How Time Out Can Help Self-Awareness

And the Importance of Identity and Belonging in a Community You Want to Call Home

How Time Out Can Help Self-Awareness And the Importance of Identity and Belonging in a Community You Want to Call Home
WorkLife Lessons Through Real-Life Stories
WorkLife Lessons Through Real-Life Stories

A WorkLife Lesson: Deirdre’s Story: Self-Awareness of Situations and Who We Are In Those Situations

It took Deirdre over eighteen months to begin to socialise, following on from when the Covid-19 Pandemic had first brought about imposed periods of isolation. When the various lockdown restrictions had been lifted, she had mixed only with her social bubble. Living alone, for Deirdre, that meant seeing her children and grandchildren as soon as it was allowed. She was happy with that. They were the people she loved and felt loved by. They were the people with whom she felt comfortable in their company. The people with whom she felt she could be herself.

Then Deirdre received an invitation to an art exhibition her good friend, Zehra, was curating. The show featured the work of artists and their direct experience of mental health struggles. 

Wanting to support Zehra, the artists, the importance of their work, the exhibition, and the world of arts, Deirdre ventured for the first time outside of her social bubble.

The two friends had an easy relationship, and despite not having seen each other for close to two years, they effortlessly reconnected. Zehra showed Deirdre around the exhibition, introducing her to the work of the participating artists and sharing their individual stories. 

Then when they had finished, they grabbed a coffee and sat on the bench outside the exhibition in the unexpected and much appreciated October sunshine. 

Their conversation led them to talk about the impact the pandemic had had on so many aspects of their lives. Their respective WorkLives and their social lives and relationships. They talked about the importance of community and the sense of belonging it gave to people who, like Deirdre and Zehra, lived in London far away from their home country and family. Deirdre was born and grew up in Ireland. Zehra was born and grew up in Turkey.

Zehra shared that she had been extremely anxious about curating the exhibition because it had been her first venture back into being around people. She was concerned that she would be able to interact well. She voiced what had been holding Deirdre back from getting back to spending time with people. They were both questioning their ability to socialise and interact with people. 


In this lesson, you will learn how the short time the friends had spent in each other’s company had a significant impact on Deirdre’s thinking and helped her question the situations where she felt uncomfortable.

You will learn how she came to recognise that she wanted to spend time only with people who accepted and respected her for who she was.

In this lesson’sWorkLife Learning Assignment, you will learn to use time out to help your self-awareness of situations where you feel uncomfortable and situations where you feel accepted and respected for who you are.

In this lesson’s Continuous WorkLife Learning Assignment, you will continue to fine-tune your self-awareness by being observant of how you feel in different situations and with different people.

This Lesson is available in my Shopify Store. To purchase, tap the View Product Button below:

You may also like other lessons in the WorkLife Lessons Series

Published by Carmel O' Reilly

I'm Carmel O’ Reilly. I'm a writer and learning practitioner. My books and learning resources are designed to help you self-direct your WorkLife learning. As founder of School of WorkLife, my guiding statement is to help people pursue their WorkLives with greater clarity, passion, purpose and pride by creating continuous WorkLife learning programmes that are accessible to everyone.