Things are pretty intense at the minute. I realised only just in time how much it was affecting me. Fortunately this realisation allowed me to make some small changes with some big impacts.
This month I’m moving country, job and away from my long term partner. We’re staying together, we’re just going to have a border and a time zone between us for a while.
This is not an ideal set of circumstances.
It means that rather than enjoying our last month living together in a city we love, there are the complicated logistics of two house moves to organise on top of the normal busyness at work.
I don’t write this to gain sympathy, just to provide some context.
I got very focused on what needed to be achieved, by when, by who, etc. A typical engineers/project manager’s reaction. Not necessarily a bad one either. I was doing it to try and inject some certainty in my life to minimise my stress.
But the cost of this was a reduction in relatedness with my partner as my logical (and cold) demeanour took over!
What I Noticed
I wasn’t aware of this at first. It was only during a meeting at work discussing activities that I realised I had no spare mental or emotional capacity to deal with anything else. Fortunately, I was able to communicate this clearly rather than react emotionally in the moment. Saving myself a potentially awkward interaction!
This experience acted as a light bulb moment, providing a bit of reframing.
I realised that I wasn’t talking about my concerns to the people who matter most. I wasn’t collaborating with them to get over the problem. I was working on it alone, assuming that my approach was right.
When I explained all this to my partner, thankfully she was patient enough to listen and understand (something she has been working on successfully).
Essentially I realised that I didn’t need to tackle these issues alone; that by being open and sharing internal challenges they would become simpler to resolve.
Points to Take Away
- Noting your emotional state and communicating it helps to decrease stress and increase your ability to deal with it
- Thinking in terms of the SCARF factors helps to identify what is fundamentally stressing you out
- Reframing can help change your perspective on a situation or event; allowing you to manage them more effectively and successfully