Exiting from stress

It’s often *after* the stress that the problems kick in.

Phoenicean Juniper (Juniperus phoenicea) at El Sabinar, El Hierro, Canary Islands (Spain). Eckhard Pecher   CC BY 2.5 licence https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:El_Hierro_Sabinar.JPG#/media/File:El_Hierro_Sabinar.JPG

How do we exit from stress gracefully?

If you’ve ever been to a busy restaurant at 11pm on a Saturday and marvelled at the fluid teamwork (with occasional flare-ups that are instantly resolved), the speed, the accuracy, the effectiveness of the very low-paid staff… then gone back at 3pm on a quiet Thursday and seen everything fall apart… you know what I mean.

At our regular Friday RedQuadrant consultant get-together recently, the topic was expertly raised of ‘floundering’. Not a breakdown, not a burnout, just someone who seems to be weakly waving but is really drowning under it all.

SN0039 : Wind-shaped trees above Pwll Ffynnon ovy
 © Copyright Derek Harper and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

And very, very little of the ‘resilience’ literature describes this phase.

It helps you to prepare for and surf the stress, and talks about the good times, self-care, and looking after yourself. It doesn’t talk about the flatness, the inability to engage and enjoy when things get quiet.

But we have to look at the post-trauma literature to really see the impacts – the hyper-alertness, the slow-motion breakdown, loss of motivation, listlessness.

Over the next few months – never mind when the next lockdowns come – we need to be prepared for this as well as the long-lasting effects of COVID-19 and lockdown.

What’s your top tip for exiting from stress gracefully?

What shall we do when the immediate storm is over, but we’re just not quite right?

Walter Baxter / A wind shaped oak tree on Linnburn Hill / CC BY-SA 2.0

#resilience #mentalhealth #stress #trauma #covidー19 #humanresources

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