When you are pushing yourself to be the best version of yourself that you can be, sometimes the pressure can mount up, and it suddenly feels like everything is getting on top of you. This is my definition of feeling stressed.
Pressure is perfectly normal at work – you have to deliver on your promises, you have to run your business, you have to be that little bit better than you were yesterday. Without a little bit of pressure, you would not perform at your peak. However, there are moments where the pressure gets a little too much and your ability to cope with the situation diminishes.
If stress is a manageable, temporary factor in your work life, then you are one of the lucky ones. For many people, including myself sometimes, it can threaten to grow into something far more harmful. You can’t let it get the better of you – for the sake of your colleagues and your family.
As everyone is different, I would like to share just a couple of my “go to” activities when the mist starts to descend….
Personally, one of my coping strategies for keeping a healthy state of mind is ensuring that I have regular exercise and family time in my writing schedule. If these are “set in stone”, then I know that there is always a way to let off steam. I go and kick a football with my little boy, judge a fashion show that my budding designer daughter puts on, or even attempt to cook something for my wife. Anything to detach myself from the situation….
Also, I find that when I share my stressed feelings with someone (usually my wife), then they understand more about my situation and can react accordingly. Storming around the house (as both my wife and I work from home) with a face like thunder never leads to anything good. Sharing your worries can help pull you out of that zone sometimes.
Stress is a shallow form of depression – it needs concrete action to combat it. The less you do, the worse it can get. It is not a badge of honour. There are so many people (especially guys) who boast of working ridiculously long hours and living their lives on the edge. It isn’t something to be proud of!
Luckily, workplace cultures are changing rapidly in encouraging people to be more responsible in the ways they work, but it is still down to the individual to choose their attitude.
Stress can have a hugely negative effect on your health and your relationships. Recognise it in yourself and others and do your best to help if you can.
The earlier you tackle it, the quicker it disappears.
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