Run Away Ask Dr G
Written by Doctor G

when to run away

As it turns out, 88% of Americans feel that the winter holidays are THE most stressful time of the year. Jingle bell time, huh? Now, I know this study is limited to the US, and is of course just one study… but there is a useful point here for all who are really feeling the real right now.

You don’t have to say yes to the stress.

That’s a little bit of a lie – some stress you can’t avoid, and some stress you shouldn’t avoid, but a portion of the stress? You can walk the other way! Let’s lay this out in an easy to follow way.

  1. You notice a stress in your life.
  2. Have empathy – that stuff is hard! Even if it’s a good change, like the animal you want to adopt is ready to pick up, all change is stressful. Give yourself grace, kindness, a break – just recognize that there’s nothing wrong with you when you feel stressed.
  3. Interrogate that stressor.

This is the part that might seem unfamiliar. It really means finding out if that stress is worth addressing or not. Ask yourself two questions:

  • Is this stress avoidable or unavoidable? This means – is it up to you? Could you choose not to host the work party, not to go to the event where you’ll see your old boss, not adopt the animal?
  • Is this stress useless or useful? This means – does it move you towards a change you WANT? If you want the new puppy but it’s stressful, it’s useful stress, assuming you still want the new puppy. If you want to host the office party to get to know people better or show them how much you value them, it’s useful stress to host the party.

If the stress is unavoidable, you move forward.

If the stress is useful, you move forward.

If the stress is avoidable and useless, do not move forward with it. Turn around, walk the other way, say no thank you, run, whatever makes sense to you. 

For all the stressors that are unavoidable or useless, you’re going to need your resilience. We’ll talk more about that next week. And also! I’m launching a cool new (free!) thing for professionals who want to get strategies for navigating change and being resilient. Please go check it out and sign up if you’d like more information!

Is there a stressor in your life that is avoidable and useless? Tell me – I’ll encourage you to drop that rope and walk away.

All my best,

Dr. G

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A widely recognized media personality, Dr. G is your go-to expert on resilience. Countless broadcast outlets rely on her contagious humor and illuminating stories to tackle tough topics. She is regularly seen on TV, as well as interviewed for print and digital outlets. Here, she’s answering your questions. Search for the answers you need, or ask her your question now!
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