Friday, April 10, 2009

Managing Job Related Stress (part 1)

This is a subject that we've all got to deal with. Including those of us who are looking for a job. This topic includes dealing with the stress of managing relationships at work, including doing the job itself (of course some jobs are more stressful than others), and, what many of us are not as aware of, the stress related to your job that occurs outside of the work place. These are things like scheduling (for example juggling meals, appointments, the kids' activities, etc.), commuting, managing finances, level of personal job satisfaction. To a large extent our lives can revolve around our jobs. And for the most part, we're happy to have one, but the stress adds up.

A BIG concern for me when working with a client suffering from job stress (I do a lot of Employee Assistance Program counseling), is determining if their job IS their life (and their life IS their job). This can be a big part of their problem because it means that if the job situation goes bad, then their life goes bad. As opposed to having a life outside of their job, which can allow them some outlets, and provide them some support when they need it. My first recommendation is to find some enjoyable activities outside of work. This provides stress relief. An important part of this is the relationships that you have outside of work. A loving enjoyable relationship with a partner, or a happy family life, adds so much to your life. You can come home and get rejuvenated. You end up not taking your work so seriously. Of course, if you have a stressful family life, it makes things ten times worse. You can end up going to work to escape your home-life stress. You have to fix that.

The phrase "get a life" has a lot of significance especially if you have a lot of job related stress. Exercise, get a hobby, go to the beach, get some friends to spend time with, and by all means USE YOUR VACATION TIME.

In future postings I'll discuss how to manage stress at work (for now take a look at what I wrote on 3/16/07, Managing Stress At The Job), as well as describe some of the effects on your health and life, of not managing your job-related stress well. And as you can imagine, it can get pretty bad. TO BE CONTINUED...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

An Open Letter To Rihanna and Chris Brown

I would have written sooner, but in addition to the sadness I felt about your situation, I was angry. Rather than judging your struggle to manage your relationship, I wanted to write something that would be helpful to you (and my readers). I counsel people in troubled relationships, as well as people with anger problems. If you two are going to stay together you have got a lot of work to do.

I've known of a lot of explainations for why people tolerate domestic violence, or other forms of abuse. There are theories that suggest that childhood experiences set the stage for giving or receiving violence. My advice is for you to grow up. You can grow beyond those experiences. And, you can get the help that you need to learn to communicate in a loving caring way, including to resolve conflict. If you do love each other, as you say you do, then act like it. (By the way, this goes for those of you who think it's OK to beat your kids. You need to learn to communicate with them better also, even when their behavior frustrates you.)

So Chris, is this you being a man? You get mad so you feel that you can beat your woman? Come on brother. And where is all of the cool that you display, and "man-ness" you represent to the kids who idolize you when you walk out on the stage to perform? Is it ALL an act? You were angry. I get it. Sorry, that's no excuse.

Rihanna, you present as a strong, together, model of womanhood. Don't fail yourself, and the girls and women who look up to you. Taking abuse or any form of mistreatment is not love. No. You, nor anyone, deserves to be punished like that. I don't know if this is the first time this has happened to you, but believe me, it will happen again (and again) if you don't make some changes. Now.

I'm told that you guys are taking a break from each other. Good. Usually as the wounds heal and the memory fades, people resume their same relationship habits. DO NOT go back to what you had. Get it right.