Today sees the start of our partnership with weekly Friday posts of our advice
column. Tim and I are happy to receive questions about anything you wish to ask
and look forward to flowing support as best we can and always with love.
Question 1: I have received notice from the company I work for that all of us are required to carry on working from home. I have managed to do this since March last year, but I am really struggling. I approached my boss, but his bosses are not prepared to discuss their decision. All my days are rolling into one and I can’t relax or find any kind of rest, especially since I am working from the kitchen table. Any advice would be appreciated. (SM – London)
Tim: Vote with your feet. Get a new job.
Jane: Hello SM, I feel for you since this is a huge change and not one you chose. Our homes were places we could retreat to and unwind after a hard days’ work and now everything is in one mix. I sense there are two issues going on; one being your bosses’ unempathetic attitude (which may have been apparent when you were working in the office?) and the second being the open-ended nature of your working situation. It is natural to seek security and foundation with everything going on in the global situation, so let’s see how you can shift how you feel in your current circumstances. Do you feel able to make some small changes? Like getting ready in the morning as if you were going to the office? Then getting changed again when you have finished your work for the day? Stepping outside as many times as you can in one day to get some fresh air and look up at the sky. Is it possible to tuck your work equipment away at the end of each working day? Or put a cloth over it maybe? Can you have some space inside your home where work is not evident? As we are still being careful how we mix in the U.K. can you have some activities you can go out to in the evenings and weekends? Something that is totally frivolous and fun. It truly helps if we can have fun and rest our brains sometimes. Creating clear boundaries in your daily routine between work and home and having space inside your home to relax will help to nurture you. It also helps to have screen breaks and time away from the phone, if you can, during your working day. Maybe a special hot/cold drink after you have finished your day’s work to mark the end of the day. Please know that you are not alone. Maybe put a blank notebook beside you and as you ponder on what will help you to shift how you feel, jot down any random thoughts that crop up. The seeds of ideas to help lift you will be nestled in your own thoughts. Practical changes, even small ones, will make the world of difference to how you feel and help you to gain in confidence that you have got this covered. Love to you. X
Question 2: I have a friend who I used to spend a lot of time with and then during the lockdowns we weren’t allowed to get together. It sounds awful, but I haven’t missed her. We have kept in touch by phone, and she wants to visit again now that lockdown has been lifted. I am dreading it. During our time apart I have realised that she puts me down and never says anything positive. How can I stop her doing this? (JT – New York)
Tim: You don’t have to spend time with people who put you down. If you’re dreading her visit, then make sure it doesn’t happen. Tell her and move on.
Jane: Hello JT, I feel for you, as all any of us want is to be seen and appreciated for who we are. I am not sure how long you have been friends, but any friendship needs a foundation of love and respect, my lovely. If her need to undermine you is stronger than her love for you, then nothing you can say or do will change this pattern of behaviour within her. Time in lockdown has gifted space for reflection and I feel that her pattern has now become clear to you. Your loyalty and love for her is making you question why the friendship makes you feel bad about yourself. It is a natural law in life that we become who we associate with, so if her pattern is draining for you to be around, then the way forward is clear as the friendship is unbalanced on a loving basis. You do not have to confront her directly if you find this too uncomfortable, but rather have a new project or interest that needs your time and explain this to her in a text. Delay your responses to her messages and calls. Let calls go to voicemail and perhaps reply with a text, rather than call her back directly. She may try to make you feel bad about not being so readily available for her, but you know that you are nurturing you and making a choice that is balanced for you. In time, the connection you both share will wither and cease. When anyone needs to put someone else down, it is always about their issues and not related to the person on the receiving end of their patterns. Love to you. X
Our love to you all, Tim & Jane. Xx