So you want to work. As much as you need a job, you’re feeling a great deal of pressure weighing down on you from the other things going on in your life. If you could eliminate all those other things and just focus on your job search alone, it would be so much easier. Life however isn’t like that is it?

Maybe you’re stressed about:      Debt    Addictions    Depression    Mental Health   

Childcare   Plan Dinner    Food shopping    Housing   Dentist    Doctor     Makeup

Gas or bus money    Garbage Day   Low Energy    Remembering to smile

Unsure of career   Low self-esteem      Doubt    Confusion   Body image

Abuse   Alone    Isolated     High Expectations    Fear   Uncertainty ETC.

Thislook like what you struggle with each day? So on top of all these stressors, you’re looking for work. I get it. Work would definitely help with your finances and maybe more importantly help with your self-esteem by giving you that sense of identity you’ve been missing. It’s all just so confusing when you feel pressure coming at you from all sides; especially from family and friends who you’d think would be empathetic to your situation but as much as they think their being helpful, it’s like their just adding fuel to the fire every time they say, “Oh you poor thing, what’s the matter honey?”

Don’t you just want to really tell them? I mean really lay it out and say, “I’ll tell you what the matter is! Here’s all the stuff I’m dealing with at the moment and just so you don’t feel left out, YOU’RE part of the problem! AHHHHHH!”

However, if you did that – told them what’s really going on, they’d look at you like you’ve really lost it and then you’d end up feeling worse and apologizing – just one more thing to add to your list of things you’re doing wrong and have to fix. But that’s you isn’t it; The Fixer. You’re so good at fixing other people’s small problems and issues but haven’t had much success fixing your own. They come to you (now that’s irony) when they have these problems because you’re the one they dump on and you’re such a good listener. So uh, who are you sharing your burdens with?

You know, stress itself isn’t bad or good; it’s just…stress. On the positive side, stress can alert us that something is wrong and give us the impetus to change course. If someone jumps out of an alley in the dark, we feel immediate stress and we run away with a burst of energy until we reach safety. Whew! With the source of the stress gone, our body and mind revert back to normal and the adrenalin we produced subsides. Stress can be good! We’d prefer the stress of the first day at a new job to the stress of looking for one. Much better to be stressed about, “Will they like me? Did I wear the right dress?” instead of, “I hate making resumes. Why won’t someone give me a chance?”

The reality is that some of us cope better with things than others. This isn’t another thing you’ve failed at by the way. Learning how to cope or deal with stress can be learned and you can make some changes that put yourself more in control. Honestly, some things in life are beyond your total control, but you never lose the power in how you react to these same things. If you feel you don’t cope or react to stress very well, one of the very first things you can do to make some progress is recognize that changing your approach might be part of the answer. In order to try a different approach to dealing with stress, you can get some suggestions from others who provide this expertise. Seeking out such experts for help isn’t an admission of failure. View seeking out help from qualified experts as a positive step. If you’ve been reluctant to do this in the past, maybe being open to someone else’s suggestions is worth trying.

Something you can do is probably something that will seem unpleasant at first. Write down the things going on in your life that are the sources of stress you are experiencing. Even if it’s a long list and you think you’ll just feel worse looking at it when you’re done, getting this list together will help you identify the things you want to tackle. This will alleviate the feeling of feeling stressed and not knowing why. The list will also help others who you may turn to, as they try to fully understand what’s going on and how they might help give you some suggestions from an objective point of view.

In the short term, some fresh air and mild exercise are a good start. Breathe deeply and set aside some time for things you do find enjoyable – as tight as your time might be. If you can, find some things that make you laugh like a funny movie or being with your best friend who can bring a smile to your face.

On another note, ask your Doctor to recommend a professional to share some of your stressors with.  Speaking with an objective, well-trained and experienced professional who is skilled at listening and offering supportive ideas may just be a great idea itself!




One thought on “S T R E S S

  1. Kelly,

    You’ve opened a wound in our society that is truly global. All of us deal with stress and as you point out, when we’re job searching, it seems much more acute. And of course, most people either don’t recognize it or simply choose to ignore it (another elephant in the room). My one comment is to your language regarding “ask your Doctor to recommend a professional to share some of your stressors with”. This, to me is a much stronger, yet gentler way to address the use of counseling. I still recall the man who came into my office years ago and almost immediately said, “this ain’t counseling is it? I don’t need no counseling”! There is such a stigma around mental health counseling that I believe, any way we can redirect the image – you should get counseling – is certainly worthwhile. Again, I appreciated your approach with, “sharing your stressors”.

    Keep on keeping on,

    Allan Hay

    Coach, Educator, Presenter, and Author,

    Memory Mining, Digging for Gems from Your Past Good Work

    available from Kindle and Nook providers




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.