Have you ever gone to the supermarket when you just need to pick up a couple of things…but then you walk down the dairy aisle and remember that you need milk, too… and then you see the bakery section and realise you finished the last bagel at lunch time, and actually a loaf of fresh bread might be good for the weekend… and you can’t remember if you have any soup left, and before you know it you’re staggering around with your arms full, dangling a bunch of bananas off one finger while trying to strategically balance a pack of eggs on top of the mountain before it all falls down?
Have you ever felt that feeling at work; that urge to just add one more thing to your pile of things to do, even when you know it’s getting harder and harder to manage, and you know how much mess there will be if you drop everything?
Wondering where we’re going with this?
Avoiding that overwhelming feeling is all about proactive resilience.
Think about the supermarket again. If you had taken a bit of time to plan, might you have seen that you would pick up more than you could carry by yourself? There was probably a line of trolleys right by the door that you walked past on your way in.
In the workplace, your trolley is all the help and infrastructure that is available to support you.
Sometimes we don’t think about the things that are there to help us until we need them. In the case of your mental health, that might mean it’s too late. Make sure that you understand the support and processes available to you at work before you need them. And if you lead a team, make sure they have the signposting they need to access the same help.
In other words: get the trolley early, and little things like an extra bunch of bananas won’t bring your whole shop crashing down to the floor!