Work has been overwhelming lately. Any semblance of a set schedule has ceased to exist – I’m finding myself leaving the office at 2 in the morning and seeing all my days off swallowed up by breaking stories and last-minute shift swaps with coworkers.
Today (a day off!) is the first time I’ve felt human for awhile. I met with some girlfriends over tea this evening and laughing with them about the relentlessness of Moscow work demands made me feel reborn – like a massage for my spirit.
One thing we all noticed is that when we’re pushed hard by this city, by these jobs, our personalities seem to get swallowed up. We stop speaking and writing in full sentences; our tempers are short and our words are rude. We push. We swear. We snap. We complain. We chew people out. We stop caring about anyone else , and become completely focused on the deadline.
I don’t like the person I become under so much pressure. I turn into a bit of a jerk, honestly.
One of my friends had some really good advice about what to do when work and life are pushing hard. She said: “Don’t take all the blame on yourself – this is what happens when you work in a crazy Moscow office environment. You turn into a bit of a jerk. You stop caring about anyone else. All your energy is focused on survival and deadlines. Don’t obsess over feeling guilty. Just pray every morning as you leave for work (when you get out of bed, in the shower, on the metro) and trust that God will be with you and will be bringing His thoughts to mind….the Holy Spirit is at work in you, and if you ask Him, he’ll help you throughout the day.”
Isn’t that great advice?
There are a few other things that I think really help you keep your sanity when work and life are overwhelming
- Pray (even if it’s just a short minute, hiding in a bathroom stall – close your eyes, and ask God for His help)
- Go outside. A short walk around the block will do wonders for helping you breathe again.
- Get enough sleep
- Drink green tea, not coffee – it’s much less of a jolt.
- Keep calm and carry on
- Read and memorize Bible verses – it’s transcendent. Scripture lifts you up and totally beyond yourself.
What about you? What do you do when things get too stressful?