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People need to take the time to do self-care, including parents. As much as parents need to take care of their children on top of other responsibilities, they also have to make time to do self-care to sustain their psychological and physical wellbeing. This would include participating in leisurely activities, exercising, healthy eating, and taking time to seek and maintain a social support system.
There are many studies that point to how practicing self-care can have a positive effect on a person’s health as well as life quality, satisfaction, and overall well-being. That is because engaging in self-care can significantly reduce stress, depressive symptoms, anxiety, and burnout. As such, it is important for people, more so parents, to allow some time to do a self-care routine.
Parents constantly lead a busy life of taking care of the family on top of household chores, work, and other duties. The daily hassle as a parent makes it seem impossible to have time for oneself. It is easy for parents to push away the need to do self-care because they think they have limited time, money, and social support. Thoughts such as having no time to relax because of tasks that need to be done or being too busy for anything else become an excuse for parents to put self-care on the back burner and forget about it.
Neglecting self-care for years will negatively affect the parents’ and children’s life. Parents who overlook their needs for self-care may be more vulnerable to feelings of stress, burnout, and depression. Those conditions will make it harder for parents to provide appropriate care for their children and family and manage other personal responsibilities. In fact, parents with less self-care and emotional dysregulation can negatively affect their children in terms of their mental health, psychological adjustment, and lifestyle.
Parents need to take some time and space within their daily routine for self-care. Parents can implement self-care activities anytime and anywhere as long as they are doing it intentionally and consistently. Allocating even 5-10 minutes each day for self-care activities would definitely help parents decompress, whether it is done in the morning, while the children are asleep, or after dinner.
For self-care activities to have an impact on any parent’s life, the activities need to occur repeatedly to become a positive habit. Making these activities obvious, attractive, easy, and satisfying can help practicing self-care becomes a feasible activity to do daily. It is also important to schedule when you want to do your self-care activities and inform your coparent, children, or other family members to let them know of it. Here are four components of self-care that parents can keep in mind to develop a healthy routine:
Relating to personal growth like learning and thinking, this is helpful for self-understanding and problem-solving. Self-care activities that can psychologically help you include journal writing, self-reflecting, and doing a digital detox. You can also spend time reading books or watching movies with your partner. You can also learn a new skill, like painting, knitting, or gardening with your children to help you recover from your duties as a parent.
This pertains to activities that can improve physical health, such as exercising, eating healthy food, and getting enough sleep. You can also spend time having a relaxing massage, taking a short walk with your children, spending intimate moments with your partner, or even going camping with family might help you recharge and refresh your energy.
It is important to seek a purpose and meaning in life. As such, you can do activities that can help such as meditation, yoga, and praying with family. Having a gratitude journal and writing about the three things you are thankful for throughout the day will help; you may even share it with your coparent and children to open up the communication on being grateful towards one another.
This involves doing activities that foster a positive relationship with others. You can have something as simple as having a romantic date night with your partner, scheduling time to talk with friends or family, or participating in volunteering activities with your communities. Joining an online support group to connect with other parents to share your struggles and accomplishments as a parent will also help you gain new tips in parenting and remind you that you are not alone.
Parents need to try several types of self-care activities to identify what works best for them. Parenting requires a lot of energy and patience, so it is important to recharge by having some alone time with yourself or with your coparent. This way, you can regain your energies in a healthy way while performing your duties as a parent and recognizing your individuality.
With the pandemic still affecting many parts of the world, work and school continue to be conducted predominantly from home. A 2020 report showed that 56% of employees worldwide began to work remotely as physical offices shut down due to COVID-19. Even though companies are gradually opening their offices in 2021, the hybrid way of working will most likely remain as the world transitions towards a post-pandemic era.
However, a dedicated home office is a luxury not everyone can have, especially those accustomed to conventional ways of working. The lack of space for a comfortable separate work area can be a hassle, especially when sharing and managing the area with other family members. There is also the disturbance from the surrounding area that can interfere with one’s ability to focus on any task.
This condition drives employees to be creative with the choice of workspace to maintain performance. According to a 2021 report, 24% of American employees surveyed chose to work outdoors, while 21% preferred to work in the closet. One more popular solution is to set up a workspace in the bedroom to gain more privacy and have fewer distractions from other areas that have more activity in terms of regular household chores. Despite the benefits, working from the bedroom–especially in bed–has several side effects.
The internal concept of the bedroom as a place to rest may lead you to become unproductive as the distinction between work and personal time becomes blurred. When working from the bed, you might find difficulty in falling asleep because your brain gradually associates it with a place of work. In addition, the constant radiation of blue light from computer screens and other electronic devices will also disrupt one’s sleep duration, cycle, and overall quality of sleep.
With all these facts, you might be wondering if working from the bedroom may not be such a good choice after all. In reality, it can still be a viable choice if certain adjustments are made. Below are some tips on how you can effectively set and organize your bedroom workspace.
Maintaining a clear boundary between your focus and relaxation zones is crucial for you to productively work from your bedroom. To do so, consider using a room divider. Among the many options are curtains, wood-slatted partitions, upholstered screens, frosted glass walls, and pegboards. If you are tight on budget and wish to repurpose some of the furniture you already have, consider optimizing your bookshelf or a drawer as a divider.
Using curtains is also a good idea for a small and medium-sized room to install on the ceiling or walls. After you finish work for the day, close the curtain to mark the day as complete. After which, you can enjoy unwinding in your relaxation area without getting distracted by the sight of your workspace.
When setting up the desk, make sure to place it away from the bed. You can place it either on the opposite end of the room or facing it away from the bed. This will help you to stay focused and productive instead of wanting to lay down on the cozy mattress every 5 minutes. You may also opt for a folding desk that you can easily close after work.
Having a dedicated space to work at home is a privilege not everyone can afford. Oftentimes, working from the bed is the only option available as you only need a desk tray you can fold away easily and not a full desk to support your laptop. The problem with working from the bed is that it is not good for your physical and psychological health.
It is very important to change your posture from time to time and support various parts of your body, which sitting on the bed cannot provide. Therefore, make sure to sit on an upright chair as much as possible while you are working. Investing in an ergonomic chair would be a great idea. Otherwise, you can repurpose a dining chair by adding a pillow or a cushion to help you feel comfortable sitting on it for a long duration.
Preventing neck and back pain while working can be done in several ways. If you are using a computer with a separated screen and keyboard, try to place the screen at eye level or higher than the keyboard. This adjustment will reduce the tension around your neck and back area and help sustain a good posture.
Ideally, you are encouraged to set up your workspace in close proximity to a window. Having a naturally, well-lit workspace is preferable because it can improve performance by providing necessary lighting for your visual tasks. Several studies also indicate that people who work in an environment with natural light and open windows experienced an increase in attention and alertness.
Nevertheless, it might be a hassle for people living in a dense area where houses are practically pressed against each other, allowing little to no natural light inside. An example would be living in a condominium in the middle of a bustling and polluted city which disables people from having their windows open. In addition, taller buildings may also potentially be blocking sunlight to seep into the room. Therefore, how to make sure you still receive adequate lighting?
The alternative is to use a desk lamp with adjustable lighting so you can control the light according to your preferences and needs. A LED lamp can be a good option since it allows more light to be focused on actual working areas and direct it towards the area where it is most required. There are also available options that allow you to control the color and intensity of a LED lamp via Bluetooth on your phone.
Research has shown that the resulting turmoil from a cluttered and untidy environment can interfere with our ability to concentrate. Your brain’s ability to digest information can also be limited if there is clutter as it can disrupt your attention span. Hence, it is important to keep your workspace clean and organized to be more productive and retain your focus on your tasks.
One alternative to free up space on your desk is to maximize your walls by setting up vertical shelves. Here, you can store work-related books and paper holders for when you need to check them out. Decorating your shelves with pictures, small table plants, or awards you have received would be a great option, too.
Consider using storage spaces such as containers with compartments to organize stationery, writing materials, and other necessary items accordingly so it will be easy to store and find items you need for work. Documents can be stored in a filing tray, magazine holder, or a similar type of filing organizer; each section can be creatively marked using different colors of files and labels. Immediately declutter broken items and those you no longer need to free some space; that way, you will not get stressed out from keeping the excess of junk in your room.
Add a touch of your personality to your work area. Putting up some wall art and ornaments will help enhance the aesthetic of your space. Mix and match colors and objects that represent you as a person to make the environment more vibrant. This way, you can both hone your creativity and feel more inspired while working from your bedroom.
Experiment with different patterns in your decor. Pick a few of your favorite prints and textures and mix them together to complement your furniture, curtain, and walls. Usually, it is suggested that these patterns should stay within the same color palette for a harmonious look. Nevertheless, exploring your taste and creativity is highly recommended.
To spark a calming atmosphere, consider adding indoor plants to your workspace set up. Be it a potted plant on the desk or a hanging one on the wall, feel free to adjust according to the availability of your space. If you are worried about not being able to take care of a plant, artificial greenery might be the best choice.
In conclusion, the key to creating an effective work environment in your bedroom is balancing your professional and personal needs. Identifying what works best for you and what does not is a wise start to visualize what your workspace is going to look like. Remember that your health and productivity are among the main aspects that you need to consider when rearranging your room. Last but not least, allow your creativity to flow.
Have you ever felt empty due to sudden loss? If that has ever happened to you, you may have been experiencing grief. The grief that you experience can come not only from someone’s passing but also from a range of losses such as heartbreak from a romantic relationship, the resignation of close colleagues, and even loss of financial stability. The grief might come with mixed emotions; you might feel thankful but jealous, powerful but lonely, or sad but grateful. These changes will plunge your life into an emotional roller-coaster, however, even though those painful changes, there are chances to grow.
One of the reasons why grief is such a complicated emotion is because people are trained to achieve things in life. During childhood, people often strive for their parents’ approval. As they enter school, studying hard becomes a motivation to receive recognition. In their formative years, teenagers try to be physically appealing to gain acceptance.
This pattern goes on until adulthood. People have gained so much knowledge on how to gain certain things but are left helpless in the face of loss. Lack of knowledge about how to cope with grief also affects how people respond to others who are grieving, which leads to the second reason.
Society has not been able to give suitable feedback to grief. Grief is not only an emotional experience; it can also negatively affect a person’s physical health. As an attempt to overcome this, society tends to focus on pushing the unpleasantness away quickly by suggesting you get busy or simply forget about it. Of course, it is not that easy to push grief away since a human’s brain and body are made to think and feel.
To push the grief away is like pushing a part of yourself away. Therefore, rather than denying and letting it be released in an unhealthy way, one would need to manage grief by creating an emotionally safe space to be released adaptively. However, this condition might be difficult to realize due to the need for efficiency, which leads us to the last reason.
In modern times, productivity and efficiency are highly valued. However, you might have less time paying attention to yourself and have a harder time healing adaptively from grief. This may lead to difficulty in sleeping, poor appetite, overthinking, and even procrastination, all of which is akin to adding salt to an existing wound caused by grief.
As such, it is important to realize that grief is a beautiful emotion that can help you gain wisdom and personal growth if you can overcome it adaptively. Even if it is not easy, there are ways to go through the process of grief in a meaningful way while still being able to go on with daily life.
It might be difficult to be honest with yourself during the beginning of grief since it might bring more sadness and pain, but the more you realize and embrace it, the more effectively you can deal with it. One way to go about it is to write your thoughts down in the journal. Since this is a personal journal, you do not have to think of the aesthetic of your handwriting, grammar, or how it might sound to others. It is a free, private, and personal safe space for your grief.
After being honest with your grief, you might find it easier to repress or push away the discomfort it gives you than to accept and be in that moment. However, only in embracing your grief will you learn to be grounded and aware of how your body is reacting towards grief such as feeling your heart beat faster or your shortness of breath.
When this happens, try to sit comfortably and breathe from your stomach slowly and gently. To do this, expand your belly out as you inhale and slowly exhale. Slow breathing is one of the ways you can soothe yourself and create a sense of safety and relaxation while dealing with grief.
When a person gets physically injured, they would be proactive in their recovery by attending to it immediately or even going to the doctor in the case of a severe injury. Similarly, people should also be proactive in tending to their emotional needs, especially in times of grief.
Ask yourself what you really need to feel better and make that as the guide for healing. However, make sure that the steps you take are sustainable and will not bring harm to yourself or others. In addition, you might consider reducing some stressful activities for the sake of recovery. Be compassionate to yourself and be creative in finding what feels good to you.
Your energy gets drained physically and emotionally during the grieving process, so it is important to practice self-care; taking care of your body will help in the healing process. Several ways to take care of your physical health include practicing proper hygiene, getting proper sleep, doing exercises or activities, and eating a nutritious meal. Taking care of your emotional health can involve expressing yourself through creative means, meditating, doing hobbies that you like, and talking with people that you trust.
Do not hesitate to ask for help especially when your pain is too much to handle. Ask yourself who are the people that you can trust, reach out to, and comfort you in difficult times. It might be a family member, romantic partner, friend, work colleague, spiritual leader, or mental health professional. To maximize your healing process, you might consider reorganizing deadlines and tasks with your work supervisor. Find the middle-ground for you and your supervisor’s needs, so that you can healthily process your grief while not having to worry about work.
Even if grief may not be a pleasurable experience in life, it can help you become more adaptable, see your capacity to love in yourself, appreciate happy moments, and discover the meaning of life. Rather than taking large, extravagant moves, tiny, appropriate, and actionable choices can help you bounce back from painful grief.
People send out messages into the world every minute but are you aware of the message you are sending? Ask yourself: are your personal and professional personas reflecting the person you want to be? Do your visual aesthetics, actions, and presence support it?
Initially, rebranding one’s self may sound pretentious. However, reinventing a part of your story is a normal element of human development. It is considered as growth, and growth happens with exploration. So whenever you find something you want to change, you have to rebrand it.
Governments, NGOs, corporations, and the like all embellish themselves in corporate branding to stand out from an ever-growing pool of competition. After every couple of years, they rebrand to tweak minor and major aspects of their organization to stay at the top of their game. So why should personal branding be any different?
Branding or reinventing your brand is defined as a skill that you can master at any age with the right tips and tricks, often within a given amount of time, energy, or both. People opt to redesign their avatars when they want to follow a different path in life, rebut perceptions, or take on a more significant and challenging job.No matter the reason behind your drive, here are some tips to rebrand and market yourself accordingly.
Before jumping on the bandwagon, it is crucial to know the aim and the psychology behind the change. This behavior is inward-looking rather than outward-looking. You have to address the why’s and what’s before you get to the how’s which entails conducting extensive research, understanding precisely how you might alter the public’s opinion of you, and anticipating the outcomes of this transformation. Once you’ve determined your major challenge and goal, you can begin learning the skills you will need to enable your personal reinvention.
People who embrace change experience growth. To do that, you must sincerely believe that you are open to change to begin the transformation of your mindset; saying it out loud can also help as you embark on rebranding yourself. You can also start taking baby steps outside your comfort zone, decrease self-judgment, try something new and scary, and make it a habit to see things from another’s eyes. Make a firm commitment to your new change, and while you are establishing a new vision for life, stay aware, and continue to create and nourish any small ideas that can improve your new mindset.
In marketing, this is called a unique selling proposition; consider it the same for personal branding with the emphasis on your value. Define your strongest points; it could be one or two, or even a combination of aspects. Consider analyzing your competition and the people you look up to. At this point, you need to pinpoint what makes you stand out in the community, workplace, or family. That is what people will remember you for, and you can capitalize on it.
People tend to think that the way they look has nothing to do with their real selves or that they should never judge a book by its cover, but in reality, humans continue to pass judgment on others. A person can infer a lot about you based on the physical look you portray, from your principles to whether you are introverted or not. Clothes, for instance, have evolved from a functional asset to a social symbol, influencing our perceptions of ourselves; it is even considered a symbol of personal affluence and style in many countries. These aspects and more enable people to be viewed the way they want to and help project their personality and social status.
Be mindful that your personal brand voice represents your unique brand’s perspective and the principles you stand for. In fact, your voice is your brand’s overall personality. It is also beneficial to pay attention to your tone as well as your usage of language and how you express things since this sets the standard of how you choose to communicate with your community.
Now that a thorough personal brand positioning is in place, it is time for you to sing your own praises. Social media is a perfect place to reintroduce your new identity. You can use this space to reinstate your new attitude and beliefs. Do not shy away; these platforms are molded for personal branding. Use it strategically and blow your own trumpet.
Prove yourself to yourself first and then release it for others to see it. How can you expect others to believe in you if you do not believe in yourself? You can start by showcasing your new accomplishments, constantly post content that represents you on social media, find a way to be part of a similar tribe, and constantly keep representing your new you. The secret to proving yourself rests on consistency. Keep doing what you are doing, believe in your new self, and keep pushing the boundaries.
Mahatma Gandhi, Steve Jobs, and even Winston Churchill are just a few examples of leaders that embraced the power of personal branding. Churchill despised the idea that he was not supported by the British public and his own political party that he then decided to reinvent himself, make a drastic change, and join the military. It was after this shift that he shaped his desired avatar and started demonstrating outstanding leadership. Mahatma Gandhi’s brand image portrays truth and this image of truth was the result of thought and action seeds that were planted early on in his childhood which became the brand that he is remembered for today. Just as importantly, Steve Jobs once said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” In the same way, you can achieve the personal brand you desire with the right skills, effort, and consistency.