It’s All About You

Hi everyone,

If you’ve read my blogs recently you’ll know that I feel we’re becoming disconnected as a society and workforce, and are looking after each other less and less.  My long term ambition is that people, and especially employers will start to recognise the value of taking the time to talk to their employees to support them to perform effectively and by doing that enable the development of strong, productive and robust organisations.  That change is cultural in my view and will take time to happen.  So in the meantime, **** em, it’s every woman, man and child for themselves!! ?

How can we survive in workplaces and other environments where we’re not being looked after?  Places where we should be looked after but we’re not?  There are a number of options…

  • walk away
  • stomp off
  • have a tantrum then stomp off
  • tell people what you think of them and then stomp off…

That’s far too much stomping!  It just gets more extreme and the level of stress you experience escalates as well.  Not good, although as a mental image some of those actions might help to ease your stress!  In reality, walking away from something is really difficult, whether that be walking away from a job, a person or a situation and so usually it’s not a viable option.  So how can we stay healthy and strong when we’re in a situation that we don’t like or don’t feel comfortable in?  There are levels of that of course, but low level stress still accumulates over time and the outcome can be just as significant as something difficult that happens very suddenly.  1 x 100 is the same as 100 x 1 in terms of an outcome.  Low level stress creeps up on you slowly so it can make the crisis much more of a surprise.  You’ll have been fighting it for a long time because you feel you ‘should’ be able to cope with something that’s become ‘normal’ and you thought things were OK.  Ish :-/

For me, there’s a huge value in trying to dilute the effect of a situation by doing other things.  If you have a job that you’re not hugely in love with, think more proactively about what you’re doing outside of work, to alleviate the stress that’s building up.  That might be by joining a boxing club (sport is a fab way to relieve tension!), or going for walks in the park after tea.  You may well feel like collapsing in the chair because you’re tired from a difficult day but if you do that, then your work and that difficult day gets to be the legacy of that day.  To dictate how you feel about it.  Whereas if you have a range of things to do outside of work, that you really enjoy, those are the things that will dictate your mood and feelings of self worth.  The conversation might be something like this…

“yep, I went to work, which was rubbish as per but then I went to the cinema with the girls and it was great to catch up!”

If you’re in a difficult relationship, not just with a partner but with a colleague or friend maybe or if you have caring responsibilities that you find difficult and draining, let that be part of your day, not all of it.  And if you need to collapse on the sofa at the end of the day do it in a fab coffee shop before you go home and claim some time for yourself before you move onto the next thing to do.  We can only control our responses to things, not always the thing itself so put your ‘kindness to self’ hat on please and think about how you can adjust things to give yourself more time and space to dilute the things you don’t like, with things that you do.

As much as I would love everyone to be nicer to each other immediately I appreciate that’s not going to happen overnight so being selfish sometimes is necessary.  No one will gift you extra time for you, you’ll have to find it yourself and that might take some thinking about, planning and key conversations with your allies.  While it’s important to be present to support others, it’s also important to focus on yourself and what you need sometimes because you might not be at the front of anyone else’s queue.  And I don’t mean that the people that care about you aren’t doing a good job, it’s just with the pace of life as it is, the best of intentions can drop down the list when we’re trying to do so many things at once.  And if we can’t make time for ourselves and exercise self care, how can others do that for us?  You need to love yourself first, and then do a hundred things all at the same time!

You need to put yourself at the front of your own queue sometimes to think about how you would like things to be and to work towards making that happen.  Even if your ultimate dream is sailing around the world in retirement and that’s 20 years away, you can still make steps towards that while you work.  You can learn the things you’ll need to know then, now and that will help to dilute things that are difficult ‘because we’re working towards our dream!’ ?  How amazing will that feel?

If you don’t have specific dreams, spend some time thinking about them, discussing ideas and working out what might be doable.  In these wonderful light evenings, what could be nicer than sitting out of an evening, with a chilled glass of wine possibly, playing a game of ‘wouldn’t it be great if….’?  And that might start with ‘we won the lottery’ as your first answer!  What would you do if you won the lottery tomorrow?  Because some of that list, when you get down to the nitty gritty of it might be doable anyway when you think about it.

I don’t mean the big house, nice cars, fab holidays bit of your thinking but the smaller things that money, time and space could give you.  It’s a game that can make you smile, whatever the outcome!  So take some time (yep, grab it because it will not be gifted to you, there will always be something else to do!) and let your imagination wander.  Then look at each other and think ‘OMG, we actually COULD do that!’.  And there my friends you have a plan that can make you smile on the most difficult day ?

Grab some time and start daydreaming please!  A quote from my Inspirations book states:

‘to accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream, not only plan but also believe’ – Anatole France

Pretty much sums it up doesn’t it?  Get the wine open then! ?

Take good care please and have a great day,

Best wishes, Karen