HR Blog

Today Was a Really Long Week

By Dee Yingst

Is it possible to be grateful for things that stress you out?

Have you ever had one of those days where it feels like everybody wants a piece of you?  Your office phone is ringing.  Your cell phone is ringing.  You’re watching your email inbox furiously scroll as it loads and loads and loads new messages.  Aaaaannnnd you have people waiting in and around your office. 

No matter how early you arrive or how late you leave, you still go home every night feeling like you somehow failed because you just couldn’t get it all done. Right now, this feels like… The. Story. Of. My. Life.

A wise person I know, described her feelings of being overwhelmed like this:

You’re holding liquid in your hands – no bowl, bag or other vessel. You can’t put it down. You can’t hand it to someone. All you can do is hold it as best you can while watching it slip between your fingers.

Wow. Pretty accurate visual, isn’t it?

The other day I was watching that liquid slip and drip between my fingers yet again, and I thought there’s got to be something I can do to help myself and others who are feeling this way. If we can’t change the stressors, maybe we can change how they impact us.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’d like to share some suggestions on flipping your script to see those stressors as things to be grateful for.  Maybe only one or two of these apply to you. Maybe they all do. Either way, here are some suggestions to help you refocus and find a way to be grateful for those things that are stressing you out.  

Instead of….

How am I ever going to return all these calls?

I am grateful… that the callers think of me when they need help; it means they trust me, rely on me, and find me to be a reliable source of information.

Could everybody just Leave. Me. Alone?!    

I am grateful… that my coworkers feel comfortable and welcome and show it by dropping in. I am also grateful for the sounds of laughter and collegial conversation – it means that I work with people that are happy to be here.

OMG will my email ever stop loading?

I am grateful… that I am informed of the things going on around me, that others are interacting with me in a meaningful manner, and that my advice is valued.

You want me to WHAT?!

I am grateful… that this person has such tremendous faith in me that he/she thinks I can do this.

Make no mistake - I didn’t just wake up one morning and everything was sunshine and unicorns – this is definitely a work in progress.  I still have those moments where gratitude is the furthest concept from my mind… but I’m trying. 

Maybe if we all try together, we can all find a new way to look at the world around us. That has to be a good thing, right?