When the 9-5 Becomes 5-9

Trying times bring taxing challenges.  Many, sadly, have no jobs right now and others, who are fortunate enough to have one and are working from home, may be bearing an incredible workload.  The 9-5 has evolved into the 5-9 (and we’re not talking about 9 a.m.).

For a number of us, all those extra hours can now equal less than minimum wage, but it’s not about the income, it’s about the volume.  Still, we’re working and that’s a blessing.  It’s a challenge, though, when other obligations—parental care, at-home children, school and courses, blogs and writing, and/or projects—also abound.

So, how do we juggle without giving in to exhaustion, embitterment, or frustration?

Organization/scheduling can help.  Record what needs to get done that day—prioritize, as necessary—and ensure you include breaks for you.  Even 5 minutes will help but try for 10 or 15.  Use them to sip a calming tea, do some mindfulness (being in the present moment), visualize a happy place, or walk around the block, whatever takes you away from work for those few precious/welcome moments.

Chatting about it helps.  Don’t gossip and don’t blather about how bad the boss (or whoever or whatever you’re p’o’d at) is.  Do let it out.  There’s nothing wrong with sharing the frustration with someone (a partner, friend, parent) or a coworker who is sailing on the same boat.

Swearing may help but perhaps it’s less vulgar (and less harsh on nearby persons’ ears) to release it via a few seconds of shrieking, sharing “the grumbles” with the reflection in the mirror sporting an intensely furrowed brow, jumping up and down (calisthenics anyone?) . . .  or having a dart board with a pic of the boss/colleague (or whoever’s peeving you off) and aiming for the nose. 

Do some deep breathing.  Sit up straight or lie on a bed.  This not only helps you relax, it settles—grounds—you.  Become aware of those breaths flowing through your body like the gentle rippling waves of a burbling stream.  Consider the thoughts that are flowing with them.  If they’re hostile ones, envision a tranquil scene and keep breathing until you feel yourself calm and those thoughts melt away.  Take that calmness with you back to the “office” (be it in the bedroom or on the dining-room table) and know that all is—and will be—fine.  You’ve got thisIt does not have you

Lastly, and most importantly, remember this: tomorrow is another day and—by Jove!—that work will get done