Updated: Oct 25, 2021
With 2020 being the worst year most people could imagine, the general consensus was 2021 would provide relief. But for many it hasn't. The stress we all felt, and are still feeling, has taken a toll leaving many exhausted.
In the Wall Street Journal's article, Adults Are Throwing Tantrums, Pauline Wallin, a psychologist, says "When you anticipate something is going to be temporary, you're able to absorb a higher level of stress. When things don't work out as expected it makes us more prone to be aggressive with ourselves and with one another." And we have seen this in multiple instances on planes, in restaurants, and in the general public.
Shortages have strained nerves. Parents juggling school openings and closures have made managing their own careers difficult. Both vaccinated and unvaccinated people are coming down with COVID, causing hospitals to scramble and people to become once again cautious of their activities.
Recently, I had my own meltdown at a restaurant. We were faced with taking a business trip to a location I felt was unsafe. We did not want to disappoint our manufactures, and we knew our employees were looking to us for leadership. I felt like a hundred pound rock was on my shoulders, and then, right there in the middle of the restaurant after dinner, I broke down crying. I felt so torn and so tired of being torn. Ultimately, the decision was decided for us when the trip was cancelled, but the pressure at the time was both difficult and real.
Since then, I have been much more conscious of trying to manage underlying anxiety. Talking things out helps. Taking the time to really look at a situation and understand whether the feelings we are having are self-imposed or real, help us make better decisions. Simple things like getting enough sleep, daily exercise, and taking time for ourselves are ways to help with the stressful environment which still exists.
We all want things to turn back to normal, and they will. The virus will come under control, supplies will flow back into their channels, travel will resume to a level we once knew, and life will balance. Until then, find ways to work through anxiety and stress because like a volcano, if we don't release steam we are apt to blow.