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Zoom Seminar #3 – Family therapy with Latisha Lister-Burgess

Perhaps the most difficult part of self-isolating during covid-19 is the daily struggle of keeping a healthy life/work balance, especially for those who are working from home for the very first time in their careers.

Two sides of our life are now unavoidably connected at the hip, and this can be a serious challenge for anyone with a big family or children of their own.

Certified Family Therapist and Executive Director of the Employee Assistance Programme, Latisha Lister-Burgess, was our guest on this week’s Zoom Seminar Series, and she had a lot to teach us about how to balance life and work while ensuring happy and healthy familial relations throughout.

To keep a happy family, you must first ensure your own happiness, and part of that means setting expectations of yourself, work-wise, but making sure to go easy on yourself from a mental health standpoint. This means avoiding overworking and stressing if you aren’t moving as quickly as you did while working from the office.

This may be your home, but it is also a wildly unfamiliar place to work from, especially during covid-19. Nobody is expecting you to fly through your work as you usually do. Make sure to schedule rests, detox, yoga, or mindfulness into your daily routine.

Latisha told us how important family meetings are, even if you’ve never had them before. Gather around a table and make sure everyone is heard. Let these family meetings become an opportunity to unite the household.

If you have children, ask them what they’d like to do with you now that you are at home more. Give them time to think about it; then do it; repeat this regularly; make the most of this time to build your relationship. Know what matters right now, and use this time to over communicate in a positive manner.

It may even be an opportunity to really get to know your family. Learn things about your spouse/partner that you didn’t before, ask your children questions you haven’t before.

We hope this advice can help make your time working from home a lot easier, and keep your eyes peeled for our next guest on the Elevate Executive Selection Zoom Seminar Series

The word ‘mindfulness’ seems like a new addition to the English lexicon and, since about 2012, it has been on the lips of every successful person to appear on television alongside the global conversation about mental health. But still, few really understand what it means to be ‘mindful’ or how such a simple practice can have such a profound effect on our mental health and, of course, our lives.

Mindfulness has become so useful and mainstream that many companies now offer mindfulness mornings to their employees to help them clear their minds. Mindfulness techniques are also taught all over the world to people of all ages and backgrounds.

For our last Zoom Seminar, we reached out to expert Pamela Barit Nolan to tell us the how’s, what’s and why’s of the practice that is enriching lives all over the world at a time when anxieties are high. Pamela explained to us that mindfulness is, in simple terms, the practice of quieting the mind.

Quieting the mind by closing one’s eyes (if it pleases you) and focusing on the sensations of touch and hearing the light sounds around us is a way of decluttering the mind, filtering our unhelpful or overwhelming thoughts, and essentially creating a space for your mind and body to breathe.

You may not notice it, but going from action to action without any real rest adds pressure atop pressure in your life, though you might not realise it because this is how we’ve all been programmed to live. Staying engaged and not allowing for silence and peace of mind is normal in today’s age.

Mindfulness is all about allowing your mind to be free from thoughts, concentrate on your breathing and your lungs filling up, your body filling up, think of it as light filling your body. There are many rituals one can have when they begin practicing mindfulness, but the most important things to do are to find a quiet space, close your eyes, and begin by focusing on your breathing.

Listen to the sound of your breathing, focus on the sensation of your chest rising and falling. It is in this space that your mind finds the peace that it requires. Pamela told us that practicing mindfulness should, at the beginning, last around 2-3 minutes, and continue practicing until one can enter this state for 15-20 minutes, 3-4 days per week.

A useful tool for beginners, Pamela told us, is Headspace, a mindfulness app that guides beginners until they reach their mindfulness goals.

Have you decided to give mindfulness a try? We know we have. Keep your eyes peeled for our next Zoom Seminar coming early next week. We hope that you can find some inner-peace between now and then.

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