Hello – I’m Terry Caldwell, wife, mother, former technology marketer and for the past 7 years, assistant to an amazing entrepreneur, my daughter. Working remotely for the last 15+ years, the pandemic’s change to our work habits didn’t really impact me. But I wasn’t prepared, like many, for the effects of the pandemic on managing work and life overall.
Rest. Work-life balance. Working smarter and not harder. These are phrases that have swirled around me for most of my career, which now spans too many years to mention (as most of you readers are likely younger than how long I’ve been working!). But since our lives have been changed with the pandemic, they’ve become real and elusive all at the same time.
What have I learned? No matter how much practice we’ve had at these challenges, we need refreshers and determination to navigate our emotions, and try to be the best version of ourselves that we can be for ourselves and everyone around us. Here are a few things that have helped me and may help you too.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed. By stopping what you’re doing and tuning in to your ‘inner voice’, you’ll know if you need to step away for a few minutes, head outside for a walk, or take some quiet time for yourself. If you’re able to create a space for just “you” to read, stay quiet, listen to music, be creative or do some stretches, it’s worth it. Decorate it with little things that bring you pleasure, and spoil yourself – just a little!
Be aware of what you take in
Negative thinking can do so much harm to our emotional and even physical wellness. While there seems no end to sad or disturbing news around us, we can intentionally seek out those things that are pure, lovely, kind, lovable, winsome and gracious (Phil 4:8). Think on those things – whether it’s hearing the laughter of a loved one, watching the sun rise, staring at a favourite painting, or getting lost in music that moves your heart, soak those things in. The negative will pale in comparison, and you’ll feel so much more at peace.
When we take the time to love ourselves, by listening and feeding our hearts with good things, we are then able to share that with others around us. Whether it’s a kind word spoken from behind your mask at the checkout counter, or a phone call to someone you’ve been meaning to talk to for a long time, someone out there who can use an encouraging word.