These are incredibly stressful times and so today managing stress should be a top priority. Years ago, I had a psychologist as a regular guest on my radio show. He would talk about stress being a product of overwhelm, change, and the increasing pace of life. These are all things we can visualize in remodeling, but they also exist in your personal life. Here is a deeper look at all three conditions:
Think of overwhelm like juggling. If you have one or two balls, juggling them is easy. If you have three balls, you need to concentrate, but with a little coordination it’s not that hard. If you have five balls, they all are on the ground. You just cannot do it and end up paralyzed with no balls in the air. Today many of you are juggling too many balls and are stressed out.
We talk about “working at home” but we are actually “living at work.” As humans we are wired to think ahead and predict and plan. Most of us can deal with a 5 or 10-degree shift in our lives, but not 45-degree one overnight. Change can be exciting but is incredibly stressful.
Anything too fast is stressful. Anything too slow is frustrating and can be stressful. We are dealing with both spectrums today. Finding the right balance and understanding stress is critical to your health and success.
Here are a few insights to help you reconcile stress:
The rubber band:
Think about stress like a rubber band. A limp one wobbles around without shape, but stretch it so hard that it snaps and that band becomes trash. Now think about the same rubber band and imagine how effective it is for rolling up a set of blueprints or keeping papers from blowing away. That rubber band with the correct level of stress is essential. You need to find the right stress level in your work and life.
The lack of certainty is incredibly stressful, so, try not to plan or predict as you would in normal times. Many of you that know me also know that is the opposite advice that I would have given a year ago. When you plan, predict, and are wrong (not your fault), then you and your team lose confidence and you feel stressed and out of control. We are in an environment that requires most of your energy to go to the things that are right in front of you that are not out on the horizon. These short-term items are more certain and will help you manage your stress better.
This is a time to reach out more to your friends, teams, and clients. Over-communicate. It’s helpful to listen closely and understand that we are all experiencing additional stress. Building human connection helps us manage and cope with the stress more effectively.