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Do we use the term too frequently?

By Becky Linklater, Management Accountant at andpartnership

Female in the workplace, head in hands through stress

April was stress awareness month…..

Stress? What is the actual definition of the word? It got me thinking, “Do we use the term too frequently to cover an array of feelings?” When I looked it up it made perfect sense- pressure or tension exerted on a material object.

"The distribution of stress is uniform across the bar" - if we think of ourselves as the “object” who it distributing the stress on us? Others? Ourselves? Society? In my experience it’s usually ourselves and in particular how we put the pressure or stress on ourselves to achieve our workload for example, I know that I am a perfectionist but it really doesn’t do me any favours, yes, I’m good at what I do and I take pleasure in being recognised for that but at what cost?

Recently, I have been supporting a charity to get their books in order but I’ve put a great deal of pressure on myself to “do it right”. Many out of hours spent getting things in order and achieving deadlines etc but on the flip side my immune system has suffered and Covid decided to attack my self weakened state by stopping me in my tracks, 21 days later and I’m still suffering for what? A bit of recognition? Knowing I’ve done well and right by the charity? I am not by any means undermining the fact that of course it has to be done well but at the detriment to my own health? No, that’s just stupid! I always think, “what would I say to a colleague in the same position?” I would of course question them, why are you giving so much? Take time out, you need to look after yourself, where’s your balance? Etc etc.

Why do we value others mental health and well being more than our own? STOP ✋🏻 think and re-evaluate, a little bit of stress is good but too much can be crushing, think of that object, how many objects perform well under continuous stress, not many! We need to look after ourselves more and sometimes lift that pressure for a while to enable ourselves to blossom and be more creative. Enough of my brain dumping, I promise to be kind to…..ME and take my own advice more of the time, you should too…

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