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Protect Your Joy

leadership transition Jul 19, 2021

- By Sophie Pinkoski

Since March 2020, we have all had to make sacrifices in order to keep each other safe. In doing so, however, we have learned to adapt in a way that makes it difficult to imagine going back to the way things were.

We’ve prioritized time at home with our families and taken on new and existing skills and hobbies we didn’t have time for before. These benefits have become crucial to our wellbeing and daily lives and deserve to be brought forward into a post-pandemic era.

Yet in the daily grind, it’s often challenging to realize the healthy routines you have cultivated for yourself. Here are some ways to help you define what pandemic solutions have worked for you:

Self care versus self soothing – Self-care is often discussed in relation to stress relief, but it’s equally important to identify your self-soothing techniques as well. What comforts you and what grounds you?

Self-care speaks to the activities in your life that help you keep on track for reaching your goals and staying on top of your responsibilities, while self-soothing speaks to what brings you joy and respite outside of those responsibilities. These will look different to everyone.

For instance, maybe you’ve started running first thing in the morning and taken up knitting while watching your latest tv show to wind down after work. What might be self-care to one person may be self-soothing to another. Identify the regular activities in your life that bring you the most meaning. If you already have a regular routine, commit to it more intentionally, and if you don’t, consider adding these activities to your weekly schedule so that your passions and mental health don’t fall by the wayside.

Mindfulness – A deliberate way to help you identify what brings you joy or purpose is through yoga and meditation. Including yoga or meditative practice in your weekly schedule allows you to slow down and express gratitude.

While people have had time to slow down during the pandemic, they have come to realize what they value most in their lives, and what’s no longer worth missing, such as spending quality time with their family.

Something as simple as ten minutes out of your day to breathe or pet your dog or cat will help you regain perspective and narrow down the most important aspects of your busy life.

Prioritizing what serves you – When it comes to work, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with what you can’t control. That stress can spill over into your home life, threatening your work-life balance. So focus on what you can control instead. If there’s something that isn’t working, can you change it? For instance, If you know working from home at least one day a week is beneficial to you, this may be something you can negotiate with your employer. You know yourself and your stressors better than anyone. Gaining the self-awareness to be able to identify them is the first step to empower yourself to build a productive post-pandemic routine.

The return to office will likely disrupt your good pandemic routines.

Prepare for this next phase with intentionality in order to protect the healthiest aspects of your current lifestyle.

Once you know what works for you, you can properly articulate your needs to your leader so they can help you incorporate your needs into your future work schedule.


Further Reading:

10 Ways to Encourage a Healthy Work-Life Balance for Employees, Pingboard

The Unspoken Complexity of Self-Care, Medium

Resist Old Routines When Returning to the Office, Harvard Business Review

6 Pandemic Habits We Actually Want to Keep When Life Goes Back to Normal, Veranda

Work Habits You Should Make (And Break) Post-Covid, Wrike

Workplace Lessons Learned During the Pandemic, SHRM

How to Deal With Covid-19 Burnout At Work, Forbes

The Pandemic Has Created a New Kind of Burnout, Forbes

Wellbeing-Engagement Paradox of 2020, Gallup

Workers Look to Their Bosses for Mental Health Support. Many Aren’t Getting It, Los Angeles Times

How to Deal With a Year of Accumulated Burnout From Working From Home, The Conversation

Understanding the Burnout Experience: Recent Research and its Implications for Psychiatry, World Psychiatry




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