It's a new three part series! Today's topic focuses on stress in the workplace.
There are a lot of stressful environments like the DMV, a grocery store, or school. Today I’m focusing on the stressful environment being your workplace. I’ve worked in a place where the employees had a negative outlook on their employment situation. Not only that, but there were people who didn’t know how to speak to people in a respectful tone. I enjoyed working there. What I didn’t enjoy, was the negativity surrounding me. Everyday I would come in somewhat excited to get work done, and quickly someone’s attitude would bring me down a notch. Even when it was directed towards other employees it still bothered me. Why can’t we all get along!
Thankfully, I found some ways to combat the negativity. These tips may not work for everyone, but they certainly got me through the day. I hope you’ll be able to use them in your workplace.
#1: Deep breaths. This seems arbitrary, but it really works! When you focus on your breathing your mind clears.
#2: Remember your purpose in that place. You are important in that workplace. Your position and hard work is important to keep the flow going.
#3 God gave me this opportunity to have a job and save up money. I won’t let anyone take that from me.
#4 Just because they are miserable, doesn’t mean I have to be as well. I can smile, and be happy.
#5 During your breaks, go outside. Remove yourself from that environment when you get the chance. Renew your energy.
#6 Be kind, and considerate to others. Maybe they’re having a bad day. Maybe your kindness will uplift their spirits.
#7 It may not be personal. That attitude may not be because of you. People get frustrated and annoyed. Now, it’s not okay to take it out on others, but we can recognize when someone’s feelings are not directed towards us.
#8 This goes with #5. Do something you enjoy on your break. You can pray, meditate, call a friend/family member, eat ice cream, or watch a funny video.
#9 If the situation is becoming unbearable, speak to your co-workers or HR. Like I said before, you are important.
#10 YOU ARE GETTING PAID (hopefully).
Hope these work for you! Stay tuned for next week's topic on stress in school.
*Photo by Drew Beamer on Unsplash.com
Read part one here!
Self-care has become a trendy concept nowadays. However, the meaning behind it transcends the trend. Self-care reminds us to redirect our attention to the areas in our lives that are lacking. Some would say it’s more than putting on a face mask and laying in the tub. The thing is, everyone has a different circumstance to deal with and a different way of dealing with it. Some of us need to drink more water. Some of us need to start taking showers everyday. Some of us need to remove ourselves from negative friendship groups. Some of us need to take our medication. Self-care... care self... caring for yourself.
You are an individual and I am an individual. The things that you need to take care of in your life may not be the same as me or the next person. If self-care means taking a walk every morning before work, then so be it! If that morning walk improves your overall health or standard of living, then that's a positive thing. Walking is cardio which is also good for the heart. You can lay in your tub while listening to a podcast or watching a silly YouTube video after a stressful week to de-stress and relax. If that's not your go-to method find something else. You don't have to do what everyone else is doing, especially from what you see on social media. As I mentioned before, some of us need to start taking showers everyday. Now, this isn't a jab at "smelly" people. Some individuals dealing with depression, for example, may have a harder time going through their basic hygiene routines.
If you are doing something in the name of self-care that has a negative impact on your life, you are not caring for yourself. You could be hurting yourself. Let's do better at listening to our bodies and minds.
3 John 1:2- Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.
*Photo by Eye For Ebony at Unsplash.com
A lesson on the importance of time management and organization.
Hanging out with friends or by yourself can always be fun. It’s always an adventure when the location is somewhere none of you have been before. You get to explore the place, gaze at the shops, street artwork, and delve into the culture of where you are. Even in nature, you can listen to the sounds of birds, the rustles of animals wandering through, and admire the beauty of trees. Sometimes, all these entice us so much that we forget to plan carefully.
I have been a victim to that. Sometime ago I went out with a friend to watch a movie in San Francisco. We didn't know this area very well and we also didn't plan well. We missed a chance to watch the movie at an earlier time and had to wait two hours for the next showing, cool. However, that decision, which was made without thinking it through, caused us to be stranded... in the city... at 12 a.m.! The movie ended late and we started to walk towards the bart train station when we realized that they stop running around twelve. Lo and behold, it's way past twelve and we also got lost trying to find the station. Great. Once we finally found it, the last train had already left, and we had to take the bus, or rather a few buses. Okay, they're still running so it shouldn't be too much of an issue, right? Wrong.
The second bus we were on broke down in another city/area. (Side note: It was one in the morning by then) We had two options at that point. Wait fifteen minutes for another bus and then call an uber home or call one now to take us all the way back. We chose the second option. It was too late and cold and almost two o' clock! Thankfully, we only waited a few minutes before the driver came and took us to home. Now on to some helpful tips so you can avoid our mistake.
Things to remember for an outing: Funds, transportation, directions, and timekeeping.
Depending on age and/or circumstances, you may not have a surplus of funds. What are you buying and how much do you need to bring with you to spend? Carrying emergency money with you is good when spontaneous things happen like our situation. Don't get caught off guard, so budget your money wisely. There are various modes of transportation available like: buses, trains, driving, getting dropped off, walking, and hailing a ride through a taxi or services like uber. So many choices, but which ones are available and the most useful for your outing? Do you know where you're going? Don't spend thirty minutes searching for the venue and miss parts of the event. That's a waste of time when someone could have taken a few minutes beforehand to find a perfect route. Keep watch of the time, please! Stores close. Transportation services close, and streets get dark at night. Don't lose track of time and miss out on a way to go home if you don't have a car or someone to pick you up.
I suggest writing down plans so you can see the inconsistencies in front of you. Use a travel journal or planner. Keep maps and pamphlets of transportation routes with you so you know where to go and what to take. Be smart, and don't get stranded in an unfamiliar area.
*Photo by Logan Popoff on unsplash.com
Sometimes life throws you a fast ball that curves, slows down, changes direction, then hits you in the forehead. Other times we create messy situations that are difficult to get out of. In either scenario, there are steps to unraveling the complex parts.
Think about how this change fits into your overall plans, your future, your goals. Where will it lead you to? A step in the wrong direction will divert your plans. Stay focused. Let's say you're trying to save money and something comes up to where you need to move cities, states, or even countries. Maybe moving is actually a step towards saving money by living in a more affordable environment. Create a budget and see. Job opportunity in a field that's not your own? Are there skills to gain that can be transferred? Think about the length of time spent at this position, the possible move for a promotion. What about buying a car? Some areas have accessible public transportation or stores that are more accessible to residents than others. For example, the difference between a city and the suburbs. Check your budget and see how it fits into your life financially. Don't get blindsided by transitions and change. Being overprepared is a hundred times better than being underprepared.
Buy a notebook (or use word/google doc) specifically for your future goals and plans. Writing plans down keeps you accountable. When you forget, you can always go back to them later. It's also great to see all the ideas down together and how they might fit or not. When they stay in your head, it's easy to create a fantasy of how plans will pan out. If you are a spiritual person, pray for guidance. Have discussions with people farther in life than you and compare your next steps. Of course, take any suggestion or opinion with a grain of salt. (For advice on how to deal with people's opinions, read my post here). Don't get stuck in a place you don't want to be in.
*Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash
Sometimes it's difficult to discern when someone has your best interest at mind. Take their advice or not? There is a difference between unwarranted opinions and constructive criticism. Some folks see them as the same thing. It’s not. Ask yourself, does this suggestion help me, or is this person trying to put me down? Everyone feels entitled to their opinion. This is especially true on the internet where it's easy to hide behind a screen. They all think their words are so truthful and helpful. Educating others on concepts are topics they're unfamiliar with is helpful... if it's done without the tone of condescension. Users on social media are hasty with insults and distasteful commentary. They think they are right and no one can or should change their minds. This young woman I watched on YouTube bought a teeth whitening kit because people kept commenting about how yellow her teeth were. First of all, it's natural for teeth to yellow over time due to the enamel wearing off over time (read more about here). Second of all, yellow teeth can be caused by drinks like coffee, not necessarily bad hygiene. Some people like to spew their unwarranted, and unnecessary commentary because they can, not because there is something informative about it. Don't let anyone tell you how to live your life unless it's positive constructive criticism!
*Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash.com
What do you want from life?
Happiness? Money? Love? Stability? Question your motives and tactics. Reach for what you want. You must gain something from what you’re doing. If not, wants the point? Something drives you to continue your degree, work that double shift, or attend that workshop. There is a point to make, a goal to achieve, find that. Everything you do now promotes your future. Even if you make changes to your lifestyle, those changes affect your future too. Experiences can teach you something about yourself, other people, the way society works, or how to overcome obstacles.
Are you following society/culture?
I’m sure millions of kids have parents who have outlined their future. Their mom or dad wants them to go to a specific school, be in a certain profession, and marry the right type of person. It shouldn’t be like this. Not only parents, but the society we live also outlines the path that people should strive for. There are several problems with that idea. One problem is, everyone should have the same outcome. Not everyone can become a doctor. Not everyone can/will want to travel three times a year. Not everyone wants to get married. There is a such thing as individuality for a reason. Every individual must think and act for themselves or else you’re not even living your own life. Like I said in the beginning, question your motives.
What do you hope to gain?
What is the result of your hard work? Going through the motions without having direction is a waste of your potential. It can take years before this question is answerable. You don't always know what you want. Sometimes you look back and realized how much you gained from going to college or doing an internship that taught you valuable skills. Don't sell yourself short. It's possible to set goals and achieve them. It's possible to build that business, get the master's degree, get that promotion, or make a big move to another state.
I hope these questions jogged your brain and made you re-think your actions. Stay tuned for more!
*Photo by Jason Leung on unsplash.com
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, then you know I graduated early from college in December. It doesn't feel like I graduated... more like a long winter break. Even after it may feel the same as summer break. However, I've watched a few post-grad videos on YouTube and many people say they felt a bit lost after graduation. They focused so much on graduating that once it happened they didn't know where to go. People felt pressured to find employment and sometimes that didn't go so well. Going from the structure of school for 16+ years to a fluid schedule of mostly doing nothing (if you don't have a job right after) can be difficult. This also applies to any other new phase in life like moving to another area, getting a new job, etc.
When this occurs, it's time for a new mindset, and new goals. Create a structure in the new environment you are in. Sometimes when we're used to the old routine it's hard to adapt and change. For example, lets say you're a recent graduate. During the academic year you woke up at ten for classes, work later in the afternoon, and going to the movies with friends after that. Fast forward to post-grad. There are no more classes or work. You can sleep in, binge watch shows and movies, eat, and sleep some more. This might work for a few days, but soon you're going to get bored. I would say find a hobby and make a new routine. Wake up at nine and go to the beach, read poetry, learn a new recipe, apply for two positions, and watch a movie. Don't give yourself a chance to fall into emptiness. Keep yourself busy and gain more skills. If the new phase in life is moving to another area, check out all the cool spots. Spend some time outside even if it's the front lawn. Take a different route everyday. Try new food.
Don't forget to relax, no need to burn yourself out. You may feel depressed or inadequate at times, it might happen. Change is inevitable and can be difficult. It's an opportunity for growth. Also, surround yourself with a stable support system that will encourage and not pressure you. Put up little quotes to remind you that this is the road to success.
*Photo by Sydney Rae on unsplash.com
There are times when we are bombarded with a multitude of opportunities and responsibilities. Sometimes it's hard to manage these things and incorporate them into our lives without running ourselves into the ground. We don't NEED to do everything or say yes to every opportunity that comes by, but sometimes it is difficult to say no. It's difficult to discern which things are most important and which can be done at a later date or not necessary at all.
Take a step back and look at what you have on your plate. In fact, write down everything you have to do. You will find that some things are necessary and probably not up for debate (work (unless you're quitting), class, family time). You will also find that there are things you can eliminate or move around if you can. If there is a event or workshop done on multiple days, switch the day(s) you go to accommodate another thing. Focus on your goals and how the opportunities and responsibilities can help you reach them. Focus on the quality of life you want. Always running around and not enjoying life? Or. Understanding your values and finding a balance. Don't forget about rest. Rest is very important to keep us energized and functioning properly.
In my last post, I discussed my goals for my last quarter at college. I wanted to have fun and focus on writing. Those were the biggest things. So far, I haven't had time to write! I have a lot of readings for class, meetings for my clubs, and an internship! This "relaxing" last quarter turned hectic in less than a week and it already reminds me of junior year. However, I had a lot of fun junior year. The point is, I'm going to have to cut some things out and/or manage my time in a more meticulous manner than I have before. My studying/note-taking habits are also adapting as well. I am a flexible person so it's possible, but that doesn't make it less difficult.
All of these things are easier said than done, but not impossible.
* Photo by Andres F. Uran on Unsplash
“How do you know it’s impossible, if you don’t try?”
Sometimes we get really stuck in the same box, the same comfort zone for a long time. The habits we've created have grown and matured. It's important to keep learning new skills. You can start by watching tutorials on YouTube, taking classes, or just trying it without help. Stop being afraid to take a different track than the one you go on every single day.
You may think, "I'm good here." No! Do not get comfortable, because life will hit you with a flaming fast ball out of nowhere. I encourage you, yes YOU to try something new and discover another fun thing. The world is too vast to stay in a four by four. Continue to expand, even by little measures. Maybe one day someone will need help decorating their living room and because you've been watching interior design videos on YouTube, you have insight (maybe). Say your friend is having a party and wants to bake a really cool cake, but doesn't know how. Thankfully, you've been taking baking classes and can help her. These examples sound far-fetched, but I hope the message still got through. I'm not saying do it for others, you could be in those predicaments. Doing something you haven't done brings a new kind of excitement because it's not what you're used to.
So please try something new and encourage others to do so as well!
*Photo by Patrick Boucher on Unsplash
Does it pass, does it cry? Does it sigh when it loses sunlight? We want more when there’s less, and less when there’s more. It gives us context and deadlines. Milestones and headstones. We can waste it or spend it wisely.
But it doesn’t exist.
Time is not real.
Humans created time to document the rays of sunshine. To categorize wake and sleep. Time is an illusion. You cannot run out of something that doesn’t exist. We have built a world around time and now it has authority over our lives. We will never have enough time to do something. It is never enough time to have fun. Each day comes and goes in the blink of an eye, next thing you know it’s 2025. So what’s the solution? Time management they say. But we don’t control the Earth’s tilt or rotation. We cannot bend it to our will and stop it on command. It goes on with or without us in orbit. Everyday is the same. We are living in the past, present, and future at the same time. There are no breaks between. There’s no yesterday or next week. We are floating in space latching on to meaningless words and numbers that elude us.
Remember this the next time you wish the hours could go by faster.
*Photos by Andrik Langfield and Ashley Bean on Unsplash.com
**Edited by me
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