“Come apart by yourself and rest awhile” ❤
I’ve been appreciating the benefits of some of the self care elements that I’ve explored in previous blog posts in this series. Those such as having a structure, order and routine / purpose to our days, healthy habits, and boundaries of various sorts, and so forth.
For example, today I was able to have a reasonably productive morning routine, check in with work, meet some key deadlines and correspond with colleagues on various issues, update logs, and keep things on track for myself and other people in related teams. I took a short break for exercise, food and a bit of fresh air by stepping outside for a few moments. That being said, I have been having tension headaches for the past couple of days. Although as someone who feels more energised in solitude than in busy atmospheres of a lot of company / people (which my usual office life would involve…I suppose you could call me an introvert then, and I’d happily embrace that term – someone who loves company in smaller settings with deeper connectedness, loves her own company, and feels really stressed out and anxious with the overload of information from busier settings), I still have found a sense of stress during my working day from time to time.
I love working from home far more than working from the office, as I still can keep in touch with a few close friends by email, without the stress of all the other people and goings on and commutes and office politics, etc! Even so, having routines, structure, and self care in our days doesn’t mean that within these we don’t feel a challenge to our wellbeing.
Taking what I’ve decided to term a ‘wellbeing break’ is making a sort of commitment to yourself that your wellbeing is important. Although the structure of a working day from home, if that’s your situation, might be a positive, in and of itself it isn’t enough. Within that structure you might experience stresses of emails, demands, expectations and deadlines from other people, and that can affect up physically, mentally and emotionally in a variety of ways, which can lead to a build up of stress and we might not feel or be on top of our game.
So within those structures and boundaries, it is important to learn to listen to what our bodies are saying to us. I realise that the tension headaches start to appear when I am working and even though I might be doing a great job from my boss’s perspective, the external output isn’t necessarily all we should be focused on. So if you are feeling a bit stressed or unwell during the day, take time out to check in with yourself, and do something that will help you feel well and get back on track. This could be switching your computer off for a while and coming back to tasks later, getting some fresh air, eating something healthy or exercising, doing something creative and so forth.
I think we need to be able to manage boundaries and expectations with ourselves and each other and this also involves working on our communication. We don’t need to rigidly stick to our desks when working from home for a set number of hours, as it is important to take care of our wellbeing too, and that may make us far more effective and efficient and helpful to others in the long run.
I’ve talked about things that I’ve experienced, but even if your situation is completely different to mine, and even if you are taking steps towards looking after yourself, which is wonderful, in the middle of those positive things, you might have ups and downs, and that’s ok. So, if your body is telling you something for example, your head hurts more, you feel tense, stressed, anxious, worn out etc, then listen to it, take a ‘wellbeing break’ and find out what is going to work for you to take care of yourself and notice and respond to those often uncomfortable, but so very helpful and important internal cues.
Take care my friends, and remember to take it one step at a time. x