Career Tips Over Coffee:  Managing Yourself During Stressful Times

Blog Post created by susan.hodge Champion on Jul 24, 2017

Recently I wrote about leading your team through stressful times. When you’re leading during tough times, it can be lonely given that you need to be strong for your team.

Yet, how we manage ourselves during stressful times impacts our effectiveness.   When we become too stressed out, there are consequences to our health, weight, patience, perspective, relationships and more. I’ve had my share of career and business ups and downs.  I admit, there were times when I didn’t get it right.  But over time, I began to realize that I’m most effective in my leadership when I take care of myself.

Here are the actions I know to take when I’m in a tough situation:

  • Talk to someone. Spouse, partner, friends…talk to someone to help neutralize the emotions.  But realize these people may not be the ones to help devise your strategic response to whatever situation you’re in.  These are your emotional supporters, but may not  be your best business supporters.
  • Do those things that keep you centered. For me it’s thinking time, journaling and prayer and exercise.  Here’s a tip that seems counterintuitive:  Slow down and do less.  Instead of working harder and faster to get out of the situation, you’ll be more effective if you take some activities off your calendar.
  • Get an external perspective. Here’s where you look for your strategic partners.  These are the person/s who are far enough removed to be objective, yet know enough about you and business to be helpful.  Mentors, your personal board of directors, trusted colleagues.  I’ve used coaches throughout my career.  Hiring a coach gave me an external perspective and support that then helped me devise a strategic response to the situation.
  • Take action. Taking action on that which is within your control will give you a sense of authority over yourself and your situation.


What do you do to manage yourself during stressful times?