So I started walking last August, I would walk for 30 to 45 mins. You would think that my goal was to lose some weight and enhance this beautiful body of mine. But honestly, it was to cope with the mental stress of working from home in an already uncertain, tense, and germy environment.

I had always considered myself a team player and one of my strengths being the ability to manage my emotions no matter the character I would encounter, especially professionally. Shoots, I along with several old colleagues, joked that anyone who had ever worked in a call center, came out prepared for absolutely anything thrown at them.

Turns out I was dead wrong.

I was ill-prepared for a leader who used threats and aggression. I was ill-prepared to constantly having my work ethics and capabilities dissected and considered mediocre. I was ill-prepared for the superiority. I was ill-prepared and therefore unable to constructively manage myself. I had allowed my environment to dictate how I respond. Combine all of this with COVID-19 and working from home and now this environment had found itself comfortably seated at my dining table.

Prior to working from home, I was able to confine this to Monday – Friday, 9AM – 5PM.

Period!

I was able to hop into my car, turn my music up and mentally unwind before getting home, the place I considered my sanctuary, with my family. This toxicity had found its way in and carved out a spot in my freaking sanctuary!

Being physically tensed had become my norm. Nothing seemed to work initially. My alcohol consumption spiked, but after waking up with a splitting headache and still no resolve, I quickly cut that shit out. I turned to junk food but the scale leaping to 211 lbs frightened me into scaling back. It took a random conversation with a complete stranger, who suggested that perhaps I should trying jogging to calm my mind and relieve the tension, which had become that unwelcomed but oblivious guest in my body. I laughed out loud at the absurdity of such a suggestion, she obviously did not know me.

Fast forward to a shouting match with my direct report and it was then that I laced my tennis and started walking. I needed a job, but I needed to find my peace of mind even more than ever.