Are You Forgetting To Unpack Your Backpack? - [website] Email Print
Published: 17th of Jul 2020 by: Shona Potgieter

We all now by now, we’ve read it a million times in a million different posts and articles- Lockdown/Covid has been hard on all of us. Great. So what now?

Well for starters, are you dealing with your stress? Paying attention to it and managing it? Because I wasn't, I just was just putting my head down and trying to make it day by day. As they say in Afrikaans: "Kyk Noord and ffflipen loop voort"

That's obviously not the true wording, but I like my job and would like to keep it. And also don't want to offend any readers.

Anyway, as I was saying- Stress can affect so many aspects of our personal and professional life if not managed. And I was definitely struggling in both. Ironically I was to blame for a lot of my stress, because I tend to be very critical and hard on myself. My state of mind was pretty negative and I just wasn't having a good time.

I did a bit of introspection and asked myself some tough questions:

- Where does my focus lie? Negative or Positive? Glass half full or glass half empty?
- Am I doing my part in taking care of my mental health?
- Am I paying attention to my thoughts and how they affect my mood?

I was letting my emotions control my life. Like I said- I wasn't dealing with my stress, I was ignoring it and when stress is not dealt with it becomes like a very heavy backpack you need to carry around every day. Instead of emptying the backpack and getting rid of what it's in there, we keep stuffing more things in until it gets so heavy that we fall to our knees and can't go on. I was on my knees, upset about it- but not actually doing anything to get back up again.

There comes a time when we need to take responsibility for our thoughts and actions, we need to take responsibility for how we treat ourselves and how we allow others to treat us.

So what have I been doing lately to help myself?

- I cut my screen time before bed. Instead of scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, I put in my earphones and listen to calming music, nature sounds and other meditation tracks on an app called Calm (available on your phone's App Store). I have found that it has greatly improved my quality of sleep, which in turn improves my state of mind the next day.

- Get my heart rate up. Exercise releases endorphins- 'happy hormones' as they are often referred to.

- Attitude of gratitude. It's something I have always believed in, but neglected. It's amazing how focusing on what you are grateful for can improve your outlook. They say it's easy to spot a yellow car when you are thinking about a yellow car. If you choose to focus on the positive, you'll find more positive things in your life to be thankful for.

(You can also refer to a previous blog I wrote, "Feeling Anxious? Me Too", for more tips)

Now let's talk business for a sec.

When it comes to our work environment, stress can really mess with the dynamics. So how can we sort that out? How do we not only help ourselves, but help our employees and team members? How you deal with stress is one thing, how you deal with stressed out co-workers is another- everyone reacts to stress differently. Some may be irritable, some may lack focus and others may become downright unproductive. I honestly think it's so important to pay attention to our team's wellbeing in this situation.
Is your team equipped to best deal with the pressures and challenges that come with the new normal of lockdown for the next few months?

At Staff Training we are passionate about empowering people (as individuals and teams), we love seeing people succeed and being their best selves! We actually offer a Stress and Time Management workshop which is definitely a 'must', especially in our current situation. Another 'must' is our Emotional Intelligence workshops, we even have one that includes the Enneagram. I cannot recommend it enough. Get in touch with us for more info, you definitely won't regret it, bring the whole office and get ready to see a major shift in a positive direction!

Staff Training is a South African soft skills training provider with more than 60 workshops on offer.
Email us at for more info or give us a call at 0861 996 660

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