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In the aftermath of a disaster it’s critical that we tend to our people. Once again we watched with trepidation as a massive storm moved toward our coastline. After we stocked up on supplies and secured our homes, there was nothing to do but watch and wait for it to run its destructive course.

Now, as well as being touched by the tragedy that has struck our neighbors to the west, some may also be experiencing painful memories of weather events that have hit our own region. But this year, we’re also six months into a different kind of slow…


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Today I’m taking a little departure from the usual Wellness Moment. Our own health and wellness as we navigate remote work, work-life balance, and self-care during the pandemic crisis is important. Events over the last week have caused a need to shift attention and focus to the health and wellness of our communities and our nation.

As we’ve watched the protests across the country this weekend, and perhaps participated in them, we are reminded that it is not only the murder of George Floyd that is being protested. Rather Mr. Floyd’s murder was only the most recent in our nation’s…


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We aren’t always at our best. Despite pressures we put on ourselves, or may get from others, to always give 100%, we know that today’s 100% isn’t going to be the same as yesterday’s or tomorrow’s. We only have as much in us as we have in us, and much of that depends on the demands we have drawing down our physical, emotional, creative, and social energy. With too many things drawing energy away from us, and without enough time spent on things we find restorative and re-energizing, today’s 100% might be closer to yesterday’s 50%!

And in these strange…


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Communication is always a challenge in a busy organization, but more so when everyone has unexpectedly become a remote worker. In crisis mode, we may simply be trying to get things done, get to the end of an assignment, or even just to the end of the workday. It’s easy then to deprioritize emails that may be awaiting response, or to assume that others know what we know. But we’ve also all been on the other side of that, waiting for clarification or necessary details or input to move forward with a project.

While we can’t change others, communication is…


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When feeling a bit stretched, sometimes the best thing can be to lean into it — literally! Stress and tension from mental exertions — work projects, deadlines, navigating and negotiating that professional life, all while in very unusual circumstances — can hang around in the body, in tight shoulders, aching backs, headaches. But just as the mind affects the body, easing that tension in the body can help to clear the mind as well.

When balancing work and life, and other-focus with self-care, it’s sometimes helpful to have a guide, rather than having to figure it out from scratch.

To…


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Too much sitting was once called “the new smoking” in terms of potential long-term health impacts. Now more than ever, many of us are finding limited opportunity to be up and about. But too few breaks during work, and too much screen time after-hours, can take a toll on both physical and mental health.

Our bodies naturally cycle through energy peaks and valleys throughout the day. Like the circadian rhythms that govern our sleeping hours, during the day where we are in these ultradian rhythm cycles can determine whether we’re focused and creative, or need to take a break. …


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As we look toward our communities re-opening, that can lead to mixed emotions. We may feel both relieved that we’ll finally be able to get back to something closer to normal, while at the same time fearing another uptick in spread of the virus. That’s only natural.

Whatever timeline we re-open under, it’s important that we take time for ourselves to adjust to this new transition as well. Our lives, our communities, and our society have been changed by this event. In this time before we step into “re-opening” we can benefit from really thinking about what has been working…


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Burnout is looming large in discussions about those who are still working during the pandemic crisis. For those of us in the middle of it, it’s obvious balancing work and home demands with chronic stress and isolation is taking a toll. At the same time we may be feeling some guilt that we’ve been lucky enough, and healthy enough, to continue working at all when so many have not. If you’re feeling burnt out, it’s important to take whatever steps you can to address it.

This article, How to Avoid Burnout in the Middle of a Pandemic, has several suggestions…


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I was always a big fan of Chopped. If you haven’t seen it, a group of chefs compete to make the best meal from a basket of mystery ingredients that often don’t seem to go together at all. I always enjoyed the creativity that went into making a beautiful and delicious meal with something unexpected, of using skills honed by years of experience and knowledge of flavor profiles, and applying that to make something new with limited resources and time constraints.

I’m not the first person to be reminded of the show and see parallels between that mystery basket and…


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The blurred lines between work and home life have made us all more prone to overwork and burnout recently. Signs of burnout can include exhaustion, detachment, and loss of productivity, brought on by heavy workloads and limited control over the when, where, and how of the job. When we’re in the middle of giant world-shaping events that we can’t control, it can help to learn and make use of tools to help manage the things we can.

You may have heard me talk before about time audits. From time to time, I will open up a spreadsheet and track everything…

Kiyomi Appleton Gaines

New Orleans based writer, Contributing Editor at Enchanted Conversation, workofheartkag.wordpress.com

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