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Stress In Banking Managing Stress

Stress does not need to be a way of life, even if it is a fact of life. Sometimes we can't control the stresses that cause us problems. But, on the other hand, sometimes we do have the ability to control them-but fail to do anything about it.

The first step in managing stress is to recognize those things that cause you the problems and the negative physical reactions, and then deal with them one by one.

For instance, if driving to work causes you to get "up-tight" and starts your day off with a hassle, see if you can't carpool, or swap off, so that you at least get a break. That way you can read, sleep, or just chat on the way to work.

If the "going-to-work-going-to-school" routine in the morning leaves you with a pile of nerves and a headache before you even leave the house, take a tip from a lady banker in the state of Washington. She has a husband and six children to get off every morning, before she can leave the house to go to the branch where she works as an assistant branch manager.

She decided that for just one week, she would experiment with an idea she picked up in reading a book on changing habits.

For just one week, she got up a whole hour earlier in the morning, and the very first thing she did was get everything ready that SHE needed to get out of the house. Clothes, lunch, pocketbook, car keys?everything she needed.

She then sat down, and enjoyed her cup of coffee while organizing her thoughts, and her day, making a few notes as she sat.

By this time, it was time to start the breakfast and lunch routine and get family members up and out.

When it came time for her to go, she found getting out of the house much easier, and on time-giving her day a real boost.

She said she got so good at organizing during her "thinking time" that she was even able to plan dinner each day.

Sometimes she even started dinner while breakfast was going on. It made her night schedule a lot easier and much more pleasant.

By trying this "for just one week to see if it would work", she found life a lot less stressful. So she decided to try it for one more week.

What happens when you do something for two weeks in a row? It becomes a habit?and you know how hard habits are to break!

In this case, a good habit-and one that greatly benefited this banker.

She identified the problem that was causing her stress, AND DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

Trying to make or change a habit for the rest of your life is too difficult to even imagine. But we can do anything "for just one week". That IS possible.

Identify just one of the stresses that you CAN control, and then, just for one week, DO something about it.

One of our regular features will be an article on stress management. We recognize that stress in the financial industry is one of our major problems today. We'll be bringing you some ideas in this space monthly...hints written by experts that we hope will help you handle your day to day stress.

Let us know your stress controlling ideas. Share with other bankers by dropping us a line - P.O.Box 905, Brookhaven, PA 19015

Copyright © 1990 Bankers' Hotline. Originally appeared in Bankers' Hotline, Vol. 1, No. 2, 2/90

First published on 02/01/1990

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