Forgotten How to be Social at Work?

As the pandemic morphs into an endemic, many remote workers are being asked to return to the office — some are less excited about it than others. In this episode of My Crazy Office, Kathi and Katherine ask the question, “Have you forgotten how to be social at work?” If so, here’s what you can do about it.

Permission To Rest: My Crazy Office Overtime, Season 8

Kathi and Katherine talk about permission to rest on this week’s My Crazy Office Overtime show.

How can you give yourself permission to rest and what are its benefits?

Listen to this week’s podcast here.

Stress Management Strategies: My Crazy Office Overtime, Season 7

Kathi and Katherine talk about stress management on this week’s My Crazy Office Overtime show.

How are you managing stress during these very stressful times?

Listen to this week’s podcast here.

Best Of: Addressing Mental Health At Work – My Crazy Office, Season 7

Kathi and Katherine talk about mental health on this week’s My Crazy Office Overtime show.

How can we communicate about mental health in the workplace effectively?

Listen to this week’s podcast here.

Being Kind to Your Emotionally Exhausted Self

So here we are. For many people this is week six (or more) of sheltering in place.

It’s also week six of home schooling, endless meal preparation, social isolation, working remotely, and celebrating almost every occasion we can think of virtually – on Zoom, Google Chat, FaceTime, Skype and whatever other device or platform appeals to you.

For some, the past six weeks have included sudden, tragic losses of family members or friends. For others, the losses have involved employment, income, daily routines, human contact, favorite past-times or any sense of normalcy. It’s been rough.

As a collective population, we are tired. We keep trying to figure out where we are headed, and when we will be able to return to some form of our pre-Corona lives. In the meantime, we have to manage the feelings of loss, frustration, anger, fear, sadness, and anxiety that are “normal” during a pandemic of these proportions.

While we wait for the next phase of this very strange time, I encourage everyone to find just a few simple ways to be kind to your emotionally exhausted self.  

Here’s what being kind to your emotionally exhausted self could look like:

You stop for a minute every day, and give yourself credit for all you are doing to keep your life (and that of your family and friends) intact.

You take time to cool your system down by going on an extra walk, taking a full lunch break, or enjoying a longer-than-normal shower.

You protect yourself from overworking by instating email curfews — no reading or responding to emails after 10 pm. No opening emails in the morning until you’re out of bed.

You take time to reach out to the people who are able to hear you complain and are gifted at making you laugh. 

You make sure to read, watch, or listen to something pleasurable before going to bed.

You help yourself get better sleep by listening to a meditation or relaxation podcast designed for that purpose.

You forgive yourself for being overly sensitive or irritable during the day. And you forgive others for the same thing.

Being kind to your emotionally exhausted self recognizes that this has already been a long haul, that you have done your best to weather it, and that you will surely continue to carry on. I encourage you to try one or all of these tactics as an act of kindness – your exhausted self with thank you.

Katherine Crowley – Career Therapist and co-owner of K Squared Enterprises

Contact us at info@mycrazyoffice.co for any further help around this topic.

 

Self-Care During Troubled Times

As many of us move through another week of being Sheltered in Place, it becomes increasingly more challenging to break away from the continuous demands of home, work, family, child care, elder care, animal care, and take a moment for ourselves. Without any boundaries or breaks between home life and work life, hard workers just work harder, depleting their energy to the point of either freaking out, blowing up or collapsing from exhaustion. You may find yourself feeling depressed, unfocused, or less productive than usual. For any and all of these circumstances, self-care can help.

Self-Care may seem like a luxury when you are busy trying to juggle work obligations with home responsibilities during a global crisis. Many of the outlets that normally nourish us – gyms, restaurants, places of worship, shopping malls, spas, museums, music venues, nail and hair salons, parks – are not available. We are left to create self-care moments on our own.

Here are nine ways to practice the most basic form of self-care – taking breaks during your day:

  • Go for a 10-minute walk before you start your work day
  • Take a 10-minute relaxation break in the middle of your day using Calm, Headspace, 10% Happier or any other meditation app you like.
  • Insist on a real lunch break during which you refrain from using any screens and actually taste your food.
  • Indulge in a 10-minute music break — Play your favorite songs, and dance or sing along.
  • Buy some flowers for your home and take regular flower breaks – smelling them, touching them, enjoying their beauty.
  • Spend an extra 10-minutes after your bath or shower and give yourself a facial (refer to YouTube for simple facial techniques)
  • Make yourself laugh – Watch your favorite funny animal video, a clip from a comedian or TV show you enjoy, or anything else you know will make you laugh.
  • Let yourself cry – I know, this may seem self-indulgent or weak, but releasing tension or sadness through tears can be very cleansing. You may become tearful as you watch a feel-good movie or an ASPCA commercial. Whatever sparks it, try to give yourself permission to emote.
  • Take a pet break – If you have a pet at home, spend a few moments just sitting with them. Pet them, smile at them, and take in their affection.

Do any of these appeal to you? Did you think of others on your own? Whatever your idea of self-care is, I encourage you to instate a few practices every day. In order to take the best care of others, you need to take care of yourself. 

Katherine Crowley – Career Therapist and co-owner of K Squared Enterprises

Contact us at info@mycrazyoffice.co for any further help around this topic.

This is A Marathon, Not A Sprint – How to Manage Your Emotions During the Pandemic

One message that we are all hearing over and over again is that the current state of affairs is going to last for a while. It’s clear that, from an emotional endurance point of view, we are looking at a situation that is more of a marathon than a sprint. With that in mind, here are some tips for managing your emotional and mental health while living and working with the pandemic.

  • Make room for grief – Last week, the Harvard Business Review published an excellent article entitled, “That Discomfort You’re Feeling Is Grief.” (https://bit.ly/2wI6uhC) It explained that due to the range of losses resulting from the pandemic (income, routine, sense of safety, human connection, life) we are in a collective state of grief. Grief has different stages. There’s denial, anger/blame, bargaining, sadness/depression, and acceptance/renewal. We are all cycling through these feelings on an hourly, daily or weekly basis. Making room for grief means that when you feel enraged by a co-worker who arrives late for a conference call, you realize that your reaction may not just be about his tardiness. It may also be your experience of grief. 
  • Take time to rest – One of the best ways to address feelings of grief and to protect your immune system is through rest. Rest is accomplished whenever we turn down the volume on our digital lives, and engage in something restorative. Rest can involve a good night’s sleep, a daytime nap, a walk outside, an exercise or yoga routine, 10 minutes of meditation, cooking, or a chat with a friend. You may feel rested when you listen to music, play an instrument, take a bath, read a book, or watch your favorite movie or video. Whatever restores your energy and relaxes your brain, schedule time to do it.
  • Practice compassionate self-discipline – Given the degree of upheaval that you are probably experiencing, it may be challenging to be as self-disciplined as you were pre-Corona. Compassionate self-discipline encourages you to maintain as many healthy practices as you can — wake up at the same hour, dress for work, eat well (if you can), exercise, meditate, plan your day. At the same time, compassionate self-discipline understands that there may be days and circumstances when all of those practices get kicked to the curb. Compassionate self-discipline aims to keep you healthy without beating you up. 
  • Forgive yourself and others for slips – We are all living under extremely stressful times, and each person’s stressors are slightly different. It’s important to understand that you and the people in your life (coworkers, bosses, family members, friends) are probably having emotional slips from time to time. Feelings of fear, anger, anxiety and sadness may morph into harsh remarks, obsessive behavior, forgotten promises, shut down emotions, and heated arguments. This is a time to take a deep breath and let go of things said in the heat (or cold) of the moment. Chances are that you and the people in your life are emotionally exhausted; everyone is doing the best that they can.

Katherine Crowley – Career Therapist and co-owner of K Squared Enterprises

Contact us at info@mycrazyoffice.co for any further help around this topic.

Burnout: My Crazy Office Overtime, Season 7

Kathi and Katherine talk about burnout on this week’s My Crazy Office Overtime show.

How do you identify burnout and treat it?

Listen to this week’s podcast here.