I am so glad I'm not the only one who feels this way! What are people trying to hide? I know what you look like from the office and no one is judging what your lockdown haircut looks like. And if you're self-conscious about your messy background, clean your kitchen! No one looks so bad that they can't be seen in public.

Stepping back from immense pressure to reset and reframe shows more strength and perseverance than any event in sports

Photo by JJ Jordan on Unsplash

Writers love the pressure put on Olympic athletes. It’s built-in dramatic attention. Years of training leading to one moment. A lifetime of hard work being decided by fractions of a second. And this summer, with the Olympics being held during a global health crisis, well, the mental game of athletes write now is pretty much an automatic lede.

So it’s surprising when mental health pressure sidelines a high-performing athlete like Simone Biles, the media is less equipped to handle the story…

How to get your life back on track, from a two-time burnout survivor

Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash

It seems like quitting is the new sourdough starter when it comes to pandemic trends. And I get it. The pandemic brought into glaring focus what wasn’t working in our lives. Things that were ‘fine’ or easy to live with/ignore became impossible to put up with on top of everything else.

How you spend these first few months of freedom can make all the difference in what your life looks like post-burnout.

Burnout isn’t a trend. It’s the mind’s way of telling you to stop, take stock…

All of this advice is very familiar. As a manager in the pandemic I was enrolled in countless mental health training seminars. But as someone who took a mental health leave due to burnout and had two direct reports require time off during the pandemic for the same reason, I can honestly say the best thing managers and companies can do is let staff take time off when they're feeling overwhelmed. Make it known the organization will adjust and their job is secure when they return. Burnout, anxiety and depression is not something you can "manage". People need the time and space to feel their feelings and it shouldn't come at the expense of their job security.

Man types on laptop while looking out a window
Man types on laptop while looking out a window
Photo by Yasmina H on Unsplash

This morning I read a great piece on using the “neutral zone” to figure out how to emerge from a traumatic event. In this case the pandemic. It’s a great way to spend these summer months thinking about what kind of life you want once the global health crisis gets under control.

If you’re happy to go “back to normal”, the neutral zone is a great time of reflection to enjoy the things you miss from the before times.

But if you’re like me and the before times were dominated by a need to change jobs, the neutral zone is…

A literary vision board for my post-pandemic life

Masked woman looks terrified driving a car
Masked woman looks terrified driving a car
Me behind the wheel of a car for the first time in 10 months

This past weekend I took my first road trip in almost a year. As soon as I sat behind the wheel of the rental car I had a moment of panic. “Crap, I hope I remember how to drive!”

Spoiler alert, I did. And with each kilometre under my foot, I started to dream of what my life can be once the pandemic is over.

See, part of my mental resilience was in not dreaming about the things I would do. It was hard enough missing my usual past-times in the early…

I agree with all of this! The brain can't focus on work for too long, so it's great having the freedom to tend to other things. Also as a freelancer, I'm able to enjoy flexible work locations. My birthday is coming up so I'm visiting family that weekend and also picked up some writing shifts I can do from my hometown. I just have to bring the laptop! It's not quite digital-nomad level, but remote working just keeps opening up new ways to have a work/life balance.

I'm in the camp that is using this time to make sure remote work is a predominant fixture in my life post-pandemic.

Reflections on my first official six weeks as an “entrepreneur”

Home office set up for an online meeting with a plant in the foreground
Home office set up for an online meeting with a plant in the foreground
Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

When the opportunity came to build my career 2.0 I was excited at first. But everything I learned about freelancing 20 years ago is painfully out of date. Instead of simply looking up names and contacts of various editors, it’s all about building a brand and digital marketing.

I’m learning what I can. Asking colleagues for advice. But mainly I’m just coming up with an idea, mapping out how to make it a reality and hitting send (or, more often, publish). Which means I’m working all the time.

If I’m…

Love this advice! I kept a very open mind when I was first transitioning my career. I would listen to people who talked about what skills they would pay me for and that's been my main filter when getting feedback on my idea. I only want to hear how I can help people and better market my skills. Any other commentary goes through that filter too.

How a few weeks of extra freedom is shedding light on what I truly value

Photo by Raimond Klavins on Unsplash

I live in Toronto, home to what’s believed to be one of the world’s longest lockdown. Stores, restaurants and hair stylists shut their doors in the fall of 2020 and only started opening up again late June 2021.

Like many, I took full advantage of the forced austerity caused by a lack of choice. I saved money I used to spend on restaurants, hair cuts and clothes. But now those businesses are back. And so is the temptation to spend.

Take restaurants, for example. Last…

Tara McEwen

I spent my life working on the “right” answer. Then I turned 40 & realized it’s not about the answer, but the search itself | Word Nerd | Curious Mind | Dog Mom

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