Blog Articles and Resources
Whether you are an introvert or extrovert, returning to a more normal routine can be nerve-wracking after all the
changes society has recently undergone. These four recommendations can help remove stress and give you the
confidence to re-enter the world and achieve your goals.
1. Be Aware of Your Mental Health
Rashes, fevers, and coughing are all indicators that there is something wrong with your physical health.
Unfortunately, mental health illnesses do not always have such obvious symptoms. Therefore, one of the best things
you can do for yourself is to pursue a healthy state of mind.
Reach out to SS Therapy and Consulting to find a therapist to help you overcome mental and emotional struggles,
such as depression, anxiety, co-parenting and low self-esteem. These professionals can help you work through
problems and even address issues you did not know existed. With their help, you can be more emotionally and
mentally capable to take on the challenges of life.
2. Take Control of Your Finances
If finances are a source of stress, you are not alone. One report states that 64% of adults find finances to be a stress-
causing factor in their lives. Getting your spending and saving under control is key to removing this tension.
Create or revisit your monthly budget. Use a spreadsheet or a template to list incomes and all monthly expenses.
This helps ensure you do not overspend and have money to pay your bills, purchase necessities, and put into
If you struggle to pay your bills each month, research different ways to save money, such as cutting back on
streaming services, consolidating auto and home insurance, and cooking more meals at home instead of going out.
Refinancing your house is another great option to save money. Doing this decreases the equity in your home;
thereby, allowing you a smaller monthly mortgage payment and freeing up cash for other expenses.
3. Pursue a New Career
Whether you dislike your current job or enjoy it but have a dream job in the back of your mind, changing careers can
make you a more confident, happy, and passionate person. If you are ready to switch professions, start networking
and looking online for job openings and requirements.
Depending on the prerequisites, you may have to go back to school. Even if it is not required, further education can
enhance your resume, give you more job prospects and simply provide a more thorough understanding of the line of
work. For example, a business degree may not be essential, but having one gives you knowledge applicable to many
different positions, such as management, accounting, or marketing.
If scheduling is a concern, many universities offer online programs, giving you much more flexibility than
traditional classrooms. You can often take courses at night or other off-hours, making it easier to fit them into your
4. Organize Your Home
While maintaining a tidy home can be challenging, there are numerous benefits to staying organized. As with a
budget, a clean home can reduce the amount of stress in your life because you know exactly where everything is.
Additionally, it saves you time and energy. Instead of spending 30 minutes searching for your keys, a dustpan, or
other household items, you can locate them right away. Plus, developing a system to keep your stuff organized gives
you a feeling of fulfillment.
While starting a new routine can be difficult, it does not have to be overwhelming. Follow these four
recommendations to give you confidence in all your upcoming ventures when re-entering the world.
Image via Pexels
Justin Bennett of healthyfit.info
I will be the first one to admit: I’m terrible at setting boundaries. If there is anything I have learned from the pandemic, it’s that I’m very good at allowing work to creep into every available moment and part of my life. Without the structured separation of work and home, I find it incredibly challenging to turn things off and to say no.
This isn’t new, for me, but it certainly has been magnified over the past year and a half. Part of that is my own inability to set and uphold boundaries. But there’s another aspect to boundaries that isn’t discussed as often: what happens when other people don’t help us to uphold them.
The reality is that boundary-setting is not a solo endeavor. Brené Brown, in her book Rising Strong, notes, “Setting boundaries means getting clear on what behaviors are okay and what’s not okay. Integrity is key to this commitment because it’s how we set those boundaries and ultimately hold ourselves and others accountable for respecting them” (p. 123). I love this definition. But what happens if I’m surrounded by people who simply don’t or won’t respect my boundaries?
As we start to bring people back to the office, for those of us who have been privileged to work at home all this time, it is critical that we look at what it means to uphold other people’s boundaries. And let’s be clear: Respecting people’s boundaries doesn’t mean that they get to opt out of work responsibilities or tasks they just don’t want to do. It may mean hard conversations about next steps for those who don’t want to return to the office, if that is going to be a requirement. But in my experience, engagement at work always starts with setting and communicating clear expectations on both organizational and interpersonal levels.
And this is a moment to reset some expectations. What does it mean to re-engage with people in a shared space? What commitments should be made to one another for how we will show up, do work, and honor one another’s truths? And why does it matter?
Why Do Boundaries Matter?One of the positive things to come from this pandemic is that a lot of people have started to ask deep, important questions about meaning and purpose and the value of work. In fact, over the past few weeks, the media has hit a bit of a frenzy over the idea that a whole bunch of people are quitting their jobs. NPR called it “the great resignation.” Business Insider describes it as “rage quitting.” Others have described it as a sign of a healthy economy. Perhaps. What is true is that a lot of people — many, but not exclusively, in the lowest wage positions — are reconsidering their relationship with work. And that isn’t something that any of us should dismiss or ignore.
Indeed, the recent Microsoft Work Trends Index survey found that while 61 percent of business leaders report that they are “thriving” at the moment, the exact same percentage of frontline workers say that they are “struggling” or merely “surviving.” Further, “One in five global survey respondents say their employer doesn’t care about their work-life balance. Fifty-four percent feel overworked. Thirty-nine percent feel exhausted.” Anecdotally, from those I have talked to in recent months, I would put those numbers far, far higher.
Pre-COVID, Sarah Green Carmichael wrote in the Harvard Business Review about our tendency to “overwork,” and the very real health outcomes that result from it, “including impaired sleep, depression, heavy drinking, diabetes, impaired memory, and heart disease.” And, despite what we might think, working long hours doesn’t result in greater productivity. In fact, it results in the opposite (and, notably, at least one study found that managers can’t tell the difference between those who worked 80 hours a week and those who just pretended to).
Many of us feel like we just spent the past year and a half working around the clock for seven days a week. Sometimes, you just do what you have to do. But that isn’t a productivity level that can be sustained. Managers should note that at the same moment that we seem to be coming out of this crisis, and talking about going back to the office, most of us are facing real feelings of burnout. What will that mean for our new return-to-office environments?
An Individual and Organizational ResponsibilityI have written here previously (again, pre-COVID) about the individual responsibility to define one’s own work-life balance in an “always on” world, and I believe the concept still holds true. We are each responsible for our own paths and the choices that we make. Sure, in an ideal world, our organizations and our managers would create supportive, caring cultures that see and uplift people as fully-formed humans, with needs and challenges and lives that impact the ways in which they show up to work each day.
We know that doesn’t happen. But instead of banging your head against the wall wondering why not, it’s on you as the owner of that fully-formed life to make the decisions that best serve you. Sometimes, that looks like leaving your role or your organization for one that better aligns with who you are. Setting boundaries doesn’t mean that I get to say I only will work from 10-2 when the expectation is that I work from 8-5. Choices have consequences, always. And if my life needs part-time work then I always have the ability to seek out a part-time job.
At the same time, we all can and must do a better job of upholding and respecting one another’s boundaries. Especially as we look towards returning to the office and being in community with one another again, and knowing that we are facing a crisis of employee burnout. Because, no matter how many boundaries I may set for myself, if you don’t respect them, if you bully or shame me for holding them, it doesn’t matter. Organizational culture is created by the people who exist within those organizations, by their words and their behaviors. Cultures aren’t created in a vacuum. And boundaries can only exist if everyone sees them and helps to maintain them. And that starts with the very top of the organization.
Questions to Uphold BoundariesIf you are a manager, don’t just tell people to take care of themselves, to find balance, and to set boundaries. Regularly ask questions of your people and yourself:
I write articles based on my experience as a therapist or a training or conference attendee. Many of these articles are written by others who are experts in their field and I share their information as resources for others.