Question: I am finding that I am feeling stressed at work, at times anxious and forgetful. I'm working long hours from home and struggling to switch off. I’m worried I might burn out. What can I do?
This state of being always switched on, unable to 'unplug' has increased tenfold during the pandemic causing a huge imbalance between ‘work’ time and ‘down’ time. Boundaries are blurred visually and physically as your bedroom or kitchen table is invaded by work paraphernalia whilst the whole world can see into your private dwellings over zoom. This has an overall negative impact on our physical and mental wellbeing, which, if left unchecked, can lead to more serious mental and physical issues.
The downside of homeworking is that, unlike being in an office, there are no triggers to stop working or leave your work space to go and do other things. This pattern of sitting for long hours in front of a laptop...
HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!
It's the day to intentionally express your love for that special person or people in your life.
Whether or not you’re into Valentines Day, I thought it could be fun to write about love, more specifically, how we can express love at work through acts of kindness, appreciation and gratitude. Goodness knows, we could all do with a bit moof that right now. But first, I wanted to share what I know about the subject whilst I've been on planet earth.
The Love Bit
Love makes the world go round. It always has and always will. To love another - a partner, a friend, a parent, a child, makes you feel whole, lovable, warm, secure, providing a fusion of wonderful feelings. That’s why everyone wants love - it makes you feel good. I mean, what else is there if not love? Anything else is 'non-love' which doesn’t even come close.
But here's the paradox. Whilst we want more love in our lives, we’re...
In the final of this series, I talk about ‘resilience’, and the soft skills that help build this particular trait. First though, consider your own levels of resilience by reflecting back over the past year. Can you recall the challenges you have faced and overcome? It’s probably more than you imagine. It's also worth reflecting on as a reminder of those inner resources you were able to pull out of the bag when you needed them most. You are stronger than you think. It's also testament to the strength of the human spirit. And whilst we are all super happy to say goodbye to 2020, I imagine 2021 will be very different. My sense is that it's going to be a rollercoaster of a year so let's try and enjoy the ride as best we can - here's the last of the soft skills that I'm sharing...for now!
What is Resilience?
When I think of resilient people, my mind goes to politicians - like them or not, they must get some of the worst flack, abuse and negative...
I started this series last week focusing on the critical soft skill of being 'adaptable', which many of us have had to embrace in 2020 and will need it even more so as we enter 2021. The next soft skill I'm going to focus on is 'Awareness'; this is what is needed if you want to have more control over your mind, your actions and ultimately the results you get in your life.
Everyone has moments of awareness before falling back into what could be called a trance. Back in 1991, I remember going to a lecture where a Tibetan monk told the audience that 95% of the population were asleep. I didn't quite understand what he meant back then. He was referring to the fact that most people live in their heads, always thinking, thinking and more thinking, operating out of awareness hence walking around asleep or in a kind of trance, unaware state.
If you drive a car, you'll recognise those moments of coming our of trance into present moment awareness; have you...
There’s only 14 days left in this year.
After a tumultuous 2020, it may be some time before the world gets back to any semblance of balance and order. What we do know is that there’s no predicting what might unfold. However things materialise over the next 12 months, having the soft skills to manage your physical and emotional responses will be key to ongoing health and wellbeing. It’s easier to ‘weather the storm’ when you are able to remain calm on the inside whatever’s happening on the outside. In the words of Epictetus,
“We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them”.
Developing soft skills provides the tools to deal with events and challenges with more ease, grace and control.
Over the next week, I’ll be sharing 14 Soft Skills to support being resilient, whilst keeping focused and positive in 2021. In this first email series, I’ll be focusing on...
Listening is one of those skills that is promoted widely but is easier said than done. Whilst you could say we're always listening, the question is, how much do we really hear.
As someone with a preference for extraversion and talking a lot, I used to be one of those people who mainly heard my own dulcet tones (and still do on a good day!) A good conversation was measured on how much I had talked, how funny I was, what jokes I had made, how well I'd filled in the gaps of silence and kept conversations going whatever babble came out of my mouth.
I have to be honest - it has taken me a good number of years to learn to shut up and really begin to listen. That could be because I'm a slow learner or because it's actually a challenging skill to learn. Probably more the latter. Which is why I get annoyed when I read articles telling people how to listen, do a bit of this and that and hey presto, you've cracked it. If it was that easy, why...
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