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.

Now that a full week of returning to work is under our belts, what are you seeing as the biggest obstacles and issues for employees?

Many who were furloughed due to COVID-19 preventative measures enjoyed a mental and physical break from their daily work routines, replacing them with more leisure time.  One of the greatest challenges is not only getting back into a routine, but adjusting to what may be a new or modified schedule.  Similar to what we faced as children readjusting to the start of a school year after summer vacation, adults are having to re-insert structure into their days.  I would encourage waking and sleeping at the same time each day to reset your body’s clock.  As your mind and body learn what to expect from you each day, it will quickly “self-correct” and you’ll begin to feel some ease and calm again.

How would you advise a person who may be feeling overwhelmed to communicate this to their boss?

If your new or modified work duties are overwhelming you, ask for a private meeting to discuss how this is affecting you and your work product.  Be prepared with clear examples of how and what you’re struggling with; abstract descriptors such as, “I’m tired, I’m frustrated, or I’m stuck” aren’t best, as they’re relative and mean different things to different people.  “Please grant me an extension for completing the latest assignment,” or “could I partner with a co-worker on that project,” may be great conversation starters.  Be direct, but also be open to a flexible exchange of ideas.

What is your advice to a small business owner who may be feeling both personally and professionally overwhelmed?

Don’t try to survive this phase of your business alone!  Seek counsel from other business owners who have maintained successful businesses through times of financial challenge.  Make sensible and likely conservative decisions, with your focus on the long-term health of your business, not this temporary situation.  Do the same for yourself personally.  Seek counsel from a Life Coach or mental health professional.  Speaking your thoughts and having someone guide you through what you’re feeling, versus just continually worrying, will give you a healthier perspective and a plan for future action.

First COVID-19, then murder hornets, then hurricane season.  What is your advice to someone when dealing with so many negative external forces in their lives?

Stop and assess where YOU stand at any given moment.  Are YOU ill and have you been diagnosed with COVID-19?  Based on statistics, this answer is likely NO, and it’s my hope for all of us that it remains that way.  Have YOU been affected by murder hornets??  Again, a likely no.  And hurricane season…if you’re a resident of the MS Gulf Coast, this is a phenomenon you choose to roll the dice on for 5 months each year; the price you pay for living in a coastal paradise.

Each of these things COULD affect our lives at one time or another, but what you’ve got to focus on is what’s affecting your life NOW.  If you spend all your time worrying about what MIGHT happen, then you’re giving no attention to what IS happening!

What beautiful things are you missing out on because you’re focused on the “bad” things that haven’t even happened?  Preparation, to a healthy extent, I would absolutely encourage; but worry to the point of anxiety and dis-ease, serves no purpose.

Turn off the TV, log off of social media, and go outside and breathe some fresh air into your lungs.  Believe that this period of time in your life is temporary, and it will be.