I already mentioned how HOT it is in Charlotte today, but now… it’s positively roasting. 90 degrees and humid. Getting in the car was a miserable experience, like sitting in an oven. Hopefully, things will cool off soon!
I think the weather is impacting my mood a bit – everything feels slooow and draining.
Starbucks action helped, though. Got some work done, drank an iced coffee. What more does a woman need?
And then I headed over to a cute little deli to grab some lunch for the Hus and I. We are so low on groceries. I think there’s a silent spousal stand-off currently in the works about who’s going to go to the grocery store. Let’s see who cracks first.
Anyway – the deli!
I ended up getting a spinach salad with sprouts, goat cheese, sunflower seeds, carrots, onions, and honey mustard dressing. Perfection.
Speaking of goat cheese, you may have caught this awe-inspiring tweet of mine yesterday:
Yes. Goat cheese comes from goats. And buffalo mozzarella comes from buffalos! But Chicken of the Sea is, in fact, not chicken.
Now you know.
Positivity in the Face of Job Stress
Recently, I have gotten two stress-related questions from readers:
- Victoria asked, “Caitlin, I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind writing a post on managing stress?”
- Sarah wrote, “ I was just wondering if you have any tips (or have written a post) about remaining positive in times of stress. I am making a career change in the fall (going to culinary school!) and am currently working in job that is not in my dream field and that I don’t want to remain at forever. You’ve been through a career change yourself and I wanted any advice/tips you have for remaining sane and happy during the transition.”
These questions really got my gears going! If you’ve been reading for a while, you already know that I’ve experienced a lot of job-related stress (good stress, mainly) over the last two years: I worked a traditional job that drained me; I quit to be a writer; I wrote 2.5 books (still working on the third); and we opened the clinic.
First of all, I do not want ANYONE to think that I am impervious to stress. As a matter of fact, when we were in the Dominican last month, I had a total and complete meltdown about writing my third book. Literally, I stood in the hotel shower and sobbed hysterically for 10 minutes. It was rough. Then I drank a Pina Colada and got over myself. Heh.
But the point is that stress gets to everyone sometimes; we just need to find a way to manage it and stay productive in the face of stress. The worst thing that can happen is that the stress paralyzes you, no work gets finished, and you get more stressed out.
So here are my tips for staying positive in the face of job-related stress (which can be applied to a lot of other situations, too!):
- Have a plan. I make a plan (in my head) every single day. How am I going to spend my time? When am I going to get X, Y, Z done? How can I make my errands more efficient? Also, I make longer plans (on paper) that address burning questions like: How can I survive this career change financially? What steps do I need to take to make these goals happen? Whether it’s on a day-to-day basis or a long-term outline, having a plan really reduces stress.
- Don’t be your own worst enemy. Be productive FIRST. I think our natural reaction to stress is to do fun things to reduce it, but the truth is that you will feel a lot better if you just get work done.
- Remember that situations are never permanent… When I was stuck in a job that I didn’t enjoy, it really helped me to remind myself that it was temporary. I wasn’t going to be there forever.
- … And remember that every situation is a choice. Yes, we all have to work for money. And sometimes it seems like we are out of options. But really, when it comes down to it, we CHOOSE to be in that job. If you want out, yes – it might take a while to get another position. But it’s still your choice to stay or leave. Reminding myself that my situation is my choice is very helpful.
- Vent… Unleashing your emotions helps SO much. Vent! Vent to your man, your friend, the lady doing your nails – whoever. Just let it out. People love to gripe about annoying bosses or crappy deadlines.
- … But not too much. There has to be a point when you say, “I just need to suck this up and stop bitchin.” Cutting down on my complaining once I got the initial vent out really helped me re-focus on what I COULD do and what I COULD control.
- Stay healthy and have hobbies! The big one. Eat right, get enough sleep, exercise more often than not. I guarantee that taking care of yourself physically will help reduce mental stress. Also – develop some really fun out-of-work hobbies. Work-related angst was one of the primary reasons that I started to run and do races. The more personally fulfilling you make your weekend, the easier work will be.
Now – it’s your turn! What tips do you have for surviving stressful work situations with a smile on your face?