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A stressful conversation

I had a conversation that I found particularly stressful this week. I generally take things in my stride, but this conversation was about my son’s health. He’s okay – as okay as he was before the stressful conversation, but the person I was talking to raised four areas of concern in the space of about 15 minutes during an hour-long visit. One issue was something we, as parents didn’t feel we needed to worry about but was re-iterated to me three times (and the GP has since confirmed is not a problem); one is being monitored by the appropriate consultants; another has been confirmed by the appropriate health professional as not being an issue; and one thing was newly raised that would need surgery. By the end of the conversation, it seemed he wouldn’t need surgery. This is not a moan, I’m sharing this for context, it felt like a barrage.

What helped me to deal with the stress I was feeling?

The first thing I did was let go of something I felt responsible for, but wasn’t essential for me to be involved in…I didn’t make tea or coffee for the builders (we’re having work done on the house). I did that knowing they had a kettle, power and I provided ingredients. They’re a great crew! The next thing I did once I was out of meetings was block out a longer lunch break, so I could get some exercise in between meetings – dance fit outdoors followed by a shower was a great pick me up. Later, I talked through things with my husband and the next day, arranged for my son to be checked out by our GP.

I feel fortunate for knowing what would make me feel better and being able to take the necessary action. As a result, a couple of days later I’m back to my normal self again.

I know not all stressful situations can be addressed so quickly and there are other things I do to help myself cope with the unknown, but I felt this specific example might be helpful to share.

There are things I do as my normal way of life, which I know help me to cope when it comes to potentially challenging situations. It comes down to looking after my physical and mental wellbeing, which encapsulates so much, including not taking on more in life or work than I can realistically expect to cope with, doing things I want to do, having a positive and growth mindset, exercising, getting fresh air and maintaining positive relationships.

The next time you find yourself in a stressful situation

Ask yourself:

  • What about this situation is stressful for me?

  • What needs to happen for me to de-stress?

  • How can I make that happen?

Then, make it happen. Some things you’ll be able to make happen quickly, others may take time, but the sooner you start to address the issue, the sooner it can be resolved.

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