October 5, 2011

stressed much?

Statistically we are all bound to have a terrible day at work once in a while (if this is happening very often, you might want to rethink your choice of career or employer - or maybe step up a notch in your commitment J). 
The worst kind of day for me is when I’ve made some kind of small oversight that comes back to bite me in a big way. Or when I’m not sure I handled a sensitive situation right. I also tend to feel overly responsible when anything gets out of hand or a plan backfires. 
I think a job with no stress would be super boring, so I will always prefer a challenging position. But not knowing how to channel your stress can cause even MORE stress, so what to do?
What works for me on a bad day:
  • A good chat with my Talent Manager - I am very privileged to have a manager who is a great listener and allows me to speak my mind.  Talking about my frustrations helps me put things in perspective and understand my own reactions better. She also gives great advice, and hearing her impression of my problem usually changes my approach for the better. A good friend or trustworthy colleague at work will also do the trick.
  • Remind myself that we are all human - As a recovering perfectionist, I have realised that I want things to go according to plan ALL THE TIME. Firstly – not possible. Secondly – not human. In some cases I need to take responsibility for making a mistake and try to fix it or just say I’m sorry, but many times I just need to appreciate the learning involved in failures and challenging situations.
  • Breathe - Remembering to stop thinking for a moment, and just suck in as much oxygen as my lungs can handle for a minute or two, helps me get out of my own head and remember that my crisis may not even really be a crisis. We had a yoga instructor at our latest Wellness Day, who reminded us of the benefits of deep, full and slow breathing and stretching. I know everyone always says it – BUT IT WORKS J.
  • Doing something fun or relaxing in my free time - Going on a date night with my hubby or having a big glass of wine with dinner, a spinning class at the gym or a Pilates session in the quiet of my living room. Anything to remind me that there is more to life than how my day at work has been. 
Here’s a handy blog post I read recently with some more ideas on managing stress and overload at work. What works for you?

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