Part 05:  Coping with the Unavoidable

Coping with the Unavoidable Banner

Having employers on board is a great start to reducing the amount of stress and anxiety employees may experience at the office.  There are beneficial practices we can put into place in and outside of the office to help ourselves in dealing with these issues when they are unavoidable.

Some of these practices are often referred to as “self-care” in the health care industry, as they are actions the individual implements on their own.  Other practices include seeking professional assistance when self-care methods are not enough.

Strategies for Self-Care and Mindfulness Banner

There are various tools to utilize and actions that can be taken to address unavoidable stress and anxiety.  A few common practices include:

  • Listening to calming music, such as classical with instrumentals only
  • Confiding in family and trusted friends
  • Journaling or talking yourself through difficult emotions
  • Seeking behavioral counseling:
    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
    • Psychotherapy (talk therapy / counseling)
    • Applied Relaxation Techniques (ART)
  • Speaking with health care provider about medication options

Strategies for Facing Difficult Situations Banner

Some of our stress and anxiety is caused by things we may encounter daily, or at least on a basis where we are continuously facing difficult situations in what would otherwise be considered normal human experiences.

These difficult situations can be the result of fears or phobias, but may also include the overwhelming amount of things we attempt to do in our lives.  With the right mindset and the best tools available, we can learn to overcome or at least better manage these difficult situations.

  • Exposure Therapy (Desensitization)
  • Goal and priority management

Exposure Therapy – Sometimes referred to as “desensitization,” this form of therapy puts the individual in direct contact with their fear in order to remove their aversion to it and the consequential stress and anxiety they feel.  This process of desensitizing takes place over an established period of time, up until he/she can experience their fear without being triggered into a severe stress or anxiety response.

Once that response has been reduced or even eliminated, he/she will attain confidence and stronger sense of resiliency in facing any future difficult situations.

Goal and Priority Management – There are various methods for establishing and achieving goals or tasks.  Sometimes the issue with feeling overwhelmed and hence stressed or anxious about action items we need to undertake, are a direct result of not having these goals or tasks clearly defined, mapped out, or prioritized in a way that allows us to accomplish things in a rewarding and motivating manner.

Once we build momentum by crossing things off our list, we become more capable of taking on increasingly complex or difficult goals and tasks.  Keep the following in mind:

  • Make goals S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-based)
  • Utilize lists to prioritize daily tasks
  • Start with small or easy tasks if you feel overwhelmed
  • Always know or establish a deadline
  • Implement action programs
  • Break large tasks into smaller steps to better manage time

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