[Q&A] How do I remain grounded and mindful when my work environment has an extremely high amount of stress?
I struggle to remain grounded and mindful when my work environment has an extremely high amount of stress and multiple personalities during this pandemic. Things are rapidly changing every hour and I struggle the most especially when I don’t agree with decisions that are being made. I ground myself and meditate several times a day. Do you have any suggestions as I notice I get quite angry very quickly and it’s not who I am.Thank you and stay safe.N
Thanks for reaching out. First I want to say, thank you for the work you’re doing to keep everything running. It’s so needed right now and I appreciate it.
The struggle right now is that people are clinging to the old way of doing things because that provides a sense of safety. And when people do things that are nonsensical or put others in jeopardy, it’s natural to react to that.
That you’re angry now is driven by a deep care.
You care about things. About people being safe and healthy. About your family and the world as a whole. And we need you.
It’s okay to feel angry. It’s normal.
There are two things that have been helping me that I’ll share as strategies. Let me know if they work in your situation.
The first is to accept all my feelings and drop into the present, on what I can control and what I can’t. I made a choice to only focus on what’s within my sphere of influence. Everything outside of that, I’ve surrendered.
By that I mean, I put it outside my bubble and redirect myself to the task at hand. There’s so much to do. I just focus on that and keep going.
So if I read a comment on social media that makes me angry, or a news report, or someone talking about what they ‘think’, I disconnect as soon as I can.
I put it, just like I do with strangers in the store, 3 metres from me.
Then I ground, regroup and ask ‘what is my work now?‘ and then I do that.
I can’t get caught up in it because then I can’t do my job. And nothing is more important than that right now, for me. Whatever my work is, self-care, rest, family time, problem-solving, computer stuff, that’s the priority. So I go back to that.
A friend uses the phrase, “I’m sorry, I have to get back to work.”
The second thing I do is I check my own thinking. Am I still caught in the old way of thinking? Am I trying to be right instead of being real? Can I let this go? Can I get the underlying need met elsewhere? From someone else? Or is this important and I need to take a stand?
Mostly for me, it’s not important. I’m getting caught up. So I untangle myself from other people’s stuff, their actions or non-actions. I untangle myself just like I would if I was getting out of a snare or a bramble. Very carefully, I imagine wiggling out of it. And I go back to what I have control over, me.
I let it go.
Because I have to if I want to keep functioning. And I have to keep functioning. We all do.
So I feel it and I breathe, and I feel the sensations in my body. Anger, disappointment, fear, terror, uncertainty, vulnerability, all of it. It’s very intense. I go into the heat of it and I close my eyes. I breathe through my nose and I’m just focused on the sensations of it.
And if I stay with the body feeling and out of my head, it passes. Sometimes in a breath, sometimes in 5 minutes.
But then, no matter what, after 5 minutes, I either take action on it, or I drop it and do something more important. And there’s always something more important. Always. And then, I’m out of it.
The other thing that’s been helping is extending compassion to people who won’t do what I think they should.
It’s hard. When people appear capable, and they just won’t do something. It’s hard not to be angry at them.
But I have enormous compassion right now for people who can’t do something. They’re busy, isolated, overwhelmed, dealing with the big stuff. That’s easy to feel a soft place for them. They simply can’t .
My guides just tell me “won’t” is another form of “can’t”.
These people who “won’t” are just not capable. Maybe they don’t have the ability to self regulate, maybe they don’t have the ability to feel compassion, maybe they are grasping at some sense of normalcy in this disruption because if they didn’t they’d spin out of control. Whatever the reason, they “won’t” do or say what you want. That means they can’t.
And people who “can’t” get compassion.
Maybe someone else “can”. Or maybe that won’t-person will later. Or maybe they won’t. But whatever the case, it remains forever outside your control.
And whatever is outside your control is not your work.
And it’s okay to my mad and do your work. It’s okay to be sad and do your work. And it’s okay to be fearful and every other thing. But if you focus on your work, in the moment, you will begin to feel better.
Keep grounding and taking care of yourself. Nourish your needs. Drink water and rest. Eat nourishing foods in good company if you can find it. Soothe and comfort your feelings through this. And keep going.
It will get easier.
We’re all transitioning to a new normal. So be gentle with yourself. You’re doing great. Keep going.
With Love and Gratitude,