Stressed to Kill
July 23, 2013
Most of us associate "stressed out"' with Type-A personality types: tense and very driven. Having some of the traits of Type-A is fine, but you have to learn how to manage your stress and keep things in perspective, or you will become less productive and your health could suffer. My late grandmother was obsessed with double-cleaning an already clean house when company was expected; I can still hear my grandfather saying to her, "Lil, one day you will be part of the dust, but there is no reason to rush to that conclusion today. Relax, we just cleaned everything yesterday."
Radio is work, but it does not have to be mental anguish or like training for an Iron Man competition. Jocks, we are all under some stress, some more than others, but the key is balance. Here is the e-mail I received to trigger my thoughts on stress.
Jock: I am in the process of putting together a syndicated show and there never seems to be enough time in the day to get all the work done. I am working part-time at the station, drive a cab full-time, have two kids, and my wife works. I would like to devote three or four hours every day to working on my dream, but the stress is causing me to fall asleep at the drop of a hat. I need time with my wife and my daughters and lately the station has needed me more; my head is spinning like a top. But becoming syndicated is truly important to me. It is a great challenge trying to balance everything successfully, but worth every minute.
The whole lack of time thing is eating me alive. Sometimes it is cutting into income driving the cab because I quit early and get home to work on my goal. I'm always exhausted; it would be easier if the station would just give me a full-time slot. I need to know if you think I have what it takes to be syndicated.
Coach: There are a few things I need to know -- how you sound, a demo of the project, and your background. But for right now, I can tell you this, it sounds like you're stressed. Send me the things I need to hear, and then I can advise you on the direction of your syndication goal. In the meantime, you need to get your stress under control or you might implode! Achievement is not worth killing yourself; life goes on and you to have manage things in a way to have enough energy to be productive. Studies have shown productivity drops in people under stress. Here are some suggestions I hope will help:
- If you have not done so already, make a list of daily priorities and organize them in order of importance. Realistically estimate the amount of time each task takes, and set up your schedule for recording. Setting up a routine to follow will help put you at ease and put some order in your life. Believe it or not, I actually learned this from my golf coach on the approach to playing; he keeps saying life is like golf; it's one shot at a time. Living is one moment at a time, the more we can organize, the less chaotic.
- Put exercise on your 'To do' list; research has shown people who exercise regularly are mentally sharper. Even if it's just walking for 30 minutes a day three times a week. No excuses; make the time.
- Eat something healthy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner -- and don't skip meals. Stay away from donuts and soft drinks in the morning. If you need help on putting together healthy meals, just go online and Google "healthy meals" ... especially breakfasts.
- When the unexpected happens, do not let it throw you way off your game plan; deal with it and adjust your schedule.
- Try and keep realistic expectations with everything you do and take the time to enjoy your family.
I have learned the secret to reducing stress is to recognize the need to adjust and allow myself time to change slowly. You have to handle stress do not let stress handle you.