Last time I was home from work for an extended period of time (which was not by choice), was 7 years ago when I was laid off from a big corporate company from what I like to call a “ looked really good on paper” type of job. Good salary, good benefits, decent amount of vacation days, the works.
When I was suddenly told I was “dismissed, ” (yes, that was the actually wording), I was basically like, “OK, now what?” To be suddenly home everyday, was very jolting. I even think I may have been a bit depressed at the beginning (very anxious, insomnia). Even though I wasn’t really happy working at this place anymore (this was when corporate life was starting to lose it appeal to me), it was still very jarring (and embarrassing) to be one of the ones to be on the chopping block.
At the beginning, I probably was just a lump on the couch most of the time. I also had mixed feelings about the whole thing. I think it was a combination of, “Yay! I am home! And also, crap…what do I do now?!”
However, after a few months my productively began to increase and I decided to finally finish my Masters degree. I was previously doing it part time, but since I was home I could devote one semester and finally get it done. This gave me something productive to do. I also worked on my Arbonne business, which was also really good distraction at the time (and some side money). Eventually (a year later), I started teaching part time.
However it the mist of going to school and doing part time stuff, I was also WORKING ON MYSELF.
The first thing I decided to do was finally committing to conquering a consistent workout routine. From the beginning. I made the decision to work out every day until it literally becomes a routine for me (which it did!). I woke up, had coffee, worked out. Every day. At the time, it gave me something to do that I felt was productive and it kept my spirits up.
Also, during the time I was home, I ate better because I cooked more (no excuse, I am home!).
But the BIGGEST thing that I worked on was a TON of personal development (read loads of books and listened to a lot of training). THIS was the ultimate kicker. I wish I had known years prior how vital it is to constantly be working on yourself because things might have been way different for me earlier (in a good way). I read books on motivation and books that inspired me to go outside of my comfort zone. Books that made me want to be a better me.
At the end of this experience (I was home for about 1.5 years), I learned that I ultimately make my own destiny. Outside circumstances do play a part, but what you do with these circumstances is completely up to you. I never had that realization before. But once I did, it was like a light finally turned on. I finally had clarity. I saw the world differently. I saw my situation differently. I saw myself and what I could do differently. I would never be the same person I was before.
When I did finally go back to a 9-5, I was a drastically different person. I went back as a much healthier version of myself (both physically and mentally), and a lot more confident. My new “work me” was way different that the old me.
Instead of rushing into work as a crazed human, I devoted my mornings to self-care, where I worked out and took the time to make myself a lunch and a smoothie to bring to work. This morning routine was so powerful because it gave me the energy to take on the day and the confidence to get things done.
At work, because I was more energized, I was able to be more efficient and productive with my time (which allowed me to get more done and made me a better worker). And since I was more confident, I spoke up more which led to increased visibility and more opportunities at my job.
The biggest lesson was the realization that health includes both the physical and mental. I wasn’t truly healthy at my first job. I didn’t take enough time for myself. I ate poorly, didn’t exercise right, and was stressed constantly. I had no real work/life balance.
Therefore, I made sure to do it differently the second time. Being truly healthy means you are happy, confident and are able to do your job well! You need to put that effort in yourself. Healthy gives you the motivation and confidence to get stuff done. It makes the “work you” more productive, more efficient and more valuable. Isn’t that worth it?
I wanted to share this story because I know many people are starting to go back to work after suddenly being forced home during quarantine. Or perhaps, you don’t have a job to go back to (which you will! I promise!). Go back to work as a better version of yourself. This is especially important, if you weren’t happy at your job before. Think about why you weren’t happy. Was there a lack of balance between your personal and work life (which is extremely common)? Were you not putting your health first (“No time”)? Why go back the same unhappy and unhealthy person you were before? I think this experience should tell us is that life is too short and things could turn at any moment.
Here are some small actions you can do:
- Making the time to eat breakfast or pack a smoothie for the commute
- Making your own lunches or snacks to bring to work
- Exercising in the morning. Even a quick 10-15 min at home HIIT workout is all you need! (Exercise in the morning will give you more energy and confidence during the day.)
- Devoting more time to self-care, especially in the morning (even if its only a few minutes!)
- Setting clear boundaries between work and personal time (and keeping them!)
- Cooking more at home (cooking your own meals will always be healthier than whatever “health” claim a box says).
- Having a consistent and relaxing bedtime and morning routine (this will ensure you sleep well and be more awake at work).
- Read more. Find books that lift you up! Books that motivate and inspire you. This will make the biggest shift.
Making sure you are healthy and happy both before and after work will make your work day so much better. A healthier you gives you the confidence and motivation to get stuff done! What could this new more confident and motivated version of you achieve at work?!
When you do go back to work, are there any changes you are going to implement? Did you have any epiphanies about yourself while being away? Is there anything from this list I missed?
If you know something needs to change, but are not sure what, send me a message! I would love to chat and help you find this more healthier, confident, motivated version of you!