So today, pressure.
I've just come off a consultation with our occupational health service coz i'm feeling (and acting) a bit 'stressy' at the moment and people want me to get support. Which is great.
Here's that pressure curve handily coloured with snooker ball colours.
I'm scoring six points at the moment.
We talked a lot about resilience and I'm doing a load of stuff at the moment to improve / maintain that. I got a new book recently, that's it below. It's really good and practical and has lots of little steps you can take to make yourself feel better (and be better). I'm going to read a book at lunchtime (a spy one, I read enough self help books, in fact i have a self help shelf), a small step (but a big shelf), but a good one as it switches my brain off.
Resilience, being healthy, connecting with people etc all help you cope with the pressure.
But we also need to make sure we look at the cause of the pressure and not just try and be more resilient, because as the camel knows it can only take one more straw to break you (paper straws or straw straws, definitely not plastic straws).
We talk at work about stress buckets. Resilience helps your bucket be strong, but sometimes the tap filling it is just flowing a bit too fast and the only thing you can do (apart from your bucket breaking and everything going all over the place) is to slow the flow down, make the bucket bigger or get a bigger tap.
The challenge is that there are times when everyone else's buckets are full so they can't help with yours and / or everything you are doing seems to be a priority and therefore a stressor.
I have too many priorities and stressors at the moment (home and work) - I'm feeling a bit vulnerable so my bucket isn't as big as usual.
It makes me feel like a failure to say i'm struggling to cope, even though i'm working on my 4 pillars.
But with my list of stressors flowing in and my personal capacity it's probably not surprising.
It makes me conclude that the problem is with the amount coming in. But as I'm currently feeling vulnerable, weak and like I'm failing it clouds my judgement even more and makes me feel like mentioning that i'm struggling will reflect badly on me (whether it will or not in reality).
Stress is indeed a bastard, it makes you feel all sorts of horrible things and then to make things even worse makes you lose the confidence, ability and clear thinking to do much about it because you feel like you'll feel even more of a failure, be judged and have a note on your file that says 'not very resilient' as opposed to 'massively resilient but everyone has limits'.
I have spoken to people about this, but the cold reality is that sometimes there are just too many plates and you just have to hope the ones you drop are saucers.......
Mr Paul Wyse