Wednesday, June 18, 2008

It's been an Executive Day today and theme today has been "stress". I'm relieved to tell you this has been other people's not mine - although it was a bit of a stretch getting back in time to get the bassets from their pet angel!

I've got a "hotspot" about stress. This is coaching jargon for a subject matter that you have deep experience of and you can be prone to not being objective about. Stress is one of those things that I have to take care that I maintain a healthy objectivity about for my coaching clients since occupational stress is something I know a bit about.

That awful knot in your neck that won't go away. The annoying boss that says - let's look at your priorities or what else can I do to help. That screaming feeling in your head that shouts Ahhhhhhhhh! And then you feel better, for about five seconds.

Some people say that stress is a modern phenomena and in the old days people just got on with things and didn't get stressed. I'm not sure about that. I reckon that there are higher expectations upon people to do more and more and more and this brings with it pressure to achieve and perform that didn't exist previously. Or maybe we just expect more of ourselves than we used.

I want to know what happened to the society of leisure that was predicted in the 1980's that led me to take my undergraduate degree in leisure studies (aka a degree in throwing, running and catching). Back then we were suposed to start to have more free time and start enjoying life more. That certainly wouldn't have been a stressful life!

Now I am a Domestic Executive I count my blessings each day. Yes I too have pressure to meet my own expectations (and those others I share a home with) but it's nothing like having to deal with the consequences of other people's actions day in and day out, feeling the pressure build and have no way out.

My secret for dealing with stress is quite simple - come home to two basset hounds who wag their tails and smile their basset smile to show they are pleased to see you. Regardless of what may have been happening before you see this it melts away in moments and you can see that life can be sweet. I wonder whether I should be taking Fortnum and Mason to my coaching sessions as my secret weapon against stress?

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