During these uncertain and stressful times, more then ever, we need joy in our daily lives. Whether at work or at home. A smile can change someone’s day from gloomy to joyful, showing some compassion when a coworker is at their breaking point or providing a little laughter can help everyone get through these unusual circumstances.
A good laugh heals a lot of hurts. — Madeleine L’Engle
What are the benefits of laughter in the workplace?
Laughter can lower stress and boredom, strengthen the immune system, and enhance team engagement, collaboration, creativity, and well-being. It relaxes the body and defuses conflict.
Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. — Victor Borge
How can you brighten someone’s day with a little laughter?
When were some times you and your team laugh at work?
What can you do to encourage laughter in the workplace?
Patti discusses establishing a work schedule to help you move into a flow and getting things done; working from home can be challenging, especially when the family doesn’t understand your work demands, work obligations, or time constraints with deadlines.
Patti: Established set work hours and communicating them to family and friends. Here are the hours and days I am working this week. Another way to communicate is to post your calendar/diary on the wall/door or give family viewable access to your digital schedule that reflects availability. Another approach you can make a daily or weekly calendar post in view (maybe kitchen) or text your unavailability for that day to the whole family. There are lots of creative ways to communicate you are working and unavailable. Sit down as a family and ask them how they want you to let them know. This way, everyone is part of the decision making. Do you want a daily text or a do not disturb sign on the door?
Angela said, I found the sign really official and makes it clear for others not to knock. In my building I used to live in, we had a lot of traffic going past my front door. People who delivered parcels would knock on the front door, which would be picked up on my calls or recordings. However, the worst thing about knocking on the front door was when I was doing meditation. Sounds and knocks during meditation can actually be dangerous to your body if you are in deep meditation and give you a heart attack. That forced me to make a sign to post on my front door, “please don’t knock, meditation in progress, if possible leave parcels.” The sign also allowed some people in the building the idea to be quiet when passing the front door too (if they read the sign!) I’m going to use another sign to the door in my office at home to be really clear about meditation time or when I’m recording, as people may have no idea what you are doing in the office and the sign makes people more aware about the noise.
Angela: When working at home with family these days, it is really valuable to look at your physical workspace. Do you have a space that’s appropriate to do your work? Do your kids have a space that’s appropriate to focus on learning? And space is not just physical like a desk; it includes sound and light. I’ve seen a lot of people being really creative with working at the kitchen bench, buying a fold away desk for the bedroom, and other bits of furniture like a screen or divider to section off spaces in the house or to create workspaces.
Sometimes, you won’t be able to really have a work space that is quiet, and people are more forgiving in these times if they hear kids and the kitchen in the background, but how does this affect you?
Are there changes you need to make without necessarily spending a lot of money, but perhaps using your house differently?
What could be something that gives you flow naturally that you need to put in your schedule to help you flow with the changes that we are now facing?
For Angela it’s definitely movement and I will be sharing some of the results of my movement classes in the coming months as I plan to share these classes for more people to discover their own natural rhythm.
You can stay in touch with Angela’s gentle movement classes by signing up to the newsletter.
Become a monthly supporter of Building Better Relationships at Home and Work with Angela and Patti a podcast.Click on the support button in the Anchor App. “By supporting Building Better Relationships at Home and Work with Angela and Patti podcasts through donations this will help sustain future episodes. Thank you for listening and sharing. 🙂 ”
Lately, I have been hearing that the “new” working from home has been very hard for some. They are saying they are working more hours then if they were in the office and it is leading to burnout and frustration.
Burnout is not fun. When you reach that point, you are exhausted physically, emotionally and mentally. Sometimes, you don’t even realize what happened. You have changed within. You feel confused, angry, and so tired of everything and everyone and no patience.
How did you get to this point?
High-achievers should continually be on the lookout for the warning signs of burnout because they don’t always see it coming. The doers are passionate about their work progress and tend to work long hours. They take on heavier workloads and put high expectations on themselves, which may lead to burnout if not monitored by pausing with some self-care techniques. Trying to be everything and anything to everyone, putting work 24/7 above rest, relaxation, a little fun, family, and friends. That’s how.
Is there a way to reverse it. Of course, but you have to take some time away from work mentally, emotionally, and physically. Not stepping away for a while could cost you your career, health, and relationships.
“Sometimes it takes an overwhelming breakdown to have an undeniable breakthrough”. ~ unknown
What is burnout?
It is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.
What are some warn signs?
🦋 Cynical, critical, pessimism, anger or irritable at work
🦋 Disliking the job, forcing yourself to get up and go to work or having a hard time getting started
🦋 Irritable or impatient with others, coworker, boss, customers or clients
🦋 Lack of energy or low productivity or chronic fatigue or loss of appetite
🦋 No focus, mind wanders, forgetfulness, or hard to concentrate
🦋 No satisfaction from achievements, feeling unappreciated for all the extra work effort
🦋 Feelings of disillusionment about career, isolation, depression, and anxiety
🦋 Using alcohol, drugs, or food to feel better or not to feel at all
🦋 Change in sleeping patterns, maybe insomnia or oversleeping
If not addressed, burnout can leave people feeling empty, exhausted, depressed, and unable to deal with daily life’s demands.
How to change?
🦋 Focus on your recent and past accomplishments 🦋 Stop self-criticizing yourself and others 🦋 Create a happy space to spend time in for self-reflection, meditation, and prayer 🦋 Make and write in a daily gratitude journal
Change your workflow! 🦋 Stop multitasking and focus on one task at a time towards completion 🦋 Take regular breaks 🦋 Limit working overtime 🦋 Journal about things that are bothering you and come up with solutions to resolve them.
If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, it’s time to take some action to reverse it. Self-reflect and make some changes to reduce stress and anxiety. Take control of your workload and have reasonable expectations about what is achievable.
Do you have a happy place?
If yes, where is it? I would love to hear about your happy place. If no, why not?
A couple of weeks ago, a friend was telling me about her work situation and why she decided to give her notice. She brightens up people’s days with her friendly demeanor. She worked at the front desk. Having a friendly employee as the first contact with your customers is crucial. Customers will continue to come if they feel welcome, the same for employees.
Why do good employees leave?
🦋 A shortage of appreciation, praise, acknowledgement, or recognition from management
🦋 Manager only pointing out what went wrong
🦋 Lack of trust in employees
🦋 Bad communication – Not sharing important information or changes in company policies
🦋 Unsatisfied relationships with coworkers and/or management
🦋 Employee feeling unchallenged or bored with their work
🦋 The organization culture or the companies vision
🦋 Little growth and no promotional opportunities
🦋 Blatant employee favoritism
🦋 Lack of work-life balance, being over-worked, feeling over-stressed and having no work boundaries (on duty 24/7)
How can we show up as a better leader and save good employees?
Build a trusting environment. Give opportunities for employees to learn new tasks and give them clear verbal instructions with written procedures. When a situation arises be truthful. Come up with the right solution together. Acknowledge good work performance. Share policies changes in person and written form. Be open to answering employees’ questions. Care about the job and value staff.
Did you find this helpful? If so, please share this blog post with others! Comments are always welcome. You may use your initials or anonymous for your name if this makes you feel more comfortable to comment. 🙂 Thank you for following and supporting me.
As a leadership and work-life balance coach, I am always open to new ways to banish stress and anxiety and sharing different techniques with others. In today’s blog post, I will be discussing worry stones and the method of rubbing away stress and anxiety.
The practice of rubbing worry stones has been around for centuries. When I was a kid, instead of worry stones, there were pet rocks and colored stones. I have always enjoyed looking at rocks by stopping, picking up the stones and admiring them. Their beautiful shapes, sizes, and colors.
What are some other common names for worry stones? Fidget stones, feeling stones, soothing stones, sensory stones and thumb stones.
According to Wikipedia the origins of worry stones: As a folk practice implement, worry stones have many origins. Variations on the concept originate in ancient Greece, Tibet, Ireland, and multiple Native American tribes. The concept of a worry stone began by the simple action of picking a smooth stone and fiddling with the stone. Worry stones made by sea water were generally used by Ancient Greeks. Native American tribes would continuously give them to younger generations, creating a sense of connection from previous family members. They also believed these worry stones were considered a sacred item and they were extra special if they were made out of quartz.
What is a Worry Stone? A worry stone is a smooth flat rock about the size of a thumb. When rubbing the stone between thumb and fingers, it has a calming effect. The stones are small enough to carry around in your pocket or purse. Stones come in all different colors, sizes, shapes and minerals. They can be river stones, crystals, sea glass, tumbled gems or a smooth flat rock from your backyard. You can purchase stones at craft and arts stores, amazon, mineral-rock shops and rock and gems shows. Some worry stones have an indent inside the size of a thumb. Other stones may have inspirational quotes, one-word sayings, affirmations, religious symbols, etc. Also, painting flat rocks is another way to relax and a way to make the stone more personal to fit your personality or style.
I recently watched a YouTube video called DIY Worry Stones on how to make worry stones from colored baked clay.
How Do You Use A Worry Stone? Place the flat stone in your hand between your thumb and index finger and rub the stone back and forth.
Does Rubbing on a Worry Stone Help Reduce Anxiety and Stress? A worry stone works as a form of reflexology or nerve pressure when rubbed. While rubbing the stone it touches the reflex areas in your thumb and fingers creating a sensation of relaxation and calm within the body. Reflexology is commonly known for applying gentle pressing on certain parts of the body, usually on the feet.
My stone: It is a smooth clear thumb size stone. I purchased it at a mineral-rock store. I like the feel of it in my hand. I do rub it from time to time. When using the worry stone, I will switch up my hands while rubbing it. Using just your dominant hand is fine.
When are good times to rub a worry stone?
🦋 While sitting at a doctor’s office.
🦋 Before taking a test.
🦋 Before giving a presentation.
🦋 When feeling anxious or upset.
🦋 While a customer is yelling at you on the phone.
🦋 Before delivering bad news.
🦋 While contemplating on a big decision or large purchase.
🦋 Before going to sleep.
Does it work? For me, it is a pleasant distraction because I am focusing on rubbing the stone and it does help me gain a new perspective.
For others, I think it depends on the individual and being open to the process. When taking those few moments of rubbing the stone, it can settle the mind.
Takeaway: Carrying a worry stone around with you, especially when feelings of anxiety, anger, or frustration occur. By rubbing your thumb and fingers across the stone it will hit reflex areas and the movement relaxes your mind, body, and spirit.
Please share your answers to the following questions in the comments below:
🦋 Have you rubbed a worry stone?
🦋 What was your experience like?
🦋 When do you use your worry stone?
🦋 What color is it?
🦋 How did you chose it?
🦋 Share a photo of your stone.
🦋 If not,After reading this blog post would you try one?
Did you find this helpful? If so, please share this blog post with others! Comments are always welcome. You may use your initials or anonymous for your name, if this makes you feel more comfortable to comment. 🙂 Thank you for following and supporting me.
Being a leadership and work-life balance coach, I am always looking for new ways to release stress and to share these different methods with others. My latest adventure was visiting a salt room.
I really didn’t know what to expect from this salt room. I was told to remove my shoes before entering and that I would be in there for 45 minutes and I may fall asleep. Once I hear a loud humming noise the session would be over.
This particular salt room had soft granulated Himalayan salt covering the floor, a variety of different size salt lamps and a wall with thin salt rock lights.
The room had an orange glow, with soft music playing. There were four reclining chairs, one soft living room chair in the corner and a large cushion on the salt-covered floor. I chose to sit on one of the reclining chairs.
I sat down in the chair, laid back and closed my eyes. At first random thoughts were going through my head but the more I relaxed the less they came. The longer I sat in the salt room the calmer and de-stressed I felt. I started to doze off towards the end of the session.
In this photo I was enjoying my session and becoming very relaxed and sleepy.
I know some people may think this is a little out-there or weird to believe that a lighted Himalayan salt room can change your mood however I did feel a shift from being uptight to calm.
What is Halotherapy?
It was an ancient European treatment of sitting in salt caves to improve skin conditions and respiratory disorders.
Nowadays, salt rooms are typically man-made, have a halogenerator and, are free of humidity. The temperature inside is around 68°F. The sessions are from 30 to 45 minutes. Halotherapy has wet methods as well. The most common is the dry method.
What are the benefits?
With regular and consistent dry Halotherapy sessions supposedly it helps to remove environmental toxins from the lungs, increase oxygen intake, boost immune response and boost energy levels. Other benefits include better sleep, enhanced focus, relaxation, strengthened immune system, relieves and/or prevents asthma, allergies, bronchitis, dermatitis, ear infections, sinus infections, and eczema.
A recent review of the research supporting halotherapy determined that, out of 151 studies conducted on this topic, only 1 was a well-designed randomized control trial that met their inclusion criteria for a meta-analysis. Researchers found that the majority of the research on this topic has serious methodological flaws that should be considered. Without vigorous control trials, we cannot be sure of the effects of halotherapy, despite claims made in the media.
From what I read there is no scientific proof of Halotherapy health benefits. What I can tell you about Halotherapy is how I felt during the session. I was relaxed and calmer.
Would I do it again? Definitely.
How about you? After reading this blog post would you try it?
Or have you had a session of Halotherapy?What was your experience like? Please sharein the comments below.
Did you find this helpful? If so, please share this blog post with others! Comments are always welcome. You may use your initials or anonymous for your name, if this makes you feel more comfortable to comment. 🙂 Thank you.
I enjoy being out in nature or just plain outside. Whether it is a few moments outdoors on my patio drinking coffee, a hike in the mountains, or camping lakeside taking time outdoors seems to rejuvenate me. So I am not surprised that others feel the same way.
There is a new craze called Forest Bathing (a Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku), which means spending time in nature and using all your senses. There is scientific research on this concept of Forest Bathing. According to the study being in nature restores our mood, refreshes, and rejuvenates us. It can lower blood pressure and decrease stress levels. When you feel overwhelmed, go outside, take a brief walk alone and see if this uplifts your spirit.
This weekend my husband and I went to a cabin in the woods. It was lightly raining, and the smell of the trees was so refreshing. After the rain stopped, we went for a walk to the nearby creek. The sounds of the rushing the water and the birds in the trees were very relaxing.
How to Forest Bath:
🦋 Go outdoors and find some trees or a large garden area with a variety of plants and trees.
Being in nature is soothing, especially when having a chaotic day. Making some time to go outdoors and get fresh air and a little bit of sunshine can uplift our spirit and decrease anxiety.
How about trying it today?
What did you notice?
Did you find this helpful? If so, please share this blog post with others! Comments are always welcome. You may use your initials or anonymous for your name if this makes you feel more comfortable to comment. 🙂 Thank you.
I was watching my grandchildren one-day last week and one of the toys we have is a child’s drum with percussions. My Mom bought it for my granddaughter last Christmas. My granddaughter loves it. We had a good jam session with it. She loves music and dancing around. She smiles so big and dances endlessly. It is so joyful to watch.
Being a leadership and work-life balance coach, I am always looking for new ways to release stress and to share these different methods. A couple of years ago one of my good friends told me about drum circles she attended and that they relieve stress. I’ve been thinking about going to a drum circle for a while and wanted to try it out.
So the adventure began. I found a drum circle on www.meetup.com and signed up to go. I asked my husband if he would accompany me. (He really needed to release some stress!) He looked at me with apprehension and said what is it? I explained that a drum circle is where everyone beats on a drum. I wanted to check it out to see how it helps to reduce stress levels and possibly write a blog post about the experience. He was hesitant at first. I said, oh come on let’s make it an adventure. He said okay. 🙂
When we arrived, there were all different sizes of African drums to pick from. The instructor showed us how to hold the drums correctly. Both of us picked a tall drum to sit with between our legs to play. The participants sat in either chair or on a couch in a circle so we could see each other around the room. The instructor started hand drumming slowing with a hand rhythm and we would follow the pattern. Then she would slowly increase the pace for us to follow along.
My husband Tom was natural. He picked up playing the beats quickly. I was all over the place but was having fun banging on the drum. As the class went on, each one of us in the drum circle would start a beat and everyone else would follow. We even had one lady dancing around with a percussion towards the end. She was really enjoying herself and all of us like watching her dance around to the beat of the music. Some of the other participants would switch instruments by using different types of drums or percussions. Handheld drums, floor drums and assorted of percussions. Tom and I keep to the same drum. Towards the last few minutes of the drum circle event, I tried a percussion. It looks similar to a cheese grater but was shaped like a banana and raddled and had a rake to scrap the outside. I would shake it and rake it to make sounds to the beat of the drums. To be honest I wasn’t really to the beat of the music but I tried my best. Haha!
How was the experience?
I enjoyed it. I had to really concentrate on the hand movements to follow the rhythm.
Did it relieve stress?
Yes, I think it did. The sound of the vibrations and movement of hands took your mind off of everything but what was happening around you.
Would I do it again?
Definitely, I really did enjoy it. My hands hurt a little afterward but not for too long. I asked Tom his thoughts and he said maybe he would go again if it was closer to home and the timing was right. He didn’t think it really reduced stress but it surprised him that he had a talent he didn’t even know he had. He hadn’t played a musical instrument before.
My only regret was we didn’t take any photos while we were there to share with this post.
A drum circle was a way to be focussed and concentrate on the hand rhythm and beat of making beautiful sounds. It was an adventure of getting out of our comfort zone, trying something new, meeting different people and getting our minds off of everything else, except the sound and vibration of the music. Everyone should try something new and get out of their comfort zone every once in awhile. In my opinion, it was two hours well spent. ~Patti
Comments are always welcome. You can always use your initials or anonymous for your name, if this makes you feel more comfortable to respond. 🙂 Did you find this helpful? If so, please share this blog post with your colleagues, friends, and family on all your social networks! Thank you. 🙂
As a leader, have you stopped, pause, and reflected before reacting? I know this can be difficult at times, especially when in the middle of a crisis. We want to resolve the problem as quickly as possible. When pausing, we won’t jump immediately into the wrong conclusion.
Incorporating the Art of Pause into Leadership:
The PAUSE and REFLECT Technique When at work and someone is rude to you. Or you don’t agree with them. Pause for three to five seconds before responding. Pausing will give you time to reframe your reply or decide not to respond at all.
Pause, Reflect and Don’t send an email response you will regret! I think everyone has sent an email they regretted sending sometime or another. What if you receive a nasty passive/aggressive email? Before responding to the email. Write out your reply. Don’t send it and walk away. If possible sleep on it. Then rewrite the email response, when you have calmed down. Have someone else read it to help tone down the language before hitting the send button.
“Anger doesn’t solve anything. It builds nothing, but it can destroy everything”. – unknown
Don’t get me wrong as a leader. There are times you have to be direct with employees for them to improve their work performance. We can’t ignore the situation and let it continue. Have a plan on how to address it. Write it out and practice what and how to say it. There are also times when you do need to respond immediately and make a quick decision. When possible, take the opportunity to pause and reflect. What is happening around you? It may change your approach and captivate a great solution.
What are your thoughts about the art of pause?
How will you incorporate it into your leadership style?
Comments are always welcome. You can always use your initials or anonymous for your name, if this makes you feel more comfortable to respond. 🙂 Did you find this helpful? if so, please share this blog post with your colleagues, friends, and family on all your social networks! Thank you. 🙂