This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors can occur because of this process.
The opinions of entrepreneurs' contributors are their own.
The day I went to work at the company, they greeted me with a smile. They led me to my seat, showed me my desk, chair, computer and even gave me a white mug with my orange name on it. In the desk drawer I found a dark, heavy, and round object that I immediately made my own in order to meet the expectations others believed in me.
At the end of the first day, I turned off the computer, tidied my desk, closed the drawers, said good night, and went home. The dark, heavy, round object was already in my pocket. Or maybe in my chest, in my soul, in my heart.
It was the work stress that I would take with me everywhere from that day on.
When I was a student, nobody told me what it would be like to work. Or maybe I didn't know how to listen when they did. I fearfully only thought of finishing my studies, taking up a job, earning my own money and finally becoming self-employed.
He had observed what it was like to work in others, but he had no idea what it really was like to wake up again and again, to keep following the same routine, to fight against the adversities of everyday life, about projects that are stuck, things that never come out the way you expect from relentless and cruel delivery dates. I had seen the tired eyes on my own father's face when he came home and waited at airports for delayed, rerouted, overcrowded, or canceled flights. Or his shadow, who left at dawn with a hat from Portillo against the cold of the early morning and returned home with no light, shoulders broken from the worries that implied the possible devaluations, the coups in the countries he was traveling to, the rumors of the closure of the company where he worked with three children studying at the same time. Even though I had it in front of me, it never crossed my mind to think about what it meant to live with the baggage of this dark, heavy and circular object around my neck. Not even how it could affect me.
Even though I really loved what I was doing, from that first day I felt the weight of the work stress weigh on my neck, shoulders and heart. Weight that became a little harder to bear every year due to the increase in tasks and responsibilities. Following my intuition, I tried to tame him as best as possible. I was strong in the face of adversity, optimistic on cloudy days, and tried to be less anxious, not to take everything so seriously.
Sure, without stopping to work, without neglecting my performance.
Then I started running to control my feelings. I've run a lot. Too much. I found meaning in the kilometers, but it disappeared as soon as I stopped moving. Then came the confusion and the unbearable weight of that dark, heavy, circular object that I had made my own on the day of my work.
Until one day I collapsed and everything collapsed. While I'm not pretending to tell this story, on the arduous journey of finding myself in the ruins of myself, I learned a few things about dealing with work stress, which I share here because I know we all live it . Whether employee or entrepreneur, entrepreneur or employee, photographer or writer, the demands of today's working world are brutal. The great expectations. And the tools we usually have to deal with are scarce …
1. Mind the stories you tell about yourself
Sometimes, without even realizing it, we are one of the main stressors in our lives. The story we repeat about ourselves over and over again is necessarily subjective and obeys an interpretation we have made of a particular situation. In these stories we tend to portray ourselves as victims: the world conspires against us. Customers, bosses, and business owners are the villains who want to complicate things for us. It's you who stress us out.
We don't know that the voice with which we tell these stories is nothing but the echo of our insecurities. Every time you tell one of these stories (or every time you tell them to someone else) do the little exercise of retelling the same story, but from a neutral location. The simple change of vote lets you see things differently and understand the other party's reasons and concerns.
Surprisingly, you will also feel less overwhelmed.
2. NO TO SELF-IMPOSED STRESS
How many times have you replied that you are stressed when someone asks you how you are? Even if this doesn't solve anything, keep using the phrase. You judge and judge yourself: "I'm stressed." By verbalizing it, you are making stress a reality and overwhelming yourself at times when you should be relaxed (did someone say Sunday afternoon?). While you may not realize it, words have immense power to help create the reality in which you live. The next time you say or think that you are stressed, try better to describe what is happening to you: “I feel insecure because tomorrow is Monday and we haven't finished the project yet. I'm afraid of my boss's reaction ”. In this way, you can break the vicious circle of eternal stress. To locate an uncertainty, to work on it, to understand exactly what problems you need to solve in order not to feel so overwhelmed anymore.
3. GIVE YOUR TIME
While it sounds like a no-brainer, it's very difficult to take time for yourself when you're constantly stressed. The most dramatic thing is that it is imperative to do it: you need your own time.
That moment to climb your mountain, take a picture, write your novel, read this book, hear this song. Talk to yourself. That moment when it's all about you. Force yourself to make it part of your routine and never let the stress of work take you away. 30 minutes a day can be enough to be good with yourself, with who you are, with what you dream; Enough to realize you've forgotten that dark, heavy, round item in your office drawer.