John Slattery is a motivational speaker, MC, trainer, facilitator and coach. He works with companies and teams to boost morale, retention and productivity; and works with individuals to inspire them to make choices that benefit their career and life.
Here he shares some thoughts and ideas on managing stress and gaining solutions to sustain good stress.
I’m not an expert on stress…
If you’d like to invest in your understanding of stress I’d recommend watching the 2018 RTE two-part documentary Stressed. It’s brilliant.
What my work is focused on is enabling people to make good choices. And what I can say is that the ideas below can help to create the best possible relationship with stress. Because as Trinity Professor, and expert on stress, Ian Robertson alludes to in the documentary; we need stress to perform.
What we want to do is to create the right amount of stress to sustain good performance in work and a healthy lifestyle.
Here’s three ways to help create that:
My favourite Inspo blog post is about Des. He’s not real. He’s an acronym for Diet, Exercise and Sleep. In simplicity, if you look after Des, Des looks after you. He supports you in responding well to situations, deadlines etc. And therefore he supports you in your goal to keep stress at good levels. If you neglect Des, than you are missing out on the strength and support of a good friend.
Is the Des analogy not working? Try this…
Would you invest in/rent a house if the engineer’s report told you the house had weak foundations?
Diet, exercise and sleep are like the foundation to building a good day. A day where you can best respond to the demands it brings. And therefore where you have the best chance of maintaining the right levels of stress to perform. Building days like this are such a solid investment.
What’s most important and urgent?
On a given day, we’re always going to have a number of things to do. Work wise, non-work wise. There’s an opportunity to create a good handle on stress by working strategically through the list, rather than haphazardly. Proactively asking yourself ‘what’s most important and urgent?’ can help bring that strategy to life. It allows you/forces you to see the different timelines and deadlines. In doing so, it can help create a smart order of doing things that can help you stay ahead and keep positive levels of stress.
Be kind to yourself.
This time is not easy. January as a month can be challenging. As we kick into February, energy levels slowly start to pick up from the winter lull. As I am writing this I’ve just looked up and saw the metaphorical elephant in the room saying, ‘what about me?’. Sorry, Miss Elephant.
And although we are emerging from the pandemic, we’re still living it…
So slowly growing energy levels and the pandemic means that dealing with busyness can be more challenging than normal for us. Hence why stress might feel even more present.
So we should be kind to ourselves…take those tea breaks, read something that makes you smile, say hello to a friend or passer-by. You define your kindness however more importantly, do act upon it. All these moments of kindness can help alleviate and manage stress. And we deserve to do that for ourselves just now.
So long as we’ve a beating heart we will experience stress. We want to create the best relationship with it. Just like with Des.
Relationships worth investing in.