I have an office based job and in theory I could work anywhere in the world, with just my laptop and a phone. However a big part of what I do is interacting with my team, with my clients and forming relationships is also part of my performance review. So one can imagine how working remotely on a long term basis can easily cause anxiety. Whilst before lockdown I appreciated the flexible work policy at my firm, I always knew I could choose between the office and my home as it suited me. Since March, I had to actively make an effort to remind people I am available to help, to pick up new work, to keep in touch with the wider team and also it became more and more my responsibility to ensure I am not overloading.
I worked with Memory during this entire time and therapy helped me to gradually move my focus from work management to personal self-improvement. Together we set some goals to work on outside my work; I previously spent a long time commuting so I could now focus on improving my diet by cooking healthy meals at home and increasing my activity levels by picking up online classes or taking long walks in the park. Therapy was a regular check in point that I used weekly to ensure I’m staying afloat over a period of increased uncertainties. I was anxious to see people being laid off, having my holiday plans cancelled and dealing with a sick family member abroad, not being able to visit my home country.
Memory was very flexible in navigating all these aspects depending on how acutely they would manifest from one week to another, but also touching on some of the deeper rooted matters that could trigger my anxieties. The lockdown period ended up surfacing feelings and resolving matters that I have previously ignored – the wish to reconnect with my family, putting an end to my exhausting efforts put into a one-sided childhood friendship, learning how to support my partner who is a key worker that dealt with their own insecurities, and re-assessing how a healthy work-life balance looks like for me in the future.