becomes clear that it is extremely important to talk about.
Photo courtesy of Chronicle Books
REACH OUT FOR AFFIRMATION
It can be difficult to affirm yourself when things get tough but sometimes, a familiar face with an open and patient heart is all we need to remind us to slow down and do the work of loving ourselves. It is easy to spiral and ask yourself questions like: am I doing enough? Should I even be complaining? Do I deserve time to myself? Don’t be afraid to turn to a trusted friend to open up a dialogue about how you’ve been feeling. Or, bond over your self-love practices and encourage one another to stay consistent with the practices that keep you grounded. In the spirit of self-compassion, show gratitude to your mind, body and spirit in tangible ways and pass on the reminder to someone else who may need it during these tumultuous times.
Photo courtesy of @subliming.jpg
How are you taking care of yourself these days? We would love to hear your self-love tactics and chosen methods of slowing down, grounding and managing the influx of responsibility while working from home.
Jess is a pug-loving Toronto based writer, currently studying English literature. She joined the Scout team last August and enjoys spending time learning about how different artists and makers express themselves through their unique crafts.
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