I realize there’s a war on. For those facing war’s desolation, may you find safety or, if needed, the strength to fight. This post is not address to you, alas (my advice would be nearly useless to you). I will instead address today’s writings to those in the peaceful parts of the world who are feeling overwhelmed at the ever-increasing amount of “history” we’re seeing in our daily news feeds. Such things can create stress on the job. Today I’ll share some thoughts about how to cope with the tension filling our world.
Taking Constructive Action on Your Own Behalf
Yes, there’s a pandemic on. Yes, we’re wrestling with inflation. And yes, now there’s a war out there that could touch our shores if things get out of hand. A lot of companies have had to make some allowance for these stress factors, either in the workplace or for those working from home. Even so, leaders still expect you to leave your personal drama (feelings) at home. Maybe that expectation will change, eventually, maybe it’s already changing. And since we work to survive, it’s to our benefit to find ways to stay relatively calm while doing that work.
First: does one of the current crises affect you directly? If so, do what you can on your end to take action on behalf of yourself or your loved ones.
Next: If the crisis doesn’t affect you now but could (potential job cuts, programs being delayed or canceled), speak to your leader(s) or customers about your concerns and try to gauge their plans, if they’re able to share them. Fair warning: they might not be able to.
Concurrent with this, start investigating what options are open to you if you perceive or are told that your future work might be in danger of ending. Other projects? Other lines of work? Or, if you feel deeply and personally affected by the events of the day, is there some way you can both find employment and contribute to a cause that’s attempting to alleviate its suffering?
Lastly, are you in that category of people who are not directly affected (professionally, anyhow) by the events of the day, but are simply concerned about the state of the world? That’s the bulk of us. We want to be informed. We want to know what’s happening in the world and perhaps make sense of it all. Both are worthy aspirations. However, I for one have reduced my news intake over the years, mostly because a) I get stressed by all the dismalness and b) I cannot make sense of what’s going on half the time anyhow. I’ve tried to distract myself with a mix of science fiction, book research, occasional inappropriate humor, and long walks. I have my ways, you have yours. It’s worth considering what impact, if any, you can have on world events, and then deciding how much you need to know about them. It might help your level of stress when the voices from the TV and internet become overwhelming.