It’s OK To Not Be OK

July 31, 2023

By Meghan Greenwood

stress visualization exercise
stress visualization exercise

Listen to the Pgh Dreamer’s Pod: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/meghan-greenwood/episodes/ep-e27ja9k

Work is stressful. Family is overwhelming. Life is HARD.

While I’m a firm believer that ‘tomorrow is a new day’, it is totally valid to not be OK in the present moment. With so many items to juggle and people to satisfy, pretending that everything is coming up roses is not healthy either.

Rather than spiraling or worse, letting your wrath create a path of fury, we need to come up with more productive and mentally beneficial ways of working through the unease.

Here are some tips:

  1. Start with the true problem. Dig deep. What is causing the pain? What is really underlying your stress?
  2. Write this problem down in the center of a sheet of paper. Visualizing the words can also help reinforce (or refute) the source.
  3. Add ways to mitigate this stress in a circle surrounding the main word. Think creatively. And don’t hold any ideas back. Everything counts and could be useful for brainstorming purposes.
  4. Hone in on 1 or 2 mitigations to start with. Maybe start small and build up. Anything you can do to control the situation could be quite helpful in the long-term.

I am going to go through a quick example.

I chose the words “Work Deadlines” and wrote them in the center of a sheet of paper.

Surrounding “Work Deadlines” I’ve added:

a. Ask for help

b. Delegate tasks

c. Breakdown the work into obtainable pieces

d. Mark my calendar with milestone dates

e. Ask a lot of questions

f. Plan out each week to ensure timely productivity

g. Talk to a coworker for advice

With all of these options listed out, the problem becomes less overwhelming and more controllable. I will likely start with breaking down the work into pieces so I truly understand the breadth of what seems like a gigantic stress ball.

If you’re still not feeling any better following this process, then it may require deeper considerations, such as taking time away from this part of my job or making a career change.

Apply this practice to all things in life bringing you down and see if you start to feel a little more ‘OK’.

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