This can be a common occurrence, especially with new ways of working merging home and work in a seemingly tangled web. I have worked with people in the past who have seriously struggled with this issue, even pre COVID.
Often people feel obligated to provide significantly financially, that they neglect other areas of their life such as relatives, friends, and socialising. However, this can lead to them missing out on that quality time that they are working so hard to provide for.
Even the most introverted people desire social interaction. Some people however are more comfortable in their own company. Both of which are individual decisions. However, if the pressure of providing financially is initiating an unhealthy stress response, it needs to be addressed. There are many ways to address the stress response as I have mentioned in previous articles such as mindfulness, exercise, and laughter.
If the root cause is not addressed though, you may find yourself continually having to fall back on your stress management strategies, which again can consume more of your time. This is certainly not time wasted; but can be avoided by simply addressing the root cause.
Identifying the root cause of your stress could be as simple as taking an inventory of what you value in life and to what degree. We all value different things and to varying degrees. Identifying what these values are can help you to prioritise your daily routine and reduce the stress which may build to an overwhelming level. If this level is breached, then it can leave you in a state where you are unable to address anything you value.
The financial and social values are just one example. I have worked with clients who have had health issues which they did not address because other things kept occurring and they addressed these instead. Thus, prolonging their physical pain and minimising their abilities to deal with the other issues that continued arising. If we don’t address our primary values, we can create additional problems for ourselves, again elevating our stress levels. Identifying what we value most in life can be a vital step to preventing ourselves from suffering needlessly.
A healthy dose of self-reflection is an enlightening experience. It doesn’t have to be time consuming, but it is ever evolving and requires regular revision. As circumstances change, sometimes so does what we value. Self-reflection can provide you with more time, energy and reduce your stress levels. All of which can only serve to enhance your reputation, be it at work or with those close to you.
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