“Stress happens when the mind resists what is” – Daniel Jay Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior
For most of us, stress is a normal part of our lives. There are times when it is more prominent, but it is there many times t us knowing it.
If you can change the stressful thing, do that. Life is too short to be stressed. Are you able to let things go? Do you have to get to all of those meetings? Or participate in every Zoom call scheduled? Do you have to cram in everything that people request of you? Can you leave a little room in your personal jar to be filled with happiness, and most importantly, self-care? As we emerge from the pandemic, we are still struggling through uncharted territory to figure out the new “norm”. Is there really such a thing as “normal” anyway?
As Mischa Wanek-Libman, Executive Editor of Mass Transit stated in an article about promoting mental health wellness after the death of Jeffrey Parker, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority General Manager and CEO, “These are 24/7 jobs with enormous responsibility, and guess what, pretty much everyone is always angry at them because everybody always thinks [the transit agency] isn’t working for them and must be working for someone else.” It is important we continue collaboration to reduce the stigma of mental health and share the reminders, it is ok to ask for help. The world needs us all.
Stress builds up and can not be ignored. Too often signs we miss the signs within ourselves that reflect stress or something that is a stressor. We need to watch out for ourselves and those around us who may be suffering in silent. Find ways to find gratitude in your life, take a walk, ignore the temptation of providing instant gratification to those texts, or emails. Find something that gives your mind and body a break - we all need it. But what about the stressors in the workplace? We need to watch out for ourselves and each other.
Don’t wait until the last minute to ask yourself, "Am I getting what I used to done?", "Am I able to focus on myself?” “Why haven’t I been exercising or enjoying the fresh air?” If you can, perform self-checks before you reach crisis mode. And reach out! You are not alone, struggles are real, confusion is real, feeling you have to fill multi-roles in your life perfectly…. although perfection is not real…the overwhelming feeling of failure is. Reach out! There is help available and most importantly, you are not alone. We all play in this game of life, and we should all be helping each other succeed.
For this year’s NEPTA Biennial Conference and Transportation Expo, a focus on dealing with changes and figuring out ways to become part of the change to lead in your organization and your personal life without all of the added, unnecessary stress has been added. Surviving & Thriving During Times of Great Change, Emotional Intelligence in Today’s Workplace and Managing the New Workforce will pair with the advances in technology with electric buses, how to address increasing ridership and new programs and products within the transportation industry.
As we continue to use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter…remember and practice the good things. A favorite quote from an unknown source is seen throughout social media and it is vital to remember. You can make a difference, but you can not do that if you don’t take care of yourself. It’s ok to ask for help. The journey is better when traveled with someone, and it is ok to grab a hand and let someone take the lead for a while.
If you see someone falling behind, walk beside them.
If you see someone being ignored, find a way to include them.
Always remind people of their worth.
One small act could mean the world to them.
Another health tip to mental health thought process is to rephrase your thoughts if possible. For instance, instead of always apologizing if you run late, or miss something, try rewording “I’m sorry I’m late” to “Thank you for waiting, I appreciate your patience”, or “Thank you for understanding”. Feeling the need to apologize is exhausting, exhaustion adds to feelings of stress. Another transformation of words – instead of “why is this happening to me?” or “why does this keep happening to me?” rephrase to “Why is this happening for me?” A simple spin of words can change the dynamics of the thought process for all involved
If you or someone you love is in crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.
For more information about mental health and mental wellness, visit Pubmed.org for related articles or visit National Alliance on Mental Illness
Wanek-Libman, M. (2022, February). Showing Support for our Transit Leaders. Mass Transit, 6–6.