I was recently answering Ask Me Anything questions on social media, and it came about that people want to know how I'm able to stay positive and cheerful during trying times like these. The truth is that I KNOW how hard it is because I've dealt with a lot since this pandemic began (and trust me: the current state of the world dawns on me too!).. and here I want to just pass on some of my personal experience along with any advice I have for you. Whether you dealt with job loss, the loss of a loved one, changes to your everyday routines, or more - see what I have to say about it based on what I've been dealing with.
One response I had is the recognition that, if I didn't go down the healing path that I had, I would be a total wreck during this pandemic. I used to be so depressed and anxious that events like this pandemic would've caused me to absorb myself deeper in my addictions, completely hole myself up and away from everyone else because of how negative I would've been, and I would likely have contemplated my existence as I have in the past. Even now, I admit I feel helpless about the fact that I have a room that I'm paying rent on but can't even open up because of lockdown. Our hands are tied in many ways, but I make do by having the approach that I took to the following scenarios...
Even though I've been running my spiritual business
since 2019, it was only part-time up until this past year. I often worked temporary/contract jobs to support this endeavour, which included a long-term part-time job I was settling into at the end of 2019. As we watched the news unfold on the TV that was set up in the workplace, we knew that things were about to get tougher - along with the sad reality that this new, small business I was working for could no longer justify to keep me as they were about to struggle keeping up with their rent. I was hit with a huge reduction in hours right after New Years Day 2020, and the lay-off was finalized when the pandemic started in March.
My business was actually starting to pick up at the beginning of 2020 but then fell flat because of the pandemic, so I felt defeated having to consider finding more employment. But the reality of everyone having to lockdown meant that there was no other job for me (an Office Manager) to go to. THIS IS TRUE ALL OVER, regardless of the field of work. I remember contemplating taking any job that was offered to me.. but then feeling disappointment as my name become one of hundreds that applied to each position. This struggle is universal because of the circumstances everyone is finding themselves in.. and I can tell you that every person I've done a reading for since [this pandemic began] had the same concern in mind -- what they should do for their career in this "new world".
Besides the specifics I read for each person, the message to them is the same as what I applied to myself - which is to take this time to figure out what it is you really want to do. Instead of seeing this as a "black hole" of a time on my resume, I somehow knew the only way to get what I wanted was to create the opportunity for myself. For me, it was as simple as contacting the township to get a business-at-home permit, which steered me towards free resources that would advertise my business. And while I branched out from there to rent a room at a spa and hire marketing/social media help, I will be the first to admit that I've frequently changed my approach to match with the times. Depending on what it is you want to do, you'll need to consider what it is that people will want, or get benefits from doing, when this is all over.
Some people have this pandemic to thank for recognizing they weren't happy or fulfilled in their job, while some were forced to reconsider their career because they're no longer in demand. Just know that you're not alone in this! Be open to all options in front of you, and recognize that we're all going to bounce back when the time is right.
Working From Home
Working from home has its challenges, which I'm not at all blind to since I have a husband who's been working from home for the past 10 years. So when we found ourselves in a position of having to reconsider our living situation at the beginning of this pandemic, we knew we needed to find somewhere that offered ample space for this. It may appear like we're living in some form of luxury having a 4-bedroom house now, but the reality of that is that 2 of those bedrooms are our offices. Being able to have a designated workspace really does help, but if that's not doable -- know there are other ways you can create a good work-life balance at home.
Back when my husband starting working from home, we only had a 2-bedroom apartment. Since one bedroom was our joint personal computer room (with little space for anything else in there), it left him to set up his office in the corner of our living room. It wasn't ideal, but we made it work by repositioning the entire living room - so that our couch acted like a wall to the pathway to his workspace. Of course, we had to sometimes rearrange our schedule so that I wasn't watching TV there while he was working late (or anything like that), but one quick fix to everything was to invest in noise-cancelling headphones for him. If you're at all like we are - in that we like listening to music while we work (it's a great mood-lifter and motivator!) - then this should be an essential consideration.
Now we don't have kids, but ours dogs (Teddy & Gracie) were/are both rescues with separation anxiety.. so we've always had these distractions and obligations to deal with while we try to get work done ((in fact, as I write this - Gracie is sprawled out on the floor next to me with her toys!)). We frequently have to break and make time to play for a couple minutes, and guide them out of the room so we can shut our door to go on a call.. and I honestly think this is completely understandable and forgivable. It IS a different way to work, but I find that as long as you end your day feeling like you've accomplished everything you need to do, then rest assured that you're doing it right!
But I will admit there's one lingering factor to working from home.. and it's that (even though we have designated offices) it's hard to flip the switch from work to personal life. If you're able to have an office, then simply closing the door when you're not working can give that sense of being elsewhere. But you may also want to consider a "transition" activity -- for example: working out (exercising) at the end of your workday, stepping outside for a quick walk (or meditating), or finding any activity that will switch the gears in your mind.
(There's more for me to cover and discuss! Check out Part 2 here!)
|Screenshot of what you see during an online session with me (in my home office)!|
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#pandemicstruggles #workingfromhome #careerchanges #dealingwithchange #dealingwithloss #empathconfessions