Managing Stress

Remembering joy on bad days

Some days, it’s hard to remember what joy feels like. When you’re sick or in pain, troubled by work or money or relationships, worried about loved ones, the last thing on your mind is to open it up to feel joy.

And yet, isn’t that exactly when we need it most?

Three weeks ago, I had one of those moments. All was well in my world, for that breath, that moment in time. It felt wonderful. But I knew those moments are fleeting and that this one would be too. So I cherished it. I thought about all the good things in my life and listened to the joy radiating within.

This week, in the midst of an onslaught of health issues in the family, I thought of that moment. I stopped to remember the reasons why life can feel so good. I stopped to realize that most of those reasons were all still right there, front and center in my life. And I felt good.

It was only a moment. But it’s one that grounded my day.

Some days, it’s hard to remember to look for the joy. Take just a moment, even on your worst days, to remember yours.


Passionate Or Pushy – How To Avoid Going Over The Line

When you are emotionally charged and passionate about your work, it’s easy to cross the border from passionate to pushy. When you’re passionate, you are enthusiastic, eager, fervid, emotional, and heartfelt. When you’re pushy, you are overbearing, domineering, aggressive, and forceful. How can enthusiasm deteriorate into aggression?

8 tips for resolving conflict

Wherever there is conflict, there is liable to be escalating stress. As a project manager, your actions and reactions in the face of conflict will set an example for the team. Every conflict is unique, but basically is about managing opposing forces and disagreement. You’ll see that resolving conflict calls on many areas of learning we have covered so far. This blog focuses on bringing it all together.

Accepting “good enough”

Many years ago, I was part of a team of marketers in Europe. Our team was made up of people from many countries in Europe and this American. It was almost all women, with one, very quiet, very discreet man. Marketing was undergoing (yet another) transformation and job descriptions had been changed.

Resolving conflict – start by managing your own stress

Complex work environments give rise to a broad range of handicapping emotions: frustration, overwhelm, worry, blame to name a few. These emotions can trigger a stress reaction which activates adrenalin and cortisol, causing a physical reaction which can then impact our behavior.

6 ways to take care of yourself

As we push through career challenges and look after our families, many of us neglect to take care of ourselves. I know how it is. You’re not eating so healthy since you are often on the run. Getting exercise is a happy ideal that you never have the time for. You’re catching up on work after hours. You’re not sleeping enough.

I’m ok – lessons from my 4-year old grandson

He throws himself at the ball and tumbles to the ground. “I’m ok!” he shouts as he runs away, determined to get that goal. I am always amazed when I watch my 4-year old grandson play. There is one, almost millisecond, when we hold our breath, expecting a wailing, unhappy mess. And sometimes, that’s what we get. But most of the time, we exhale with a smile, “I’m ok” echoing in our ears.

Managing unrealistic goals at work

Are you tearing your hair out over unrealistic goals at work? Humans have a need for fairness and autonomy (control). As one of the top workplace stressors, unrealistic objectives and demands make us feel overwhelmed, but also angry and powerless. But what can you do about it? 

Working with people you don’t like

We’ve all had to do it – work with someone we really, really don’t like. It can be both physically and emotionally uncomfortable working with people you don’t like. Dislike can be triggered by physical appearances, unconscious bias, attitudes or opinions, even the sound of someone’s voice. Generally speaking, we dislike what we can not relate to and what we do not approve.

Dealing with 7 common workplace stress factors

Research shows we spend roughly 1/3rd of our adult lives at work. It’s no wonder that workplace stress factors heavily impact both our physical and mental health. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has documented the impacts of prolonged workplace stressors in areas such as cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, and psychological disorders.

10 ways a project manager can reduce stress

Every project manager has to deal with stress. Complex projects, difficult deadlines and changing conditions all contribute to a stressful work environment. The project manager is in a unique situation to reduce the stress levels of a project. Here are 10 ways a project manager can reduce stress.

You are what you think

We all have a voice in our head. For many people that voice rarely stops. That voice, our automatic thoughts, impact everything we do. Some thoughts we govern. We set our minds to something. But most of our thoughts are automatic – they pop up spontaneously without our conscious prompting. Buddha said, “We are what we think.  All that we are arises with our thoughts.  With our thoughts we make our world.”

Bouncing back

It takes time to build confidence and no time at all to tear it down. We all have setbacks. Some are easier than others to bounce back from. When our self-confidence is on the decline, we question ourselves, we second-guess ourselves. It slows us down and makes it hard to build trust. When your confidence has taken a hit, here are a few things that you can do to start gaining it back.

IT : a high stress industry

When we think about high stress industries, we think about policemen, firemen, first responders, nurses and doctors to name a few. It’s clear that these people are confronted with violence, pain and danger on a regular basis. So when we hear that IT is a high stress industry, it can be hard for some to make the jump. No danger, no pain, no violence – no big deal, right?

Are you sure? The difference between fact and opinion

Think back to some of the most heated arguments you have had or witnessed. What was being discussed?  Politics and religion are often at the foundation of some of the most virulent arguments I have seen. How often during these arguments does anyone acknowledge the difference between fact and opinion?