Stress Management?Jul 09, 2022
I’ve been thinking about this concept of “managing stress.” I think “managing” stress is like “managing” the rain. We don’t manage THE STRESS. We manage our response to it.
Think about the rain. I live in New England. It rains. A lot. Sometimes “too much.” Brides freak out in the summer; school kids hope the rain turns to that white fluffy stuff and we all hold our breath when it’s that fun stuff known as hail. We have a variety of choices falling from our skies here in the Northeast. But no one ever says, “Oh, you need to manage that.” Ha. We wish. No, we just deal. Same as stress.
Too much rain? Floods. Too little rain. Drought? But what do we do? If we have an abundance of rain, we use runoffs, gutters, and collection tools. Too little? We use sprinkler systems or watering cans. I think if we re-frame how we deal with stress using the rain metaphor, we can feel happier, and more in control.
Too much stress? Too many things to do, not enough time? Use the run-off method: “What is one thing that CAN wait?” And then, let it wait. Period. End of arguing with yourself. How about the collection method, “What is one task I can delegate?” Then delegate. Maybe it doesn’t get done EXACTLY how you would do it, EXACTLY when you want it done, but isn’t the point to take it OFF YOUR plate? How about that? DELEGATE.
What about not having enough stress? (What? Not possible). You might refer to a lack of stress as boredom. Boredom is OK in short doses, but I think chronic boredom leads to depression and anxiety. At least it does for me. So, how do you “water” boredom? Check-in with yourself. What hobbies have you let go of because you are too busy, too tired, or (the worst) too old? Pick ONE. The brain wants to pick everything and tell us we are not sufficient unless we do them ALL. Pick ONE. Commit to 20 minutes ONE TIME THIS WEEK. Then CELEBRATE!!! Small doses of a new activity with a celebration motivates the brain to keep going. Large doses of a new activity often challenge and exhaust the brain. And sometimes when we pick up something new (or old that we haven’t done in a while) we have “failures.” Failures are great, they also can be motivating. But too many failures at once shut us down (think of that time you decided to run a 10K with no training. UGH!)
So, I say, stop trying to “manage” stress. It’s like “managing” the weather. Instead, meet your stress where it is and ask, “What tools will I pull out to deal with this?” And remind yourself, stress is not only normal but also necessary for a full life. It’s not about getting rid of it all. It’s about deciding what type of stress fuels you and what type of stress drains you, then creating a plan to manage them both.
I coach physical therapists and other healthcare workers who are stressed out and overwhelmed. I can help you “manage” that stress and learn to love your career again. I offer 1:1 coaching in the form of a 3-month package. I’m a yoga teacher, meditation teacher, and life coach, so, stress management “techniques” are my jam!
“If you want the weather in New England to change, wait five minutes.”
– Ben Franklin
Want to know more about what I do? Try my new course,
"Stress and Overwhelm: Causes, Cures and Coping."
In it you will find neuroscience, practices and my signature sense of humor. All at your fingertips in the Kajabi app.
I also offer 1:1 coaching for physical therapists and other people in health care who want to love their life, jobs and career again. If you’ve been thinking, “All I need is a new job, new career, new something and I’ll feel better”… I can help you feel better right now, right HERE.
Click the link to book a free 45 minute stress-assessment call and get started on your unique plan.
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