Or: Help me do my homework.

Tuesday I spoke with my therapist about work related stress. There are some things that I’m finding I have a hard time dealing with. This affects me so strongly that every time I think or talk about it I get visibly agitated. Mild things can set it off but it generally has to do with: management acting like tools, me feeling like sómeone should take responsibility for things or not be tools (in the past feeling like that person should be me because I apparently am the only one seeing it and not afraid of opening my mouth- that has backfired in the past) and at the same time feeling completely helpless to change it because things don’t seem to change. This is messing with my recovery. To the point where I should be building up my hours but if I am at work and have to deal with something organisational (even just hearing or reading about the new Holacracy methods, or anything regarding management, planning, projects, or anything) I am beat for the rest of the day and even sick the day after. So my therapist gave me some homework: find alternative ways of dealing with my frustration. Maybe ask how other people deal with this. So I am here to ask: How do you deal with things?

Things such as:

  • Projects that are wrongly budgetted (too few hours for whichever reason)
  • Plannings or deadlines that are out of your control but unlikely to be made
  • Other peoples stress (my work-friend is dealing with the upper two things right now and I get so angry in her stead that I get a headache)
  • People being held accountable in a way they shouldn’t (juniors having to make budget estimations, interns expected to work at the same pace as senior employees)
  • You having to make unrealistic deadlines
  • Stupid management structures
  • Other frustrations or company values that are counter to your own.

How do you set them aside? How do you involve yourself to make things better (if that’s what you do)? How do you stop mistakes from happening over and over? How do you keep yourself from approaching every new management idea with your arms crossed and your cackles raised (which is my current setting)?

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Are there any tips you might have for me? Despite not being able to deploy any sort of strategies here, I might be able to use them in the future since planning, deadlines, budgets and management will always be an issue in every company, albeit in a different way.

Also..
Today I spoke with my external health and safety doctor/expert person. (My company hired a company -at my specific request- to deal with my burnout and help me get back to work. They work in a team: a work capacity specialist and a doctor. Together they give advice and plans for reintegration or mediate in order to get things done) I normally speak with the work capacity specialist but this time spoke to the doctor, he was slightly more blunt than his coworker. He stated that my main obstacle to being able to return to a fully functioning state is my current job.
That I need to quit and not work there anymore. Because even just being in the office for 3 hours a day is a hindrance to my recovery. That was.. tough to hear.

Some serious steps need to be taken in the upcoming months if I want to get better. Maybe freelancing instead of working (I could do that right now - when I have energy, because I don’t work much anyway), discussing things with my employer about my unhappiness at work, etc. I have no idea. I feel like all the balls are floating in the air right now and I need to pick which one I’m going to catch when things start moving again. Or I’ll be left with nothing.

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Regardless, I’d love your tips on how you deal with work stress! Do you get involved? Do you have your say and leave it at that? Do you set it aside? If so.. HOW? I need to learn this skill.