My questions for you related to this topic are about how practicing mindfulness has affected your relationship with yourself and others. Has your attitude towards yourself been impacted? Have your relationships/interactions with others been impacted by your mindfulness practice? Has mindfulness increased your awareness of your input into social relationships or increased your acceptance of help from others?
From reflecting on my own experiences, I’ve realized that mindfulness, and particularly the mindful therapies I’ve been working with, have had a really positive impact on my relationships. Firstly with myself. Acceptance and compassion are two of the things that have led me to feel gentler with myself and my limitations. I think this, in turn, has affected my relationships with others in a couple of ways. It was hard for me to feel like I had anything to offer in a friendship when I was stuck at home having a hard time getting around, and constantly stressed out from the pain. I was no fun to be around at all, I thought. For a long time I didn’t work on my friendships or relationships at all. I focused solely on myself, thinking “once I kick this pain then I’ll go back to having a life and being with other people.” What this ended up doing was disconnecting myself from my social network and looking back I realize I was wasting time by putting my life on hold. I’ve been searching for more balance now, in focusing on myself and my relationships with others. I think acceptance and compassion have enabled me to feel more comfortable with myself in my relationships with others, which I think has also made me more pleasant to be around – bonus!
Another aspect of my relationships that have really improved through acceptance and compassion is asking for and accepting help from others. I hate to ask for help! I value my independence, and even though I love to help other people it feels like such a burden and imposition to ask for help from others. At the peak of my pain, I was relying on friends and family for everything – grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, and even help caring for my pets. It was really difficult for me to accept that I was in a position where I could not repay the favors being done for me, and social norms taught me that I needed to reciprocate! I think therapy really helped me deal with this, and humbled me to the fact sometimes this is what it means to be human.
#mindfulrelationships #compassion #acceptance #connection
Have any of you noticed any aspect of your relationships that has changed through mindful practices?
I learnt pretty quickly that for me to be the best employee that I could be I had to be able to advocate for myself in the workplace. This also meant understanding that not every work environment will be supportive or understanding. Step one to advocating for myself was disclosing that I live with a chronic pain condition and that it was essential that I find a flexible and manageable way to do my work. Before I even got to this point I spent months tracking my symptoms in an excel spreadsheet jotting down how I felt at work. Through this process I was able to identify my peak moments and I was able to start brainstorming how I would address the foggy days and the days when I might not be at my peak but still functional enough to work on something. On foggy days I mostly organized files and did the simplest of tasks. On very tough days I had to learn to step away and take the necessary rest that I needed otherwise I knew my body would make me pay for it. Regular stretch breaks, quick naps, accepting that some days nothing will get accomplished, and very clear communication with my supervisor are a few of the things I have done to find balance.
How have you gone about managing the challenges of multiple symptoms in the workplace? How do you learn to stop and take inventory of how your body is reacting to your work environment or the stresses of your task at hand? What are some of your work survival hacks?
A few simple resources for the workplace:
Living with any chronic condition is a challenge but living with a chronic condition and managing work is a whole adventure of its own. It is essential to listen to your body so as to find the right balance at work. Finding a balance also means understanding how much you can handle and learning to clearly articulate your needs. So what does this mean? For me, it means knowing what symptoms will affect me the most and taking the time to start brainstorming ways of alleviating the symptoms.
For example, I suffer from migraines often triggered by the fluorescent lights found in many offices. Every time I was at work I would not be able to concentrate because of the discomfort. Once I realized the lights where a major problem I spoke to my doctor first to see if she would be willing to write a note that I could use with my employer explaining the need to adjust the lighting. Armed with support from my doctor I asked my boss if the lighting above my desk could be removed. It was a relatively easy adjustment to make so they were able to accommodate my request. I had the same issue at another job but they couldn’t remove the lighting due to the way it was set up so I bought myself prescription sunglasses which I wore while at the office. I also would ask staff if I could turn off or dim the lights when we had certain group meetings. It was a hard exercise because it meant being vocal but it was my first lesson in advocating for myself in the workplace.
How have you found balance at work? What are some of the things you have done to adjust?
Topic: Introduction to Week 7
This week we will discuss how we convey the information we glean from listening to our bodies in different contexts. How do you share (or not share) what your body tells you with family? With coworkers? An additional moderator, Jerrie, will be sharing her experiences with us this week to expand our conversation to workplace contexts. I hope to hear from you. – Sami
Monday: Once I start listening, am I the expert?
Tuesday: Will you hear what I hear?
Wednesday: Guess what my body told me today
Thursday: How do others learn to listen to my body?
Thursday: Creating the right balance at work
Friday: Disclosing in the Workplace and Advocating for yourself
Saturday: Accepting that your professional success might look different from everyone else’s
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Viewing 10 results - 1 through 10 (of 27 total)