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We all need a break

Even if we cannot or will not fly off to foreign shores, we all need a break from the everyday repetitive cycles of our lives.

It can’t be said enough: this last year has been stressful. More stressful than most of us are aware of.

Some people are silently, unknowingly suffering the consequences. Many people are burning out and tensions are high in many teams. Some teams are finding themselves in more conflict just because it has been harder to strengthen relationships over a casual coffee in the office and it is harder to manage our emotional needs when we are more stressed than usual; this combination naturally results in a less collaborative feel between colleagues.

Let’s break it down.

On top of already busy workloads, each of these add an extra layer of stress:

  • A lack of novelty due to monotonous daily schedules
  • Little transition time between home and work, work and home; there’s no time to prepare or decompress
  • Separation from people we care about, whether that was family, friends or even colleagues – and yet we still need to work with our colleagues fluidly
  • Worry about getting sick or family members getting sick
  • Delayed medical attention for self or others
  • Worrying about the kids’ progress in school
  • Too much screen time
  • Too much time alone or too much time with the same people we live with
  • The barking dog or the new puppy

And now we keep working towards ‘normalising’ again, we face more stressors about making another change, forgetting how to do social life, and the uncertainty of what’s going to happen especially with rising COVID cases globally.

All of these stressors add up. Our cortisol levels may be higher than we ever experienced before and it may be actually frying our brains.

Some stress can be a good thing

Maybe we need a little caveat for stress: let’s not give it a completely bad name. We need some stress to get us in action and some people enjoy more stress than others. And Plus, different people handle stress in different ways – if we can recognise our levels of stress and tell ourselves that stress can work in our favour, then we are more likely to handle it well. If we are not so aware or not very keen on stress, we will be less likely to deal with it well (and we might not know that it is affecting us).

But it deserves respect

Regardless of liking or not liking stress, It will serve everyone well to:

  • Take some days off – as many as you can.
  • Do something different.
  • Get away somewhere even if it isn’t far and doesn’t require a passport.
  • Leave your work and devices behind.
  • See how long you can sit still and relax in one sitting.

You might be surprised at how different things look on the other side.

For us, we will be away for the month of August, and we look forward to reconnecting in September.

Managing your brain under stress

Meanwhile, have a look at our mini-course, Managing your brain under stress, to learn more about what happens to the brain under stress and how to manage it.

find out more