Today, at Working Mommy Wednesday, we’re answering the following question: What do you do when you get overwhelmed at work?
In other words, how do you handle workplace stress?
For me, workplace stress invokes three predictable coping strategies: Coffee, Potty Mouth, and Prayer.
Coping mechanism #1: Coffee. Coffee is key. And when I get stressed, more coffee is key. I am known to run on caffeine and shear adrenaline for days. Who said anything about regular nutrition and self care?
I’ll be sitting in a meeting -- working on a tight deadline – and I’ll turn to my colleagues and say, “How would you like to step out and get some coffee?”
Coffee helps me think.
And it’s not just the coffee. It’s the 5-minute walk out of the office. It’s the fresh air. It’s taking a moment to be human.
A coffee break helps me put things in perspective and get outside of the four walls of my office.
Coping mechanism #2: Potty mouth. As much as I hate to admit it, stress in my life invokes potty mouth. And something about using strong language – calling it like it is – feels good in the moment.
It’s a release.
The other day, a nameless opposing counsel was being extremely annoying. And there were no PG words to describe his behavior (I looked hard for them – ok, maybe not that hard, but you get the point).
Sometimes, you need to call a spade a spade.
I’m not saying it’s right. It’s just my reality.
Coping mechanism #3: Prayer. I’d like to say that I pray first, but I’d be lying. When I’m at work, prayer is often at the bottom of the list.
So when my caffeine and potty mouth aren’t working, I think to myself, Oh yeah, I guess I could pray about it, huh?
Why don’t I pray first? I’m really not sure. Maybe it’s because I think God doesn’t care about my work. God, do you really want me to pray about document productions and jury verdicts? Maybe it’s because I work in such a secular environment. God, sometimes I just can’t see any evidence of spiritual activity around me. Maybe it’s because I’m human. God, I’m sorry I don’t come to you first, frankly I tend to forget.
Sometimes, workplace stress brings out the worst in me. Other times, it brings out the best in me. I’m guessing I’m not alone.
So, how do you deal with workplace stress?