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Stress Resiliency

Heather has been working as a data analyst for the same company for 10 years. She used to enjoy her job, but lately she doesn’t seem to find the same amount of passion. Most days she leaves work frustrated. It has been several months since she heard a rumor that she might be getting a promotion. Weeks pass on and she still hasn’t received the good news. Heather feels that she is overworked and is not receiving adequate compensation and recognition. She keeps all of this to herself.

The frustration at work begins to trickle into her home life. Heather’s family has noticed she has become impatient and less involved in family activities. Little things that never would have caused an argument before are turning into huge fights with her partner. Friends have also commented that she seems less happy.

As time goes on, Heather’s physical health also declines. She hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in months and eating well and exercising are less and less a priority. A recent visit to her medical doctor informs her that her cholesterol and blood pressure are borderline high.

Several people have tried talking to Heather about her work situation, relationships, mood and health. Each conversation seems to end the same way. “This is to blame”,” that couldn’t be helped”, “what else could I have done?”, “it’s out of my control”. Eventually her boss sits down with her and they discuss her declining performance at work.

Joanne has been working as a data analyst for the same company for 10 years. Rumor around the office is that there may be a position opening up in management. It’s a promotion she has been thinking about for some time now. Joanne has found her work load heavy lately and decides to talk to her boss. She addresses the high demands and learns that some tasks could actually be delegated. During their talk she wonders if she should mention the possible promotion. Despite being nervous, she asks about the job. Her boss tells her she would be a good match but recommends a course that could increase her chances of getting the position.

Over the next few weeks Joanne completes the course that was recommended. She is happy she did it. Even though she took it to increase her chances at a promotion, she is actually able to start using a lot of the tools she learned in her current position.

At home, Joanne has lots of family commitments. Her two kids are very involved in after school activities. This can be challenging at times and she found she was often forgetting her schedule and double-booking different obligations. One day she accidently forgot her son’s big soccer game. She felt horrible for missing such an important game to her son. Instead of dwelling on this, she sat down with her partner and they discussed how to learn from the mistake and better manage time and commitments in the future.

Many of Joanne’s friends have commented to how she seems to take everything on with such ease. She is one of the busiest mom’s they know, yet she is always calm, cool, and collected. They often ask what her secret is. Joanne says, “It’s simple. Stress will always be there, but I continue to learn from it, let it go, recognize that I cannot control it all, and keep focused on the positive things around me!”

Do you think Heather is stress resilient? How about Joanne? How do they differ?

In both cases, stress is present. The difference is that Joanne chose to be proactive, take charge, and use the stress she was dealing with to learn and grow. Being resilient to stress means being able to adapt and re-frame how you see stress. Instead of stress being negative, turn it into a positive. Instead of saying “this is impossible,” shift your mindset to ask “how is this possible?” Join us Tuesday July 23rd at 7:30pm through Facebook Live to learn more about stress resiliency and how to adapt more positively to stress long-term!

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