by Tina Seymour Demoran, Esquire

The biography for Kim Gaughf is an experienced Life Coach with a demonstrated history of empowering men and women to create and sustain healthy romantic relationships.  She is also skilled in Mindset Mastery, Personal Development, and has participated in numerous corporate Management, Mentorship, and Leadership programs. Kim holds dual degrees in Criminal Justice (BS) and Sociology (BA) from Northwestern State University, and is a life-long student of human behavior.   She is married to WLOX’s Jim Tabor, and the two of them share strong community ties on the MS Gulf Coast.  They reside in D’Iberville with their three fur babies; Zoey, Lacey, and BeBe.

What are some tips for people who are going back to work and transitioning from a home office to the company’s office during this time?

Be patient with policy and procedure changes as your employer balances continuing to provide a product and/or service with being mindful of protection protocols that are being suggested and even changed DAILY.

Don’t take collective practices personally; rather, view your role and contribution as a necessary one that allows the “machine” to continue running smoothly.

How can a person ensure that they are taking care of their mental and physical health while dealing with stress during these current times?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you likely are.  Don’t let your physical self-care practices go by the wayside simply because your gym or favorite spa or salon is closed.  Exercise is a great stress reliever and can take place in your living room, bedroom, or even backyard.  Nothing is stopping you from simply taking a walk to clear your head, and at the same time rid yourself of some anxiety-riddled energy.  Get up and move.  Break a sweat.  Allow endorphins to do what they do, and elevate your mood and temperament.

Take care of yourself mentally.  Take a break from the noise of network news and social media.  Focus your attention on what you DO have and what you CAN do; then get up and do it!  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Practice giving your time and energy to the big picture, not micro-managing each and every detail you encounter.  Many things simply work themselves out if we allow them the time and space to do so.

What advice would you give someone who is currently dealing with relationship issues as well as money and work stress?

Ask yourself if the relationship issues you’re experiencing are new, or just exacerbated by the additional stress you’re feeling?  It’s likely that what you’re feeling has been there long before COVID-19 came along, you were just in a pattern of managing it, accepting it, and running on auto-pilot to cope with it.

Don’t let a temporary situation pressure you into making a long-term decision about the future.  Give yourself and your partner some space and grace.

Ask for help from a Relationship Coach or Counseling Professional to help you compartmentalize and process all that’s going on inside and outside your relationship.  Move forward and make decisions from a place of intention versus frustration or anxiety.

How do I manage the “noise” of this experience?  With so many points of view and opinions, how do I determine what’s right?

I tell clients all the time that “right” and “wrong” are relative.  What’s right for me may not be right for you, and vice versa.  Health decisions are very personal and should be treated respectfully and delicately.  Protect yourself and your family to your comfort level.  Follow the protocols necessary to maintain your employment and livelihood.  When the noise gets too loud, turn off the news and log off of social media.  As with anything else, follow your gut and trust your instincts.

As a essential worker, my life hasn’t changed abruptly like so many who are unemployed or furloughed as a result of COVID-19, and I feel guilty when I see others struggling.  How can I turn that guilt into something useful?

If you are still earning a paycheck and have the means to do so, give to a local food bank or charity that is helping provide meals to the unemployed.  On your day off, offer childcare to a friend who needs to look for a new job.

As you hear of new opportunities within the company you work for, share them with friends and family who are looking.  Use the positives in your life as a hand up to someone else.  You will reap the benefits tenfold!