We hear the word stress more than ever now. Stress has became part of everyday life.
Just recently our director has been juggling a few things between work and family life, we wondered how she was coping and not turning to a bottle of wine and chocolate, which we would have been happy to support her with, you understand. Always smiling but occasionally you could see the sadness in her eyes or perhaps the helplessness she feels until she processes it.
First, it is important to remember that stress is a state of mind and can have a positive and negative impact on our lives. We have a choice, we may not like the choice but a choice we have! As the saying goes if you want better choices make them happen.
Self-Awareness, Perception, Solutions, Talking are the key steps that have helped her.
When the impact of stress comes a knocking on your workplace door saying hello I’m here, we sometimes still do not hear it. Often others have seen the signs before we do ourselves and working in this field of health, we often wonder how far stress has to take grip before action is taken. Any action is taken.
So with Paula, when she heard herself thinking “how much more can I take?” or the phone buzzing with another message leaving her feeling sad or the other feelings and physical signs she noticed it was time to take action. “The earlier you notice the quicker you can do something to change it. You have a choice.” From every day little stresses to the big, constant, swallow you up and consume you stresses. Take notice and take action or not. Please no judgement. Taking “no action” and being aware that you have chosen to take no action is a positive action.
Realisation that the events around her were not happening to her, they were happening to her much loved family and her love for them didn’t change only strengthened as they deal with life’s little or big stresses. As for her work challenges, this only motivates her more, energises her so why stress?
Still for Paula awareness and perception only got her so far, still distracted she decided to write down her action plan. It didn’t matter that it took 5 minutes, 1 day, a week or keep going back to it. Putting time aside was already helping to manage the stress she was feeling. Her plan had several actions from Sophrology exercises, meeting friends to reducing some professional duties for a short time and fresh flowers in the office.
The final step was talking (perhaps the hardest), now anyone who knows Paula knows that she can talk and with our line of work people talk to us about everything, which we do love listening to people’s stories and helping them find solutions but who do we talk to. Who does Paula talk to? Even Paula admitted that she didn’t want to burden us, her friends, her family. When our fears start to take hold, our doubts start to chip away at our confidence. The answer is anyone, the answer is everyone! any which way you can. Start with one person and keep talking until you feel better.
A close friend once said to her “you more then anyone knows the harm bottling up and not talking causes”.
Now time has moved on as it always does, the world still goes round and Paula is grateful for the experience and is willing to share it. She knows her family will get better and still a journey to go but for now…..she feels stronger and more confident leading her to greater happiness, healthier and living a fulfilled life.