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 Post subject: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:20 pm 
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Vegan Since Before There Were Vegetables
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I need help. My job is run by awful management and have these truly awful ideas about how to run the place and try to micro manage everything. There's nothing I can do about the current state of the facility, but I know that I can figure out a way to keep myself from getting angry and upset by it all the time.

How can I ignore constant drama and focus on my work?

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:27 pm 
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Oh god. I wish I had advice for you. Things you say remind me too much of my first teaching job. I felt physically sick all the time and was thrilled, THRILLED, to have to take 6 weeks off for major surgery. Giddy relief was truly my first reaction at the news that I needed surgery. If that's not sick and twisted, I don't know what is.

I focused on the kids as much as possible--the positives. I also worked really hard to not take work home with me (mentally or otherwise). I did what I needed for the kids, but nothing extra.

Lots of Molly snuggles. I marathon watched Prison Break and 21 Jump Street as evening diversions. I planned something fun to do at the end of the day or week. Stupid stuff like, after I make it through Friday, I'll buy myself a new lipgloss.

I would bring cookbooks and leaf through at lunch time and pick out something to make for dinner and then get the groceries on the way home.

Most of all, I tried not to throw up on my way to work!

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:35 pm 
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Thanks, lw! I really do try to shut it off at home and just focus on Bigby. Because of management getting my work done is already a burden, but then I just get so upset by the things management says that I can't even do my work while I'm there cause I'm just angry.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:36 pm 
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Oh and I watch a lot of TV at home!
Maybe a cute kitten poster to look at in the office?

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:42 pm 
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Dirty limericks?

I know they sure take the edge off for me these days when I'm upset about office stuff.*







*I haven't had a real job for more than a year and a half.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 7:51 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
Dirty limericks?

I know they sure take the edge off for me these days when I'm upset about office stuff.*







*I haven't had a real job for more than a year and a half.


Yes! I do this!


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 8:08 pm 
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You're probably already doing this, but what helps me is looking for new jobs. That way I don't feel like I'm trapped in Hell forever, but this is just a temporary thing and I'll be gone soon.

So sorry your job is stressful. It sucks to be micromanaged and not treated with professional respect!

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:30 pm 
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I totally feel you, IJDI! Dealing with shitty management is a daily struggle for me too. I love my job but I'm slowly getting driven bananas by this place. I spend a lot of time scoping out other jobs and I've taken a huge step back from over investing myself in my work. I take long lunches (we get an hour but are not encouraged to leave the office or use the full time) where I read and ppk a lot and I don't let myself work extra hours. I put on head phones most of the day and just try to do the stuff I'm responsible for.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:18 pm 
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One thing I do is have a bar of my favorite soap in a little pretty glass bowl. I made shavings of it years ago and it still smells great (Chanel no5). That was always my aromatherapy go to until the mustards started selling in China and I'm still so upset about that. But at least I still have my old soap shavings.

I used to just have the bar of soap, but my mom would come into my room or office and find me sniffing soap and thought it very odd, if not alarming. The shavings seemed less nutty.

Maybe sometching like that? An essential oil or sachet you love and find calming?

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:39 pm 
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I like the idea of something that smells nice. our office is a dark little hovel, but maybe we could get some nice fake flowers in there. my coworker who's the only person i really work directly with every day, is also very sensitive to the bullshiitake of this place, so we tend to vent and complain and that takes away from doing our work. we're both totally aware of it, and don't like that we do it, but it's really hard not to! maybe one of those zen gardens with the sand?

luckily i do really like the job that i do and i like the patients and there are a lot of good people that work there, so not all is lost. it just feels like we're all being held hostage by this dude.

I just had another idea. We have this daily meeting first thing in the morning that he uses as a time to just bring everyone down and it makes it really hard to start the day. so, i might try to bring up one positive thing every day and say it at the meeting. usually no one talks because everyone's kind of afraid to talk, but maybe if i just say "hey i noticed this one person doing a really good job at this one thing" maybe it'll make me and others feel better?

I'm sorry to hear others have been in the same situation. it's such a bummer!

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2015 11:45 pm 
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Have you seen the movie Horrible Bosses?

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"a vegan death match sounds like something where we all end up hugging." -LisaPunk


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:24 am 
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I have. Maybe it's time for a rewatch.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 12:46 am 
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Last job I had was overnights and I used to chug energy drinks or instant coffee (because our boss did not trust us with a coffee machine and kept it locked up, but I'm not bitter). But then I started bringing in good tea, like matcha chai. It really helped to be drinking that when I walked in and coworkers immediately started unloading their problems on me, haha. I also had a book that I didn't read anywhere else, on lunches or on fifteen minute sanity breaks. Winters I found way easier because for Christmas we all got nice cozy sweaters and I just felt so comfortable all the time.

When I found myself not getting work done as fast as I would like, I would also set goals and rewards. Like get the audit done by 2am, then i get to listen to a podcast or read a comic. At previous jobs I usually set goals with coworkers so we could get work done then take the time to have a good chat.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 6:01 am 
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My job is so horrible now I don't even know if I can answer because I'm dealing rather poorly. Things that help me get through it:
I have a meditation app on my phone SAM that has this little deep breathing program where you look at it and it tells when to breathe in and out. It's better than doing it on my own cause it looks like I'm looking at my phone not meditating which would be frowned upon.
Hawaiian music makes me feel more peaceful.
Nominating my coworkers for service awards or writing anything really positive helps.
Finding those people who are always happy and just making small talk can make me feel better.
Before I never used to go out to lunch because I bring something from home but now I go out a bit more. The other day I had tacos and got to pet a puppy and that made me feel better too.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:08 am 
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I second the going out for lunch! I bring my own lunches and sit in the park, it's total relaxation. When the weather is not so good, I take a walk outside instead of sitting in the park. Just breaking up the workday make a difference in stress levels for me (although I am not stressed by my job, I like it, and I am sorry for all of you who don't have a great environment).

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 8:34 am 
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Absolutely yes to leaving the building for lunch if you can, either eating out or taking a lunch outside.

I love your idea of bringing up positive things in your meetings. I bet it will boost your coworkers' morale a lot in addition to your own. Plus when you're keeping an eye out for positive things to mention, you tend to notice more of th throughout the day. My partner and I sometimes go through phases of telling each other the best and worst thing about our day when we get home, and it helpse a lot when we do that to Beira mindful of good things during the day so I have something to tell him.

I had one really stressful job where I was working in a design and fabrication shop as the head of the paint and finishing dept. and was always getting stuff to paint way behind schedule. Like, even if I could paint something in literally zero seconds, there still wouldn't have been enough time for the paint to dry beforehand boss wanted it wrapped up and ready to ship. My mantra was (to myself in my own head) was, "I'm just a painter, not a miracle worker." It helped keep me from getting resentful or angry, or internalizing the terrible planning and organization that I wasn't responsible for, and just focusing on doing the best I could in the circumstances.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:32 am 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
I like the idea of something that smells nice. our office is a dark little hovel, but maybe we could get some nice fake flowers in there. my coworker who's the only person i really work directly with every day, is also very sensitive to the bullshiitake of this place, so we tend to vent and complain and that takes away from doing our work. we're both totally aware of it, and don't like that we do it, but it's really hard not to! maybe one of those zen gardens with the sand?

I just had another idea. We have this daily meeting first thing in the morning that he uses as a time to just bring everyone down and it makes it really hard to start the day. so, i might try to bring up one positive thing every day and say it at the meeting. usually no one talks because everyone's kind of afraid to talk, but maybe if i just say "hey i noticed this one person doing a really good job at this one thing" maybe it'll make me and others feel better?


Talk to your coworker about your idea to start talking about positive stuff. Do it together and get more people involved if you can.
Can you bring in some breakfast baked goods for a meeting? The more solidarity you have amongst your coworkers, the better your chances of making changes.

If there's anyone above this guy to talk to, find them and talk to them.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:31 pm 
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I think your "here's a good thing" idea for the morning meeting is a really good one. (And even if you don't take panda's advice about spreading the word, I'll bet your coworkers will follow suit once they see you doing it.)

I also like strings of Christmas lights.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:41 pm 
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It really helps me to go for a walk at lunchtime. I found a nice park near my work and actually look forward to my walks!


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 3:20 pm 
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FootFace wrote:
I think your "here's a good thing" idea for the morning meeting is a really good one. (And even if you don't take panda's advice about spreading the word, I'll bet your coworkers will follow suit once they see you doing it.)

I also like strings of Christmas lights.

I agree about introducing some positivity and the "here's a good thing" thing in your gloomy meetings. Expect to be met with grim silence maybe at first but try not to let that discourage you and try it out a few times and see if someone, anyone, picks it up and goes with it. Also, maybe see if you affable coworker will go on board with you with the positivity and back you up and add her own thing or just somehow support you even if she doesn't want to actively participate or maybe she can come up with her own bit of positivity that's all her own. But just her support and 'Yeah!' for your attempts would be nice.

Also going out for lunch always breaks up the day and gets you away from the negative environment. Breathing techniques, calming music and scents are all good ideas to make your work space more tolerable and homey.

I don't know why people confined to limited spaces for eight hours a day make each other so miserable, but they do. I just straight up want to work independently for the rest of my life from here on in because when I had to deal with people or when any part of successfully completing my job somehow depended upon the actions of another person, it was always the WORST.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:56 pm 
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seitanicverses wrote:
when any part of successfully completing my job somehow depended upon the actions of another person, it was always the WORST.

I just want to amend my saying this because what I said above ^^ isn't always true--I've worked with plenty of terrific people but, you know, it's the few stinkers/miserable people/office politickers/saboteurs who stand out and can make the office experience miserable and eclipse all the other wonderful colleagues one works with. It really can only take one negative person to pollute the morale of a room full of office workers!

But yes! Positivity idgy! I really think you're on to something with your ideas of saying nice things and always remember that there's never anything wrong with trying to inject some brightness into a situation and raise the spirits and morale of your coworkers! It's just too bad that it seems you're going to have to start out single-handedly but I feel like once you set an example, some other folks will be like 'whew! I always wanted to do that myself but was never brave enough!' and they'll hop right on board with you once you set a new precedent. I feel seriously proud of you for trying to change things because I always found working in an office so dispiriting. I wish someone with your ideas could have stepped in to brighten my own bleaker days! <3 <3 <3

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 5:51 am 
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Mindfulness meditation. It really helped me not go off the rails with all the crepe I dealt with at work last year.

I've also been at the stage were I wished illness on myself or my car breaking down on the way to work so I wouldn't have to deal with work. Last year I didn't, I kept trucking on because my head was so clear and focused with the mindfulness.

I really should be doing it again to keep me sane with all the crepe that is going on now.

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:34 am 
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ijustdiedinside wrote:
my coworker who's the only person i really work directly with every day, is also very sensitive to the bullshiitake of this place, so we tend to vent and complain and that takes away from doing our work. we're both totally aware of it, and don't like that we do it, but it's really hard not to!

It sure is! Albeit sometimes I think having someone to vent to who gets it is a LIFESAVER. I'll tell friends or family work stories and they are like "WHAT THE forkity fork!" which doesn't really help as much as someone who gets why and how things happen the way they do.

I have two bosses and once (more than once) I had to drive them both home because they were drunk, but this was from another city, to their town, and then me to my town. I fantasized about driving off the road as they wailed about women.

But stress IN the workplace (I am on the road a lot), oh man. We have an open concept office and I couldn't survive if I couldn't vent like crazy to my coworker when we're the only ones there, or make fun of my bosses, or just completely shut off and chat about vegan key lime pie even though we are both insanely busy.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 6:40 am 
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For a more proactive answer for focussing on your work--I correspond a lot with different people, and some of those people are a breath of fresh air. I look forward to emailing and calling them, and really try to focus on that to get through the dealing with nasty people stuff. I also do the social media for my company which is very light and frivolous. I try to balance my day in a way so I am not stuck for hours and hours doing only things I hate. I also take great pleasure in days where I don't have to see many people.

My coworkers are extremely moody--you never know what you are going to get. I am lucky in that my husband and I work for the same company, and fortunately we don't hate each other, and my venting coworker and I are usually cool--so there is almost always some voice of sanity amid the chaos.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas for reducing stress at work
PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2015 12:06 pm 
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I suggest bringing in fresh flowers at the start of each work week. I don't think fake flowers (even if nice - don't get me wrong I love certain fake flowers) will give you the same sweet happy sensation that fresh ones will. Trader Joe's usually has a really great and quite cheap selection of stuff. They also seem to always have orchid plants for sale, which, sure, they're not going to thrive or re-bloom in a dark place as you've described... But! They're pretty tolerant, and will last a decent amount of time in such a space. If you get one with still a bunch of buds on it, you should get about two months of bloom time.

I love your idea of bringing up a positive thing in every meeting. What about also trying to make more positive comments outside of meetings, more one-on-one? Like even just simple things like 'your hair looks so great today', 'I love your shirt - such a good color', that kind of thing. Both giving and receiving these little easy compliments gives such an energy boost. I need to remember to be better about doing this, myself. It's easy to let slide!

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