** This blog was written on 2 November – which was also world stress day **
I was presenting a training course today and one element of the session was looking at bad coping techniques for stress. The section of the training course I was delivering used an example not to overwork as a coping technique. It might improve how you’re feeling but in the end, this eats into your own time, and can massively impact your work life balance, seriously damaging your well-being.
I realise in this instance I’ve not been practising what I’ve been teaching. Since September I’ve been feeling overwhelmed, and I’ve been fighting hard to get through the day at work. I’ve been fighting the sheer fast pace of life, and this has caused damage. I’ve even acknowledged this to myself in my personal journal, the pace right now is not balanced or sustainable.
On the side-lines of the training session, I had a brief conversation with one of the participants, who is a member of our group. This individual will probably remember who they are, I won’t name them. The conversation was talking about how I’m doing, and my workload came up in conversation. This person said to me “you would not be overworking, it’s not good for you,” essentially repeat what I’d just said to the group during the training session. That short interaction really got me thinking, its time for a change. Before I go any further, I want to express my gratitude to this individual.
I’ve been writing in my personal journal for a while that I need to look to make steps and changes to slow the pace of life for awhile. I’ve even written I need to take urgent action sometimes to achieve this. So today I put myself first, while stuck on a train home I just thought what I could do right here, right now to make a change. I made a small tweak, I noticed I had a lot less meetings tomorrow, I also saw that there were still significant demands on my time in messages and emails, but I put myself first. I stopped and looked the content and deadlines for the tasks, I knew it could wait. I decided to gift myself time. I messaged my boss to let them know I’d be starting a lot later the next day, I needed a time out just for me.
You might ask why I’m sharing this? I just wanted to show that the things I teach about apply to me as well, I don’t have all the answers but I will share what I know. We all have the ability to make small changes that can really benefit us. They can short term, very time limited, yet very powerful. I realised I had to urgently act, so I did. I know this one simple act isn’t the solution, but it’s a good first step.
I want to end this by saying if you are struggling right now, if things are difficult, if you’re feeling low, anxious or depressed, please hang in there. things can get better; things do get better. You don’t have to suffer alone.
Sometimes all it takes, is one small act to big in real positive change.