Reality Check

It seems like all anyone talks about these days is how stressed they are. If it’s not a micromanaging boss or lay-offs at work, it’s a misguided dating strategy or an invalid parent. Don’t even get me started about the people with kids – that’s a whole other level of frazzled.

Maybe this is just the human condition – to be alert to potential threats to our life, family and resources and receive a cortisol spike accordingly. If that’s the case, it would seem that there’s not a huge amount we can do about our preoccupation with life’s many stressors, and that we might not even want to do anything about.

In actual experience, though, it’s not that simple. Left unchecked, stress can severely affect our health and quality of life, and actually impede our capacity to respond to the very threats that stress gears us to protect ourselves from. From that perspective, it seems pretty essential that we learn techniques for stress management. Melbourne has a variety of resources for doing this, including professional consultants, workshops and seminars.  

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like people are taking advantage of this type of thing. I know that I, for one, am guilty as charged. Just the thought of clearing an afternoon to do a workplace stress management course puts me on edge. That said, I’d probably suck it up and participate anyway, because I’m starting to realise that it’s necessary if I’m not going to burn out. I only wish my colleagues felt the same; if they did, we might be able to arrange for such a thing.

I don’t know the answers, but I do know that we all need to start taking care of our health and wellbeing with the same attentiveness that we do our inbox, kids, mechanic, accountant and in-laws. If we don’t, we’re going to wind up in an early grave. Not to add another stressor to your day, but it’s the truth as far as I can see.