Everyone wishes that they can work from home but now that many people have to they might realize that it’s not all a walk in the park. If you’re a freelancer, run your own business or have been transferred out of your office and into your home, you likely understand the feeling of being burnt out.
Finding time to take care of yourself, have a good work-life balance and know when you’re taking on too much is key to a healthy and happy life! But it’s not easy. To help us learn how to do it all, we talked to Courtney Johannesen, a certified yoga and mindfulness teacher who specializes in self-care and stress relief.
To you, what is self-care, and what are the advantages of self-care? Why is self-care so important when working from home?
Self care is listening to our body’s signals, paying attention, and doing what we need and what’s good for us.
Slow down and pause to investigate what you really need then respond with an aligned action such as water, rest, healthy food, or movement.
Working at home can blur the boundaries between work and the other parts of our life. When stress is already high from suddenly stepping into a new work environment in the middle of a global pandemic, mindful self-care practices give us a way to manage the stress and changes.
[By] taking the time and effort to do what we need to feel our best we are stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally when challenges come up.
Can self-care relieve stress and make us more productive?
Self-care is intricately woven into our wellbeing. When we take care of ourselves, we have more positive energy to give to our work and relationships.
Maybe you’ve heard the expression “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” If we give too much of our energy away, we’ll be running on empty. Self-care activities nourish and fulfill us so we can then give to others from our overflow.
Stress is more difficult to handle if we’re already depleted. I know I’ve experienced this. When too many things in one day go sideways, I might catch myself overreacting over dropping something on the floor.
Can we use self-care to build a sustainable level of sanity and success?
Engaging in self-care practices is brain training. Doing things we enjoy tells our brain that we’re worth our own time and our well-being is a priority.
When we’re stressed, the body’s alarm system is triggered. Stress hormones are released, preparing us to fight a threat or flee a harmful situation. When the danger has passed, the body moves into rest and digest mode.
Super stress mode is our body’s way of helping us, but unfortunately we can get stuck there with our cycles of remembering, analyzing, and worrying.
We can’t avoid stress and situations that activate our stress response. But we can use skillfully manage our stress to minimize the harmful effects of the stress response.
Self-care won’t look the same for everyone. The two keys to sustainable self-care are:
- Find a self-care activity you enjoy doing
- Try to spend a little time doing it often (instead of a long time sporadically)
As human beings, and strong women, we were born to handle stress. But as Courtney reminds us, that doesn’t mean we have to carry as much as we do. Taking time for self-care is just as important – if not more – than success in our work because a healthy mind produces quality work! Share your self-care journey or some tips of your own with us @WeAreCandescent on social media. Here’s to your success!
About Courtney Johannesen
Courtney Johannesen is a certified yoga and mindfulness meditation teacher and the creator of the Stress Less System. She gives ambitious professionals the yoga tools and strategies to heal the stress in their body, take back control of their mind, and positively handle stress when it comes up.
It is her mission to support women in increasing their confidence, becoming more adaptable to different situations, navigating relationships easier, and understanding how to work with (and not against) their own body and mind. She hosts the Facebook group Yoga, Meditation, and Self-Care for Stress Relief to share these tools and practices.