When I was working at Dairy Queen I felt constantly stressed and unhappy. The job itself was great, I mean who doesn’t like making ice cream? I had worked at multiple Dairy Queen stores and I really really enjoyed it. I had a great boss and coworkers; even though I didn’t have a relationship with them outside of work, work was fun and stress free. I mean, we basically sell happiness in a cup. Unfortunately, when I moved back home from Eastern Michigan University, my new store wasn’t as welcoming. I definitely learned to get over it and I even made some fantastic friends that I love more than anything, but all in all, I hated it there. There were a few people that made my job miserable and having a new boss that doesn’t do anything about problems, does not help. After exhausting my resources available to me for conflict resolution, I decided to leave, at least for the time being, namely because I just could not deal with the stress of nursing school and catty coworkers. It just made life easier.
It’s been almost exactly 1 month since I left DQ and I already feel so much better. The constant unhappiness and stress has faded away as a distant memory and I can talk about Dairy Queen without feeling like I’m going to crawl out of my skin. I have come to realize that life will never be stress-free, but if you are in a situation that makes you constantly unhappy, you need to get yourself out of there! I became a completely different person while working at DQ, and it wasn’t someone that I liked being.
Here are some tips and tricks I use (and I’m still trying to perfect) to help you enjoy the day-to-day:
1. Leave the stress at the door. Work is stressful. School is stressful. Traffic is stressful. Everything is stressful. If you weren’t stressed out, you wouldn’t be alive. When you come home after having a horrible day at work, or you fail an exam, it’s okay to be upset. You can cry and you should. Let the stress out and deal with it, but do not bring it home. Do not lash out at those that love you and want to be there for you. They want to help, so let them.
2. Focus on the good. Look at the stress in your life, the failures you’ve encountered, the promotions you didn’t get as opportunities to learn more and do better. Don’t beat yourself up! To err is human. And we are so far from perfect, even if we pretend we aren’t. Even if we try to be, we fail.
3. Let go & pray. Don’t knock it ’til you try it, my friend. Honestly though, take some quiet time to yourself and look inward. Look at who you are and what’s happening around you. Focus on the good in life (as difficult as that may be) and take some long deep breaths. Meditate, breathe deeply, just focus on what you’re feeling and allow yourself to feel it, guilt free. It’s okay to be upset, unhappy, overwhelmed; it’s okay to need to look to something or someone else for a bit of reassurance. The quiet time will help and guide you back to the happiness you seek. Take a few moments and try. You just might be surprised at how much it truly helps to calm you down and help you through it.
For those of you dealing with a stressed out partner, realize that as much as you might want to help, or as much as you want to get to the bottom of why your significant other feels the way they do, give them space. (At least for a little while) Then go to them, express how you are feeling about the stress they are dealing with and listen to them with open ears. Avoid asking “why?” as it can make a person feel as though they have to defend their feelings and justify them and they might not even really know the reason behind their emotions. That is for them to wrestle with and figure out; you can still be there though, just go to them with open and understanding, nonjudgmental arms. Odds are, they want a hug and someone to talk to. 🙂
As crappy as the day may seem, you will have better days! You will probably have some more not so great ones too, but try to look on the bright side of life and find things that make you feel better. I am a HUGE fan of long showers, listening to music, going for a nice drive, or focusing on things like homework to get my mind off of what’s bothering me until I feel like I am ready to deal with it with a level head. It isn’t easy. I lose my cool, but it’s something I’m working on and something that I encourage you to work on as well! Choose joy. Choose peace. Choose happiness. Choose to be optimistic even when you do not feel like it.
There are some circumstances in which a person is genuinely depressed and those people should seek help. Remember, if someone is coming to you with their sorrow, it’s probably hard for them to do so, so allow them to express how they are feeling and offer some support even if its awkward or uncomfortable for you.
If you, or anyone you know feels as if they are in the midst of a crisis, please take the appropriate measures. Call the completely free hot-line: 1 (800) 273-8255 if you are located in the United States, because you matter. These people who man the phones at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will talk with you, listen to you, and help. You are not alone.