The Clerestory Podcast S1 E25

The Oklahoma Tenant Farmer and Me
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Grounding Practices for Working Remotely

This essay has an associated podcast episode. Listen now.

Have you found yourself working remotely since last March? Maybe you are happily working from home and don’t miss being in an office. Or maybe your current “office-mates” involve young children and/or pets who don’t always follow the boundaries of work-life and home-life. No matter how long you have been working from home, I hope that these spiritual practices will help you remain grounded.


A tight and constrained physical body can easily lead to a tight and constrained spiritual body. Caring for our physical bodies can help ground us and open us to ways the Spirit may be moving in our midst. I find that sitting all day at a computer, craning my neck to look at my phone, and constantly tapping my fingers along a keyboard lead to tension in my body that is best relieved through some light yoga or stretching.

Sit in Silence

While working remotely, our days can quickly become filled with technology and noise. The Divine can be found in the midst of a busy day, but it is also much easier to hear that still speaking voice when we sit in silence and listen. Even just two minutes of sitting in silence in between a full day of Zoom meetings can help quiet the loud voice of grind culture and make space for sacred stillness.

Take a Walk

Yes, it’s obvious, but getting outside, even for a short ten minute walk, can have countless benefits. Instead of another five minute break for scrolling Instagram, why not go and take an outdoor stroll? Leave your phone and headphones inside for a few minutes. Fresh air and sounds of nature allow us to momentarily unplug from the digital abyss. Focusing on your steps while walking enables you to return your attention to your body and to the ground you are walking on.


I was never good at journaling regularly, but since the beginning of the pandemic, I found myself easily filling up three journals in the past six months. With so much uncertainty in the news and the stress of life, journaling is a great spiritual practice to reflect and process. When working remotely, most of our day can quickly be filled with email, phone calls, and internet searches. There is something timeless and comforting about writing by hand on paper. If you are interested in exploring journaling as a spiritual practice, there are many resources online with prompts for daily check-ins or monthly prayer lists.


How often do you get to the end of the work day and realize you have been unknowingly holding in a deep sigh for the past 5-7 hours? I recently purchased an Apple Watch and find myself a big fan of the reminders to breathe. Even if I am in the midst of something, I can usually stop for at least one minute to focus on my breath. A breath practice can be as simple or as in depth as you prefer. You might try a breath prayer using a mantra for your inhale and exhale. For example, on your inhale repeat the phrase, “The God of Peace,” and on the exhale, “Is with me.”

Savor a Cup of Tea or Coffee

For me, working from home means brewing lots of tea all day long. It is something special that I enjoy in my kitchen and a unique part of my remote work routine. I don’t find myself drinking as much tea when I am in the office. Maybe you have a morning coffee ritual or your own afternoon tea time? Allow yourself time to savor your beverage of choice and offer gratitude for the different rituals that can be developed at home, instead of an office.

Laura Kisthardt is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ (UCC). She currently serves as the Associate Pastor at First Congregational Church of Southington, Connecticut. Originally from Northeast Ohio, she was raised in the UCC and has been nourished on her faith journey by Ignatian spirituality. Laura often finds God in nature or works of art and has a passion for retreat ministry and contemplative prayer.

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