I was in the Emergency Department of a hospital a while ago and was watching the staff. Various people were repeatedly coming up to them and asking how much longer they would have to wait. A man who had been waiting asked to borrow some money from the nurse. He said he’d come into town on a Greyhound bus, had lost his backpack and needed some cash.. then he asked if he could use her cell phone. The nurse looked frustrated, I was quite sure this was not what she imagined her job would be. It was a continuous bombardment of questions and complaints.

How do you handle that and go home to chores, family pressures and even your own set of problems?

The truth is that some people’s passion for a job can be turned into a nightmare. It’s important to remember why you’re there and what you are accomplishing (it may be more than you give yourself credit for) and it’s crucial that leaders recognize staff and what their challenges are.  There has to be a balance in any job that makes it worth doing.

Many firms understand this and have social committees, staff incentives and employee assistance programs. Beyond that, how do we help ourselves get out of negative thinking and even get through the day without becoming down and stressed out?

Can we try and remember that life is a challenge but it can be rewarding?  I try and say this to myself when bad things happen: “sometimes you get the misery and sometimes you get the kudos”. It’s useful to remember that this is part of your life, it isn’t your whole life.  The trouble is that we often dwell on the bad parts of life because they’re easy to remember and seem like a continuous thread, all woven together.  I believe we need to ask ourselves why we don’t remember the good times as clearly? Is it because we feel more in control when we can point to the bad things and we also feel we get more attention?

I’m starting to journal the good, fun parts of my life. They’re little moments: like yesterday.. my husband and I walked up to a door and a lady held the door open for both of us. Or there was the time I went to turn on the car radio and it kept turning off again – I found out my husband was having a good laugh teasing me by turning the radio off from his control on the steering wheel; the next door neighbour brought over flowers because she was flower arranging and wanted to give us some. These are the moments that we need to talk about and write about more.

If we wrote down all the good moments and said “this is part of my journey too”, I think we might be aware of how much we actually focus on the bad.

Here are three things to do when you’re stressed out and depressed:

  1. Stop saying “why did/does this happen to me?”  This problem didn’t choose you, it’s a life event.
  2. Look for the good parts of life and remember them at the end of your day.
  3. Start recognizing when you are worrying. Worrying can become habitual and often leads to creating scenarios of what could happen, which is not useful.

In future blogs, I’ll be sharing more about stress tools, such as how to rate your stress and time it, and how I came to understand the power of photography and other creative mediums as brain-engaging, depression-releasing tools.



Life sucks.. or does it?
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