Practicing Compassion in Your Workplace and Beyond

by Jan 26, 2021

These unprecedented times offer up unique challenges, no matter whether you’re working from home, in-person, or in between jobs–and each of those circumstances then produce their own obstacles. Amidst whatever situation you find yourself in, a necessary component of pulling through is practicing compassion for both yourself and those around you. At present, you might be feeling like your situation is unmanageable, overwhelming, and out of your control. And it is truly very easy (and legitimately so) to feel that way amidst everything you have to navigate. Which is why today we’re offering up some quick and easy ways to boost your mood and attend to your mental health no matter your professional or personal context. Know that it’s okay to not feel especially okay right now. Acknowledging that is a key part of projecting your sense of compassion inwards. The pros we’re turning to below provide ways to give yourself a bit of relief, connect with others, and accomplish whatever it is you need to do during these times. 


The pros at the Mental Health Foundation offer up a concrete method for navigating mental health in your workplace and beyond that will allow you to forge compassionate bonds within your communities: “Talk about your feelings. Talking about your feelings can help you maintain your mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness; it’s part of taking charge of your well-being and doing what you can to stay healthy. It can be hard to talk about feelings at work. If you have colleagues you can talk to, or a manager who asks how you are at supervision sessions, it can really help. Identify someone you feel comfortable with and who will be supportive. You may want to think about what you want to disclose, who to and when a good time and place to do this could be. If you are open about how you feel at work, especially if you are a leader, it might encourage others to do the same. If you don’t feel able to talk about feelings at work, make sure there’s someone you can discuss work pressures with – partners, friends and family can all be a sounding board.” The great thing about working with a staffing agency is that you have yet another source of support, another set of ears to hear you out with compassion regarding any circumstances you’re navigating that may be impacting your workplace performance. At Contemporaries, we’re here to be your cheerleaders, and we take that role seriously–from placing you in a position and throughout your time working with us as your employer. While you’ll want to make sure you’re still utilizing a professional framework in discussing your emotions, communicating your needs with your contact is a great way to ensure that we can intercede on your behalf with employers should you need it, especially amidst these current, uncertain circumstances. And appropriately sharing your feelings with your colleagues will additionally allow you to create a sense of workplace community, which is a great way to stave off the isolation that these uncertain times have imposed in addition to communicating your leadership qualities by demonstrating the depth of your capacity for compassion.


We also love this advice from Gwen Moran at Fast Company, geared especially towards those currently based outside of an office, but also applicable to those inclined to look at their phones on breaks within their workplace: “Manage your information intake. While you’re home, it’s easy to check in on social media whenever you like and perhaps have the television on in the background. But the constant barrage of news is only going to elevate your anxiety and stress…It’s important to stay informed, but you probably don’t need to listen to every breaking news report, which just stirs anxiety throughout the day without adding anything you need to know…If you feel compelled to know what’s going on, watch a half-hour of news in the morning, then check a news website or two in the afternoon.” We appreciate the way Moran offers up concrete increments in which to consume media, as well as intervals during the day to best absorb that information. It can be tremendously difficult during these times to detach yourself from keeping up-to-date with every single news story as it arises–but allowing yourself to be consumed by those updates will only further fuel a sense of being overwhelmed. So we encourage you to accept that some things are simply beyond your control, to know that new stories will break regardless of whether you catch them instantaneously or not. You can impose a bit of order over that chaos by carefully monitoring the ways in which you intake information. Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself, and making time to decompress. While we appreciate the sense of compassion you’re demonstrating in caring about others through your information intake, be sure to also practice self-care and self-compassion by disconnecting.


Taking that time to disconnect and decompress will help you break out of the cycle of any bad mood–and even if it’s only for the moments while you’re engaged in the fun activity of your choice, that small step is still a step forward. Remember that you can and will feel better again, even if it doesn’t feel that way right now. Talking about your feelings, especially with your staffing agency contact, can help minimize the negative impact on your work performance that your struggles may (understandably!) produce. And appropriately discussing your emotions with members of your workplace community and/or those in your wider support network is a wonderful way to stave off a greater sense of isolation. On the flip side, also be sure that you’re not staying too connected to harmful media. That task can be incredibly difficult, now more than ever, in these times when so many people are interacting primarily online, from afar. But it’s okay to not know every breaking development the very moment it occurs. Monitoring your news intake, and limiting it to certain times that work best with your schedule, is a great way to assert your agency amidst circumstances that are largely beyond your control. We’ll say it again: it’s okay to not be okay right now. It’s incredibly understable to be struggling, and we’re offering up all of the above advice not to delegitimize your feelings, but to help you navigate them no matter your current employment experiences. Throughout it all, remember that it’s okay to laugh and to experience joy! So make sure that you’re making time for fun and humor as you proceed. Join us again throughout the week as we offer up even more ways to practice compassion for yourself and others in your professional environment and beyond and we navigate through these unprecedented circumstances.


Image retrieved from Pixabay under the public domain.


This posting is brought to you by Contemporaries Inc., one of the best temp agencies in Boston MA. Also available for payrolling employees in Boston and Greater Boston

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