stress management

Invisible Stress

Something weird has recently occurred to me, as follows. Basically, it’s becoming clear that I’m seen as an exceptionally ‘together’ person who has all their affairs in order. What’s weird about this? Well, from my perspective, that’s so utterly not the case. More to the point, this gap between my self-perception and public image is only now dawning on me. I’d always assumed that I was considered as much of a scattered mess as I know myself to be.

It’s shedding light on quite a lot of stuff. For example, people have unreasonable expectations of me regarding my capacity to handle potential stressors. It’s like they think I’m somehow immune to the effects of being told I have a 10,000 word report due next Tuesday, as though I’ll magically conjure it (fully referenced) out of the ether. In reality, I will get it done to a high standard because I’m a stickler for responsibility, but it will involve sacrificing a healthy sleep schedule.

I suppose I need to hold myself accountable for this state of affairs; after all, it’s not like people are mind readers. I guess I must put up some kind of facade that gives people the wrong impression, perhaps out of a desire to be polite or some other people-pleasing behaviour. Still, it wouldn’t hurt my workplace to show a bit more awareness. Even hosting a corporate stress management workshop wouldn’t go astray – provided that it can be tailored to educate the higher-level personnel on the nature of stress, which they clearly have no idea about.

Oh wow. I just realised something else. Maybe I feel about said executives the same way that people seem to feel about me: that they’re somehow untouched by stress. There’s no doubt that stress management lessons are in order for all concerned – it appears that we’re all as clueless as the next person on this topic, and it’s not doing anyone any favours.

It would be great to identify some techniques for dealing effectively with stress, instead of habitually applying strategies for ensuring that no one will notice.