How To Love Yourself

How To Love Yourself

How To Love Yourself

Yes, you really do have to love yourself first.

Here’s why… and how.

How to Love Yourself

++ Note: Learning how to love yourself is such an important, core topic that I decided to post this both as a written article and a podcast so that you can access the info in whichever format is most helpful to you. (Scroll down for the podcast link). I sincerely hope this information helps you cultivate the love and compassion for yourself that you deserve. With love — LMB ++

“You have to love yourself first.”

For many years, I would hear that and wonder — what does that even mean? I would hear the words, and think “Yup, that sounds like a good idea,” but how to actually create this state of self love was a total mystery.

I didn’t feel a lot of love for myself. And on some level I thought that it sounded sort of selfish and weird to think about being deeply in love with one’s self.

I imagined Narcissus cooing at his reflection in the glassy water of the river bank, and think, “People keep telling me I need to love myself. But how exactly is that supposed to improve my life or my relationships?”

I didn’t get it. I do now.

Here’s what I’ve learned on my journey of growth, and what I teach my online therapy and life coaching clients now about what self love is, why it’s important, and how to love yourself.

But first, let’s talk for a moment about what self love is NOT, and the traps people often fall into when they want to love themselves but don’t know how.

Malignant Self Love

This skepticism around “self-love” I originally had was not helped by my journey into becoming a therapist. I’d hear that phrase, “You have to love yourself first” get tossed around by therapy clients using it to  — quite frankly — justify all kinds of unhealthy things in the name of “self-love.”

People can use, “But I have to love myself!” to rationalize the worst kinds of self indulgence, refusal to accept responsibility, breaking of commitments, abandoning of values, displacement of blame, or breathtakingly insensitive actions towards other people. (“Yes, I stole the money and lied about it, but I deserve to be happy! I love myself!”)

This is not healthy self love. Healthy self love does not make your needs, rights or feelings more important than those of other people. Just the opposite: Healthy self love makes you more empathetic and compassionate. More on that in a moment…

Using “Self Love” as Another Way To Judge Yourself

Here’s another thing that self-love is absolutely not: Judgment. Ironically, people will find ways to use the idea of self love against themselves. I can’t tell you how many times in therapy or life coaching sessions I’ve see lovely, beautiful people welling up with tears as they spoke their truth and said things like:

“I don’t love myself. I don’t like myself. The only love that matters is the love I get from other people. But I know I should love myself. And the fact that I don’t love myself is one more reason for me to hate myself.”

Looking at the level of self love you have and using that as just another way to beat yourself up, judge yourself, and feel like you’re failing.

I have therapy and coaching clients with the expectation that they should love themselves,  and that they didn’t feel that way was only more evidence that there was something terribly wrong with them. Is that true for you?

It is okay if you don’t feel like you love yourself. Being able to accept yourself — with compassion, as you are — is self-love. Bashing yourself for not being good enough or because you don’t feel like you love yourself is the opposite of self love.

Understanding Love: Love For Yourself, and Love For Others

But over many years as a therapist, a marriage counselor, a wife, a mother, and a person on her own even-winding journey of growth, I feel that the true nature of love is starting to become clearer to me.

Love does not hurt. Real love is never an excuse to do bad things to other people, and it’s definitely not anything that should result in more self-criticism or self loathing.

What I’m realizing about self love or love for others is that you don’t have to feel love to have love, and you don’t have to feel like you love yourself or that you love others.

Love is much, much bigger than any of the feelings that blow through us on a given day. Striving to have a feeling of love is not how love works.

People who love themselves may not feel the emotion of having love for themselves.

Here’s a secret: Love is not actually a feeling. Love certainly can be a feeling. Love can be a felt emotion. But love is really something that we do. Love is an action. Love is a choice.

Choosing to have tolerance, compassion, and acceptance for yourself as you are — even if you don’t feel like you love yourself — is, paradoxically, what self love actually is. 

Every once in awhile we might have the wonderful treat of feeling self love, but that’s just a warm patch of sunlight on a path that’s dappled with the subtle lights and darks of the emotion we walk though every day.

True Love, real love, is more like a state of grace that we can choose to live in: The energy that prioritizes the well-being of people over everything else. Love is compassion, empathy, support, hope, and help that is extended for the benefit of others… And that includes us, too.

True Love For Others

True love allows us to set our self-focus and ego aside and do what needs to be done for the benefit of others. Have you ever stayed up late to do laundry or gone to the grocery store in the middle of the night because your kid needed clean clothes or lunch for school the next day, even though you were tired? That’s the kind of true love I’m talking about. Simple prioritization for the wellbeing of another.

In that state of everyday grace, it doesn’t really matter what you’re thinking or feeling or wanting: You’re simply understanding what someone else is feeling and needing, and being of service to them.

Throwing someone else over the wall is the height of heroism. Good parents do that for their children without even thinking of it. And through our relationships we all get the chance to practice softening ourselves, choosing compassion over criticism, and showing others that their feelings are as important to use as our own.

That is how we love others. We may or may not have the feeling of love as we do what love requires. The fact that we do it anyway is evidence of the power of the love we have. It’s easy to do what you feel like doing. True love does the hard stuff, even when you don’t feel like it. That is the definition of love.

True Love For Yourself

But how do you love yourself? It’s easier to see how you can be compassionate, and tolerant, and generous with other people – but towards yourself? “Isn’t that the opposite of True Love?” You might be thinking. Or, “If love is about doing things for the benefit of others, and to help, support and lift up others, isn’t it taking away from them if I turn that compassionate energy towards ME? Isn’t that SELFISH???”

Loving yourself is not selfish. Loving yourself is the foundation of wellbeing that supports you in your ability to love others. Loving yourself means treating yourself with the same kind of compassion, support, encouragement and devotion to your health and genuine best interests that you give to other people.

What I’m learning is that being a healthy person who is able to give love to others means that you are having a “true love” kind of relationship with yourself first. Because if you refuse to love yourself you will be too unwell physically, mentally, and emotionally to be of benefit for others.

Note that I just said, “If you refuse to love yourself,” rather than, “If you can’t love yourself.” Remember, love is not something you have to feel. You cannot actually make yourself feel like you love yourself (or anyone else for that matter.) And you don’t have to feel that. You just have to do it. And that is 100% within your ability, all the time.

Here’s how it works:

Think of loving yourself is treating yourself as you would parent a cherished child:

1) You can choose to be an emotionally safe person, and speak to yourself kindly, compassionately, and wisely. You can offer yourself guidance, reassurance and emotional support instead of criticizing yourself, scaring yourself, or being negative towards yourself.

If you wouldn’t say it to a small child who needs help and support, it’s not good enough for you either.

2) Setting firm limits that support your health and wellness. Good parents who love their children help them stay healthy by going to bed at a reasonable hour, eating nutritious foods, getting some exercise, and and taking care of their health. Even when they don’t  feel like it.

You paying attention to what you need in order to be physically safe and healthy, and then making sure you get that, is self love in action.

3) Directing yourself to make choices that demonstrate your commitment to your own well being. Self love is self protection. Pay attention to what feels hurtful or toxic to you, and take steps to protect yourself. This might involve setting boundaries with others, listening to your inner wisdom, and avoiding harmful situations. Self love is also shown by taking positive action to create positive things for yourself, and going after things that you know will bring out the best in you (and staying away from the things that will harm you in the long run).

Loving yourself isn’t a feeling. It’s a commitment.

The key here is that, just like you don’t have to be overwhelmed with feelings of love in order to be a good parent, you don’t have to feel “love” in order to love yourself.

Your commitment to loving others is much bigger than anything you feel.

  • You can feel totally frustrated with your kid and still be kind and responsible.
  • You can be annoyed with your partner and still control yourself and be generous.
  • And you can not feel like exercising, or like beating yourself up mercilessly, and still decide to act lovingly towards yourself: Taking yourself for a walk, or shifting into more compassionate, self supporting language.

Why Loving Yourself Matters

Think about a child who is being mistreated by their parents: Verbally and emotionally abused (or worse), given junk food, encouraged to watch TV, chaotic or overly strict routines, no support with academics or friendships….

What would you expect from that kid in terms of his ability to maintain emotional stability and be a good partner or friend to someone else? Not a lot? Yeah. When you’re not loving yourself, not giving yourself what you need, not meeting your basic needs for health, self-care, nurturing, acceptance and compassion, you are basically abusing yourself from the inside out. When any of us are being abused, we are simply not going to be well. If you are abusing and neglecting yourself, you won’t have much to offer others either. How could you?

If you’re reading the above line and it resonates, let’s use this moment as one of self-compassion and self-acceptance instead of self-recrimination and another way to make yourself feel bad. Try this instead:

“Of course I haven’t been well and have not been at my best. How could I possibly be? I have not been treating myself with the love and respect I deserve. I’d like to do a better job of that, and I’m committed to learning how.” 

That language is accepting. It’s compassionate. It’s understanding. It’s also hopeful, and leading you towards something better.

Choosing to have a good, nurturing, responsible and compassionate relationship with yourself is what it means to love yourself. To behave in the way that supports your highest and best… even when you don’t feel like it.

Figure out what kind of support you really need, and then decide to give it to yourself. No matter what.

Also, know that learning how to love yourself is a process, and one that takes a long time. It’s also very hard to do alone. An enormous act of self love can be reaching out for help and guidance to learn how to treat yourself better. Everyone needs support, and sometimes before you can support yourself from the inside, you need to be supported and build up from the outside through a healing relationship with a compassionate therapist or coach who is devoted to your personal growth.

I hope these ideas help you find your way forward. For even more on the important subject of how to love yourself, I hope you listen to this podcast episode too.

With love,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

 

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How to Love Yourself

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

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Real Help, To Move You Forward

 

Everyone experiences challenges, but only some people recognize these moments as opportunities for growth and positive change.

 

 

Working with an expert therapist or life coach can help you understand yourself more deeply, get a fresh perspective, grow as a person, and become empowered to create positive change in yourself, your relationships and your life.

 

 

Start your journey of growth today by scheduling a free consultation.

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What Happy Couples Know

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What Happy Couples Know

Great Relationships Don’t Just Happen

WHAT HAPPY COUPLES KNOW: Wonderful, healthy and fun relationships can seem magical. They can certainly feel that way! But the truth is that awesome relationships don’t happen “magically.” Not at all. Long-term couples who love their relationships are simply reaping the rewards of the intentional effort they’ve put in to their partnerships.

Sounds easy, right?

In theory, it is. But here’s the issue: No one teaches you how to have a fantastic relationship. So even though many people would love to have a stronger, more satisfying connection with their partner and would be very happy to do the working of making their good relationship great… they literally do not know what, exactly, to do differently.

The intention is there, but the knowledge is not. 

The Disempowering Myth: “Magical Love”

Part of this lack of awareness is due to the myths surrounding love and relationships in our culture. In the movies or on our shows, people just fall in love and then they’re happy… or they’re not. We don’t get to see how the sausage is actually made, for the good or for the bad. My personal theory is that it’s because it would make for an extremely boring viewing experience: relationships are built (or destroyed) by the habitual micro-moments and interactions couples engage in day in and day out.

We also have few role models for positive relationships. Even our best friends and close family can have things going on behind closed doors that you’ll never know. And too often happy couples or struggling couples appear to be the passive byproduct of “compatibility” rather than intention.

For all these reasons, relationships seem like magical things that “just happen.” They’re either good, or they’re not, and no one has that much control over the outcome either way.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Relationships are always in flux, and shifting in response to what we’re doing or not doing. If we’re nourishing them or neglecting them, we’re in the process of making them be what they are.

The myth of “magical love” is therefore incredibly disempowering, because it does nothing to honor the reality: You have an enormous amount of power to determine the future of your relationship. You get to decide if it’s healthy and enduring, or frustrating and short.

But in order to take full command of you power… you have to know what to do. (Or sometimes, what NOT to do).

What Happy Couples Know: Good Relationships Are Grown

Authentically happy people have learned, over the years, what they need to do to have a happy, healthy relationship. Sometimes they acquired relationship skills through their families. Sometimes they went to couples therapy to learn, or read books, or went to marriage retreats, or they listened to relationship podcasts. But they all did something to learn what to do, and then they started doing the stuff that works on purpose. Routinely.

If you followed people in happy relationships around for a day or three, you’d notice that in the small micro-moments of daily life — saying hello or goodbye, serving food, making low-stakes conversation, watching TV, floating ideas for plans, or even getting into bed — they’re doing things, very intentionally, for the benefit of their relationship.

It’s all small stuff, but it adds up. And, while it looks easy, it all requires a fairly high degree of:

All these skills are running silently under the surface in order for people to behave in such a way that elicits warmth, connection and teamwork rather than hostility and disengagement. It looks easy and effortless, but it’s not, really. Also, they’re not doing it because they love their partners more than you love yours, or because their partners are somehow gratifying to be nice to.

I can assure you, people who are doing all these great, pro-relationship things are partnered to people who are just as flawed and annoying as your partner is. (And they themselves are just as flawed and annoying as the rest of us.) They’re just choosing to handle themselves in a way that benefits their relationships. You can do this too.

What Happy Couples Know: Go First

As an experienced online marriage counselor I am aware that one of the biggest obstacles to having a great relationship (and something that routinely occurs in unhappy relationships) is the core belief that sounds something like, “But why should I try harder than my partner is trying?” Listening to that creates a standoff, and a race to the bottom. 

One thing that happy couples know is that you have to go first, and decide to be your very best self in this relationship. Because happy couples also know something extremely neat about relationships. Relationships have a predictable, powerful and “magical” mechanism built in, similar to other natural forces that have jaw-droppingly enormous impact when applied consistently over time (the trickle of water through the grand canyon, compound interest over decades, etc). Here it is: what you put into relationships changes the response you get.

It is disempowering to believe that your partner is the one who’s impossible, incapable of changing, is a terrible communicator — basically, “the problem.” Because then you’re totally stuck. You either have to accept what feels unacceptable, or pull the rip-cord and bail. What a bind!

However, by choosing the empowering middle path and using the magical mechanics of relationships intentionally, YOU have the option to decide to be your very best self in this relationship, use all the relationship strategies that happy couples know… and then notice the impact this has on the results you get. The outcome may surprise you!

What Happy Couples Know: Relationship Skills Can Be Learned

Even more exciting is this: The “what to do to have a great relationship” part has been figured out. It is known. There is research, books, relationship classes, evidence-based marriage counseling approaches, and even documentary films that have laid it all out for you.

One such award-winning documentary film is called “The Truth About Marriage,” from director Roger Nygard. (Watch The Truth About Marriage on Amazon Prime, or pretty much anywhere else you stream). Roger spent over seven years sitting down with the thought leaders in the fields of marriage counseling and couples therapy, like relationship researchers Drs. John and Julie Gottman, Dr. Bill Dougherty, and many more to get the straight talk about:

  1. What makes relationships good
  2. What makes relationships bad
  3. What happy couples do on purpose
  4. How you can apply these same skills and strategies to your relationship

Through his research, Roger has gained enormous insight into the nature of love, as well as some extremely simple but powerful takeaways that anyone can use to immediately nourish and nurture their relationship. Now, he’s sharing them with us (me and you!) on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast. We had the chance to talk about all kinds of things, and he gave me the behind-the-scenes inside scoop on the latest research, the most surprising things he learned, what happy couples know, and what YOU need to know so you, too, can have a magical (seeming!) relationship.

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

PS: If you watch Roger’s film, don’t forget to leave a review! To learn more about Roger and his other documentaries, visit his website: http://rogernygard.com/

PSS: Another relationship-building resource mentioned in this episode is our “How Healthy is Your Relationship” relationship quiz. Here’s the link if you’d like to take it, and / or share it with your partner. I hope it sparks positive, productive conversations that helps your relationship grow.

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What Happy Couples Know

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Music Credits: Danii Roundtree, “Magic”

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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

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Real Help For Your Relationship

Lots of couples go through challenging times, but the ones who turn "rough-patches" into "growth moments" can come out the other side stronger and happier than ever before.

 

Working with an expert couples counselor can help you create understanding, empathy and open communication that felt impossible before.

 

Start your journey of growth together by scheduling a free consultation.

Intentional Living at Home

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Because Home Is The Place To Be…

INTENTIONAL LIVING — AT HOME: In all destruction and chaos lies the seeds of opportunity for development and new beginnings. Many of us, quarantined at home, have an invitation and opportunity for self-reflection, new awarenesses, and the chance to cultivate an environment that is congruent with the people we’re evolving into.

Intentional Living: Introspection

The quiet spaces may be easy to overlook, compared to the razzle-dazzle hustle of normal life. But they allow for introspection that is simply not possible during times of activity and distraction. 

This experience of evolution and development is rooted in self-awareness and can occur both internally and externally.

Stillness allows us to listen to ourselves, observe ourselves, and notice our old patterns in a way that then empowers us to make intentional choices. We can choose what to embrace. What to cultivate and nurture. And also what to prune away and release. (Read: To move forward… stop.)

Authentic Being: Who Are You, Really?

We live in a culture that idolizes stress and fetishizes busy-ness as the ultimate pinnacle of value in the world. Being busy and overwhelmed feels normal to many of us. But with it comes a dark bargain, substituting authentic self-awareness and a values-based life for the distracting, ego-fluffing busy-ness that professional success so often requires.

To be shoved into this new quietness, spaciousness, and stillness can feel anxiety provoking — particularly if you’re identity is deeply intertwined with your professional identity.

While it can feel anxiety provoking to release this aspect of self, the opportunity to uncover who and what you really are at the core is priceless. And now is the time to do exactly that.

Intentional Living: Without and Within

On this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast (as well as other episodes to come), I’m providing you with new ideas and growth activities that will help you move yourself forward on a deep level, while the world around us stops.

To begin, I’m speaking with my dear Olivia, the mastermind behind Decluttered Intentions, about simple things you can do to:

  • Create organization and order in your personal space
  • Cultivate spaciousness and peace inside of yourself
  • Release the opportunity to bury yourself in busyness
  • Understand your patterns and ways of relating to the world
  • Create order in your routines
  • Curate your thinking patterns in a way to create gratitude, appreciation, and contentment.
  • Connect with your dreams so that you can design a sanctuary within your home that nourishes you from the inside out.

I hope that these ideas and activities help YOU use this special, quiet time to move forward on your journey of growth.

All the best,

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Ps: One of the resources I mentioned in this episode is my “What’s Holding You Back” assessment. This assessment gives you insight into your personal strengths and growth opportunities in a variety of domains. Here’s the link, if you’d like to take it. xoxo, LMB

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Intentional Living — At Home

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Music Credits: Aitua, “Blue Sky”

Spread the Love Happiness & Success

Please Rate, Review & Share the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Let’s  Talk

 

 

Real Help, To Move You Forward

 

Everyone experiences challenges, but only some people recognize these moments as opportunities for growth and positive change.

 

 

Working with an expert therapist or life coach can help you understand yourself more deeply, get a fresh perspective, grow as a person, and become empowered to create positive change in yourself, your relationships and your life.

 

 

Start your journey of growth today by scheduling a free consultation.

Working from Home: Be More Productive & Meet Your Deadlines!

Working from Home: Be More Productive & Meet Your Deadlines!

Working from Home: Be More Productive & Meet Your Deadlines!

Work Life Balance

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic that has swept the nation, many Americans are now finding themselves working from home longer-term. While the ability to work from home has steadily been increasing even prior to the virus outbreak, many businesses and organizations have now been forced to adapt and allow their employees to work remotely. 

Working from the comfort and safety of your home can have its advantages. However, if not done with care and intention can lead to negative effects on your productivity and well-being. 

Today I want to outline for you some advantages and pitfalls to avoid when working from home. I am sharing the same tips and strategies I share with my online therapy and life coaching clients to make the transition of working from home a smooth and happy one. 

Advantages of Working from Home

Working from home provides benefits and advantages that working in an office simply cannot provide. While working in an office space can present structure, accountability, and a space to collaborate with colleagues, working from home can allow for more flexibility and personalization of your workday. 

Depending on your position and work duties, working from home can allow you to work at your own pace and (sometimes) set your own schedule. Some work from home positions follow set hours such as the typical 9 am-5 pm workday. While others allow you to work at any time as long as specific goals are met.

With this flexibility, you can wake up and go to bed at a time that is ideal for you, take breaks for exercise, refresh your brain, and reduce daily stressors such as traffic. 

Another advantage of working remotely with a flexible schedule is being able to complete errands or attend appointments you normally wouldn’t be able to if at the office. Working from home also allows for more time with your pets and kids! 

Even if your remote job does not allow for a flexible schedule, working from the comfort of your own home may boost creativity and allow you to be more relaxed and therefore productive. 

Common Pitfalls to Watch Out For When Working From Home

While there are advantages to working from home, there are also disadvantages and ways working from home can be harmful to your productivity and mental health. 

The flexibility that working from home provides is also a catch-22. Working from home can impact your productivity and motivation. When we have the flexibility to set our own pace and schedule, we may have every intention to optimize this time. However, unless your employer has provided you with guidelines to your new working environment, many people have to learn through experience or trial and error before configuring a work from home set up that truly works!

If working from home is not done with intentionality or forethought, it can leave you feeling burnt out, unmotivated, and unhappy.

If you are finding yourself in a similar situation and struggling to complete tasks, meet deadlines, or connect with your work – you may be hindering your success by giving in to these common pitfalls.

Not Setting Structure Around Working Hours

Working sporadic hours or when motivation strikes may work for some. However, working with no set schedule can create anxiety and unrest for most of us. Continually putting off tasks or waiting for motivation to come can lead to guilt or make it even harder to start. 

The anti-structure of working hours can ultimately lead to failure in areas that you are generally successful when working in your typical office space. 

Unable To Walk Away From Work

Working from home can blur the boundaries between work and personal life. For those people who already struggle with overworking or turning off their work brain, this can make it even more challenging. 

Feeling like your work is constantly looming over you even when you are supposed to be off the clock can lead to burnout and decreased motivation.

Not Maintaining Professional Connections

When we have the support of our professional connections, it’s easier to stay motivated and connected to our work.

While working from home, you may feel isolated or cut off from your work relationships feeling like your work has less of an impact and making it harder to stay accountable for deadlines.

Allowing Blurred Boundaries

Trying to get work done and be productive in spaces where you also binge watch Netflix or sleep will further blur the lines between work and home. 

Humans are impacted by their environment. Working in a space where you are comfy or with lots of distractions will make it harder to stay in work mode.

These blurred boundaries can make it difficult to stick to a work schedule, walk away from your work outside of working hours, and push off maintaining professional connections.

Success Strategies When Working From Home

While working from home can have its pitfalls and distractions, there are ways you can set yourself up for success and enhance your life! Here are 5 simple strategies to make working from home a smooth and enjoyable experience. 

Optimizing Your Productivity By Optimizing Your Space

Take a moment to think about a time where you were “in-flow” with your work, and you were able to accomplish a task or project with ease. 

Consider the elements of the environment that helped your success.

Was there music?
What was the light like?
ad you just eaten lunch or a snack?

Using your self-knowledge, try to create a space within your home that is curated for work based on what helps you be productive. 

You can be fun and playful here. Try to incorporate plants, aromatherapy, soft cozy blankets, color, and light! Make this space yours and do what works for YOU. 

Set Yourself Up For Success

Similar to the previous point, make sure you take a comprehensive approach to working from home and set yourself up for success. 

Working and living in the same space may confuse your body and mind unless clear distinctions are made. As much as possible try to stick with the same routine you would use when working outside the home. Such as having a cutoff time for bed and splitting meal preparation with a family member or partner if you can. 

Just because you are home doesn’t mean you are technically available to help with tasks, so try to split responsibilities like you normally would if you weren’t home. 

Setting yourself up for success could be scheduling breaks into your workday or giving yourself enough rest and eating regular meals and snacks, but also giving yourself grace and compassion. 

You may be experiencing waves of emotion that change daily or struggling with the constant change. Give yourself grace, kindness, and patience to not “be okay”, and to learn and grow with time. 

Connect With Your Work Relationships

When we feel connected to our colleagues and the work we are doing (even if from afar!), there can be a greater sense of accountability, drive, and motivation. 

Staying in touch through Slack messaging, Zoom conference calls, and emails with colleagues and work teams can foster a greater sense of connection and help us feel closer to the people we would normally interact with in the breakroom. 

If your job isn’t organizing meetup groups or opportunities to connect with your coworkers, consider reaching out to someone and organizing one yourself!

For more advice on building community during social distancing, check out my colleague’s article: Building CommUNITY During Social Distancing and Self-Quarantine.

Set Boundaries Around Work

Turning off email and work app notifications on your phone outside of working hours, and creating a work schedule are two ways you can create boundaries when working from home. 

Working different hours every day may be a necessity or work well for some, but many people desire structure, consistency, and predictability in their work environment. You can use the flexibility working from home can bring by setting work hours that work for you, such as starting at 9:30 am rather than 9 am or using your lunch hour for a workout.

Setting specific times for work can create structure and routine while self-isolating at home, and some semblance of normalcy. Managing how many times you are reminded of work or mentally brought back into “the office” will be important to manage burnout and fatigue. Consider altering your notification preferences for email and other communication platforms associated with work. 

Setting a schedule for work can also help keep work off your mind when you are not “in” the office, and can help redirect anxious thoughts that may pop up in your off time.

Looking for a little more on work life balcne when working from home? Listen to this podcast: Coronavirus & Career: How We Make This Work — Advice From a Career Coach.

Creating Clear Distinctions Between Work Time And Leisure Time

Similar to how setting a work schedule can assist in creating structure and differentiate between off-time and work-time, creating clear physical boundaries with work can also be helpful. 

This may look like not working in bed or other spaces you normally wouldn’t get work done, and changing out of your PJs (even though you technically don’t have to). 

Working at a desk or the dining room table rather than your bed will help your brain and body tell the difference between work and play. If you don’t create clear distinctions between work and leisure, like when you try to wind down at the end of the day in bed, your work brain may start turning on because it thinks it’s work time! 

The same goes for working in front of the TV or in the living room. When you try to enjoy these spaces outside of work it may feel too familiar and eventually lead your brain to associate these spaces with work long-term.

If possible, try to change rooms when transitioning to and from work to help you better “clock out” at the end of the day and further distinguish your work environment against your home environment.

I hope these strategies help you successfully work from home either temporarily or long-term!

Wishing you success,
Josephine Marin, M.S., MFTC 

Josephine Marin, M.S., MFTC  is a warm, kind, and direct therapist and couples counselor who specializes in communication, compassion and connection. She can help you reach your goals and create positive change in yourself and your relationships.

Let’s  Talk

 

 

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Resiliency In The Face Of Chaos

Resiliency In The Face Of Chaos

Resiliency In The Face Of Chaos

Keep Going…

Everywhere you look online the Coronavirus (or COVID-19) pandemic is mentioned. It has been in every headline, every news outlet, on Facebook feeds, even in every email in my junk inbox. As an Online Therapist and Life Coach, my clients have been asking, “How do I adjust to this current situation?” Today I want to provide you with the same advice I share with my clients on resiliency in the face of chaos. 

When It’s Out of Your Control

The world has faced other health and public concerns, however, never on this large of a scale. It’s scary to read all of the headlines, especially when positivity is rarely reflected in the articles.

Facing a global pandemic and navigating life through COVID-19 is uncharted territory for all of us. Never before has an entire society had to worry about school closures in the middle of the semester, grocery store outages, and heavy financial stress.

There are so many new challenges that we are all facing – many challenges that are merely out of our control. How do we individually and collectively move into a new way of doing things when discomfort and uncertainty surround us?

Focus on the Positive

I want to point out that never before has society been so connected in terms of education and communication. Never before has our local and state communities come so closely together, offering to help. Never before have I seen so many people step up to help their friends and families during this uncertain time. [Read: Building CommUNITY During Social Distancing and Self-Quarantine for more on community during COVID-19]

What COVID-19 is teaching us as a community is that we are resilient and that resiliency in the face of chaos allows us to focus on the positive and find gratitude even in uncertain times. 

What is Resilience?

Resiliency is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Looking at the world on a global scale, it is in our nature to be resilient and as a collective, this feels more natural as we support one another. However, on an individual scale how can we personally develop resiliency in the face of chaos? 

Acknowledge and Accept

What I practice with my clients is the acceptance of personal feelings or emotions that may feel otherwise uncomfortable. Acknowledging and accepting that you feel scared, worried, confused, angry…these are all okay and valid emotions. The important thing to remember is that you will not feel like this forever – things will get better. 

Focus on Your Journey Ahead

While staying grounded in the present is an excellent way to overcome feelings of anxiety. Thinking about your personal journey and where it is leading you can encourage a sense of comfort knowing that your goals and dreams are still yours, they are still valid and real. 

A few questions you can ask yourself in order to build resiliency in the face of chaos are:

  • What are my hopes and goals for myself moving forward?
  • What can I hope to learn from this experience? 
  • Where have I found meaning and how can I help others in similar circumstances, even if it’s not the same?

Look for Inspiration

Online, pictures spread about animals returning after decreased human activity. Although there is no solid proof of this yet, it does inspire and give us hope in the times we need it. Nature is resilient and hopeful! 

In Spain, you can see people conversing and even exercising with each other from the balcony. 

In Italy, there are videos upon videos of the community gathering in song and music showing the world that despite this uncertain and scary time, we can continue to come together and show each other kindness and comfort. 

Here in the USA, stores are changing their hours to help the vulnerable populations get a headstart on shopping. There are local businesses and volunteer organizations offering food, child care, and even tasks such as getting the mail.

Shift Your Way of Thinking

This isn’t to say that the news shouldn’t be taken lightly or that the impacts of COVID-19 are minimized. Instead, trying to shift from a panic mentality to a resilience mentality can help both in the short and long term. [Read: Intentional Living – How to not Panic in the PANIC for more…]

In the short term, during social distancing and isolation, it is necessary to be thinking about the future and how you are growing. 

In the long term, it will be important to recognize the impact that this pandemic has caused and use it to move forward with helping yourself and helping others.

Right now we are in the midst of a forest fire. It seems like everything will be destroyed and yet, new growth begins to happen again. We are growing, we are coming together, and we will rebuild.

Here’s to your resiliency in the face of chaos,
Megan Brice M.S., LPCC

P.S. How are you building resiliency in the face of chaos? Share with me in the comments below!

Megan Brice, M.S., LPCC is a career counselor, life coach and therapist who creates a warm environment for you to explore the depths of who you are, so you can grow. She challenges, encourages, and empowers you to embrace transition in order to create future fulfillment.

Let’s  Talk

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