Surviving Work Stress & Avoiding Conflict

man working using a laptop
Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile

Many suffer from workplace stress due to toxic environments or people. It cannot be effortless to focus on work duties, get along with other people, or maintain healthy relationships outside of the workplace. Managing stress can seem like a job duty alone, depending on the volume of work, the structure of the company you work for, and the personalities of colleagues.

In the past, I’ve experienced unexpected work stress. My expectations of what workplace interactions should be didn’t meet my needs. The hope that I had when working with older and wiser individuals is that I would gain more knowledge about my work and how I viewed the world.

After one week of working in the space, I immediately began to see that it was hard for my colleagues to accept me due to our age differences. It was almost like my insight and knowledge didn’t matter. There were times when the person that was training me, purposefully gave me wrong information so that when I made a mistake on tasks that I was completed, it appeared as if I was making careless mistakes. The way that others approached me regarding the error was not welcoming. The moment that I started to feel uneasy and out of place is the moment that I began to focus on my responses to the conflict. I was feeling anger and irritation with each moment I sat in the office space, however, I made the most out of it and thought that it must’ve been a personal issue with the person who trained me incorrectly. I did not feel that it was necessary for me to feel this way at a place in which I was excited to work. After I addressed the conflict within myself, I left the job after three weeks. That was one of the best decisions I ever made because this allowed me to step into full-time entrepreneurship. The initial fear of doing so brought me to this job, and it also leads me out of it.

Have you ever been in a position where you felt like people were out to get you in your work environment? These types of work conflicts can be addressed healthily by choosing to view the problem as a lesson learned.

Why does a work conflict occur? That is a great sense of understanding that we could all benefit from having to grasp why conflict even occurs.

I began to explore why people are prone to work conflict and how their personal lives, in addition to work systems, play a role in this dysfunction.

What are some reasons why conflict arises:

  • Some people may feel threatened because of a new colleague starting in their department and automatically view them as competition. They could potentially expect that people are going to do things the way they’ve done them and find it to be insulting when one doesn’t follow their blueprint. The typical response to a person who has unhealthy ways of managing internal conflict is to play the victim role and view others as being an issue rather than themselves.
  • There’s no actual structure or expectations of employee’s behavior, and some people have seniority status in the company, and there are no negative consequences for them.
  • There may be a lack of boundaries between different cultures of people. Some people are accustomed to a particular culture within the workplace, and they carry over behaviors that were once acceptable such as standing close to others and not having an awareness of what’s appropriate vs. inappropriate closeness, not announcing themselves when walking into a colleagues personal space.
  • There are unhealthy control and power issues in leadership roles.

How can someone who’s having a hard time in their personal lives manage work conflict? Instead of projecting negative feelings into the person, you can follow up with questions to get a clear understanding of the personality of the other person and their perspective. Also, if a person is making you uncomfortable, you have the right to speak professionally to them and let them know of the discomfort. Sometimes physically appearing to be uncomfortable is not always something that another person will be able to pick up on.

I’ve learned that how I handle the situation is up to me. Will I carry the negative emotions within myself or focus on accomplishing a goal? During work conflicting moments, it’s best to focus on achieving a goal, not responding off of your emotions.

In that moment of discomfort, I check in with myself by:

  1. Provide myself with validation for how I felt and my thoughts.
  2. Focus my attention on reducing any negative emotion that I feel immediately.
  3. I will remind myself that I have a valuable service to provide.
  4. I can’t change how others feel or respond.
  5. I must control my emotions so that I can provide the service accurately.
  6. Allow no distractions from others and further my growth within the situation by observing and not responding.
  7. Reflect on the feeling I had before the situation that caused the conflict.

Overall I realized that conflicts are going to happen. There’s no way to avoid them, but all in all, I take my power back when I don’t meet the person where they are at with their negativity. I feel that the control is within you as long as you don’t allow external factors to control your internal thoughts and feelings.

Check out our Wellness Services & Products page for additional resources.

Shawnee Palmer, LCSW, LAC

Alpine’s Empowerment Agency, LLC

Shawnee@alpinesempowermentagency.com

Love & Serenity Wellness

I Quit!!!

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Freedom is something that is unmatched to any physical thing that we obtain in life. It helps carry us in ways that will leave us feeling whole. Are you ready to feel whole?

So I Quit…

‪I stopped trying to please people and it felt rejuvenating. After a lifetime of being a people pleaser and over compensator, I left those titles and characteristics behind.

What did I leave behind?

-Stagnation. 

-Heartbreak.

-Co-Dependence. 

-Toxic traits.

-Unhealthy relationships.

-Manipulation.

-Debt.

What did I gain?

-Self-control.

-Power over my destiny.

-Freedom.

-More time and energy for myself.

-Brain space to engage in gaining more knowledge and wisdom.

-Me, I gained ME!

It had been a long time coming. It was damaged behavior over time‬ until I was living in the damage, consciously. Now, who would want to be in this state when you have a strong awareness? Do you know you have the ability to change it and have all the options to do so but stick with it? That’s trauma within itself. So I leaped off into my next destiny, identifying the ugly truth of it all that, “I made a choice to overly give into others who wouldn’t do the same for me.”

Ok, now that was harsh! But it’s the truth, this was all of my doing. Although I learned the behavior, I continued to take ownership of it and fancy it up to soothe my own needs. The whole time I was doing that, I wasn’t fully aware of what my own needs were. Ahhh, that sounds very foolish of me but that’s the reality of it all. 

So here I am, 2 years later and I’ve released a lifetime of unhealthy traits in a short period of time. It was needed and the best thing that I did was to take accountability for my own actions within the chaos I experienced. I formulated a better me, a safe and happy me. So when I speak to myself, I’m no longer a mad me, trying to play the victim and accuse everyone else of doing bad to me.

I take full responsibility and ownership of me. I am proud of myself. Now it’s time for you to do the same for you!

Check out our Wellness Services & Products page for additional resources.

Shawnee Palmer, LCSW, LAC
Alpine’s Empowerment Agency, LLC
Shawnee@alpinesempowermentagency.com
Love & Serenity Wellness
Reiki/Coaching

10 Solo Date Activities To Do Now

 

I often hear a lot of people speak about how it’s really embarrassing it feels awkward for them to go out to dinner to the movies by themselves often look at that like wow.

Why would that be awkward for you to be in the presence of yourself your own company?

So I created a list of ten different things that you can do to enjoy the company of yourself also during this time you’re able to discover who you are. Identify things that you like about yourself things that you don’t like and it allows you to do sit still with yourself in a non-judgmental space.

#1 Check out the local listing for the next 30 days to see exactly how you can plan in a time to take yourself.

#2 Check out a new dinner spot at a restaurant that you have never eaten ate before maybe trying some new foods.

#3 Check out your local bookstore or a coffee shop to try a drink maybe a tea smoothie or coffee.

#4 Try any shopping center where you can go and try on different clothes and accessories.

#5 Try a new spa so that way you can get a manicure-pedicure or massage.

#6 Go to a park find a nice area where you can lay down a blanket and read a book or just listen to music.

#7 Take a drive in an area where the scenery is peaceful and beautiful.

#8 Try a new yoga or dance class.

#9 Try a local winery so that way you can do a wine tasting.

#10 Look at your local painting areas so that way you can go and do some painting or pottery.

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To watch a video of this blog topic, check out our YouTube Video on “MindShift Sunday’s!”

🎤 https://youtu.be/h4f8lQz7SV4

Mindshift Sunday’s: A series of videos that will be released to assist you with preparing your week for a great start. I want you to gain clarity, set healthy intentions and become more in tune with yourself.

Check out our Wellness Services & Products page for additional resources. 

Shawnee Palmer, LCSW, LAC

Alpine’s Empowerment Agency, LLC

Shawnee@alpinesempowermentagency.com

http://www.loveandserenitywellness.com

The Unsettling Feelings of Anxiety!

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From childhood to adulthood— at some point in your life you’ve experienced an anxious moment. It’s a part of the usual human emotions that we all feel however it affects different people in many different ways. How you handle it is based upon how you view the feeling of nervousness, how you’ve seen others handle it, ways in which you’ve mostly handled it, what you think about yourself when experiencing it and your ability to control it.

Have you ever felt nervous about doing a speech in front of a class? Mostly everyone has some nerve-wracking feeling before but many can feel calmer when the speech is over. Have you ever sat in class after a speech and started to worry more about how others viewed your speech and things that you could’ve done differently with the speech? Did it linger on to the point where you lost focus and wasn’t able to hear the other student’s speeches?

This is just one example of how an anxious moment transitions into a full-blown episode of anxiety. One that becomes physically uncomfortable and hard to break free from once you’re in it. How do you manage this better? Have you tried taking deep breaths to calm you down and it didn’t work? Have you tried to distract yourself by doing an activity but you still find it hard to focus? Once you’ve reached this point, your brain has been invested in the situation. That’s why it’s important to implement skills to help you better handle it. Many people turn to unhealthy ways to manage anxiety rather it be cigarettes, food, alcohol, sex, or gossip. All these things provide you with an outlet of distraction however it does not help fix the underlying cause!

So what could the underlying cause look like? It could be fear of being rejected by others, fear that you will be harmed in some way or another person will be harmed, anger about lack of control over a situation, person or thing, fear of abandonment and the list could go on!

So why do we choose to focus on something that causes us great stress and fear? Sometimes it’s as simple as the fact that this is normal behavior for society. There isn’t a clear blueprint that’s given out to the masses of people that say “Hey, you’re going to be anxious about some things however you can handle it another way besides stressing about it.”

Overall, you want to find out what works best for you to tackle anxiety before it attacks you. What does this look like? It ranges from many different things such as how you respond to fears in general, your interactions with people, control over your life, or things that you do routinely to bring you peace.

Setting healthy boundaries for yourself is most important! Boundaries can give you an outlet to hold yourself accountable for the things that you do and how you respond. Boundaries teach you how to treat yourself and how others are to treat you.

Besides boundaries here are some other things that you can do:

  • Pray or meditate to release the emotion and find comfort and peace.
  • Listen to soothing music such as frequency sounds to calm you.
  • Write about your experience through journaling, poetry, songwriting or storytelling.
  • Talk to a trustworthy friend, family member, or colleague about what’s bothering you.
  • Engage in physical activities such as walking, jogging or running for 15 minutes.
  • Dance and sing to your favorite song as if you’re performing.
  • Color or do a crossword puzzle.
  • Watch your favorite comedy or tv show.
  • Spend time near a body of water or an open area where you can connect with nature.
  • Pick an activity that always brings you joy and do it!

Check out our Wellness Services & Products page for additional resources.

Shawnee Palmer, LCSW, LAC
Alpine’s Empowerment Agency, LLC
Shawnee@alpinesempowermentagency.com
Love & Serenity Bookstore
Bj’s Bookstore
Reiki/Coaching

Teaching Your Child Self-Love

It’s important that children are given not only shelter, food & clothing but tools to help them to love themselves. Unfortunately, this is a common skill that kids lack! It’s a caretaker’s responsibility to provide kids with tools to help them feel more confident about themselves. This could minimize anxiety and depressive symptoms in addition to self-harming behaviors. This is just a quick reference, however if you have other options to add, please feel free to leave a comment with the suggestion!

1. Teach your kids about their characteristics.

2. Normalize the behaviors that do not cause harm to themselves or others.

3. Avoid calling them weird if they do things differently from you.

4. Support & encourage their interests.

5. Talk to them to get a better understanding of the things they enjoy.

6. Normalize their differences from others by making them feel good & not bad.

7. Find things that are unique about yourself and share it with them.

8. Allow them to make mistakes! Remember you were once their age and didn’t know it all.

Check out our Wellness Services & Products page for additional resources.

Shawnee Palmer, LCSW, LAC
Alpine’s Empowerment Agency, LLC
Shawnee@alpinesempowermentagency.com
Bj’s Bookstore
Reiki/Coaching

Bully Interventions for Parents/Caregivers

In today’s society, bullying is being taken to an extreme where kids are fearful of peers/attending school, self-harming, traumatized, committing suicide and have low self-esteem amongst many other things. It’s a topic that has been normalized in the past and written off as usual kid behavior. However, is usual kid behavior more harmful than it used to be?

Bullying is difficult to prevent however following up with your children, school officials and other youth can soothe a bullying event and cause less damage to the child if there is a quick follow-up.

Have routine conversations with your children about appropriate and inappropriate talk with peers.

  1. Teach them how to express their emotions and manage them.
  2. Notify school officials to report the bullying and get a clear understanding of their policy and what next steps are going to be taken on their behalf.
  3. Provide your children with extra support and positive affirmations to help them positively view themselves.
  4. Speak with them about bullying and attempt to refrain from showing aggressive emotions in response.
  5. Show that you’re in control so that they feel protected giving you the information.
  6. Encourage your child to think about how it would feel if they were the other child who is being bullied.
  7. Teach them alternative ways to control & manage their anger ie: talking about their feelings to a friend or family member, reading a book, journaling, or doing physical activities.
  8. Keep them involved or connected with a community agency that encourages self-love and teaches life skills.

Check out our Wellness Services & Products page for additional resources.

Shawnee Palmer, LCSW, LAC
Alpine’s Empowerment Agency, LLC
Shawnee@alpinesempowermentagency.com
Bj’s Bookstore
Reiki/Coaching

Limited, Emotional Support System

Are you always considered the strong one within your family, a circle of friends, colleagues or relationships in GENERAL? Tired of feeling like you have no outlet to expressing yourself and seeking guidance?

The role that you play in other’s lives is mighty but pouring from an empty cup leaves you, well EMPTY! Here’s an article that gives you tips on things that you can do to overcome feelings of not being supported.

Be sure to download your free worksheet on “Converting Your Weaknesses into STRENGTHS!”

Life can be hard however, you don’t have to just let it be! You have the power to do so much more!

Here are some ways to better handle having a lack of support within your life:
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1. Make a list of specific things that you desire to have support on ie: relationship issues, entrepreneurship challenges, expression of feelings towards stressors, etc.

2. Write about your ideal support system and visualize what that would look like.

3. Identify people who have been willing to be supportive of you and spend more time with them.

4. Identify those who have not been supportive and minimize expectations of them. Find alternative things that they provide you with and set boundaries with yourself to prevent the build-up of negative emotions towards them.

5. Connect with people who have similar interests as you.

6. Attend networking or social events by yourself. By doing this, you will place yourself in a position to connect with more people.

7. Seek support groups within your local area or via online communities.

Check out our Wellness Services & Products page for additional resources.

Shawnee Palmer, LCSW, LAC
Alpine’s Empowerment Agency, LLC
Shawnee@alpinesempowermentagency.com
Bj’s Bookstore
Reiki/Coaching

Adult Sibling Rivalry!–It DOES exist!

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Ever had an issue with a sibling as an adult and it felt like the end of the world? When you were a kid and got into a disagreement with a sibling, you probably had the issue one minute but was back to playing with each other the next minute. As an adult, it probably feels like you have lost your best friend and feel disappointment along with anger. Have you ever realized that those emotions linger on a little longer than you would have liked? Have you thought to yourself, “Man, I would love to pick up with phone and call my brother or sister, but we are not talking at the moment?” These emotions often happen with adult siblings. Everyone is older now and has a different mindset versus how they thought about things as a child. The way that adults think is based on their personalities, experiences and values and beliefs.

Do you often feel that your values and beliefs do not align with your adult siblings? This is a major component. When you think and act differently from others it is necessary to understand their point of view and how it aligns with yours. For example, if you once had a sibling that was highly supportive of you and then you start to notice their behaviors changing over time towards you, ie: lack of support of jealous remarks. Most likely this person has some issues within themselves based on their own personal experiences that have caused them to shift their attitude towards you.

Ever felt like you wanted to verbally attack a sibling because of their irrational behavior? Maybe the thought has come across your mind? Well, do not do it! If you’ve at some point in your life, had a close and loving relationship there is hope that in the future you will be able to have that again. Even if you aren’t as close, you could at least be social with each other during family functions. Or if children are involved, such as either of you having children that have a good relationship with the sibling, it’s important to think about all parties involved and how it will affect them.

Repairing a relationship with a sibling often requires a lot of patience and time. Are you feeling the need to start working towards it? If so, that’s great, I have some tips on ways that you can work towards that. If you are not ready, that is fine also. Sometimes we have to take a step back and focus on ourselves before we are ready to repair a relationship with another person.

Tips:

  1. A desire.
  2. Open Mindedness.
  3. Clear communication and ideas about what you have issues with.
  4. Ability to understand or meet the other person where they are at.
  5. Realize what you have control over how you respond to everything. Allow things to be a lesson learned rather than identify the situation as an emotion.
  6. Confrontation techniques. Be mindful of the tone and body language.
  7. Active Listening.
  8. Accepting harsh feedback.
  9. Responding with clear thoughts.
  10. Things to consider prior to speaking with them irrational vs rational thoughts about speaking with them.
  11. Set an intention for the purpose of the talk prior to speaking with the other person.

HAPPY HEALING FOR ALL!

-Alpine’s Empowerment Agency

Overcoming Fear

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I had the pleasure of jumping off of this cliff into the water with my 11 year old son on July 28, 2018. We were with family at a beach. The cliff was only 10 feet from the water but it looked like it was 100 feet. Yes, I am being dramatic! I was filled with so much fear that I knew it was time for me to overcome it. We walked to the cliff and looked down then changed our minds. We weren’t ready so we turned around to walk back to the beach area. Then all of a sudden I got a sudden feeling that we needed to take that leap. I thought to myself “This is going to open new doors for our bond.” So I spoke with my son about trying it again. He was all for it. So we talked & hyper ourselves up on our way back to the cliff. We walked up, held hands and jumped off the cliff! While I was in the water, I felt like I was drowning even though I had on a life jacket. I kept trying to gasp for air meanwhile, I look over at my son and he’s doing fine. He was acting normal as if nothing major had just happened while I was panicking! After a while I was able to gather my thoughts and focus on getting out of the way so that the next set of people could jump. All of this was within a few minutes time frame, however it felt like it was an eternity!

I then reflected on the event after I was calm and later again a few days after the jump.

I had intentions of holding my sons hand throughout the entire experience. Well my son told me I let his hand go before we jumped in the water 😂. Everyone else told me I had this puzzled look on my face. He handled it all very well during and after the jump, while I, on the other hand was gasping and moving slowly & repeating to him “I can’t breath,” while barely opening my eyes.

The thing about anxiety is that we sometimes create these irrational fears. Fears of the unknown or fear of the action that we take potentially causing damage in some way. Sometimes it’s necessary to take that risk to experience what the outcome would be for us.

4 Things I Learned That Day:

  1. Fear held me back from holding my sons hand throughout the course of the event.
  2. Fear stopped me from enjoying the experience.
  3. Pushing myself to do the activity opened up a bunch of thoughts where I felt fearless, powerful & happy.
  4. I am in total control of what I fear. I have a choice of whether or not I want to let go of the fear.

Overall, the activity did not go as planned but I accomplished something I had been holding off on doing. I now imagine, “What if I had done it sooner?”

Picture yourself doing something that you strongly desire but having fear that it will not work out as planned. If you do it now, you will be able to grow from the experience sooner rather than later.

Download my mini workbook to help you start overcoming that fear! *Click Here* (USE the code “OVER” during checkout.

Shawnee Palmer, LCSW, LAC
Alpine’s Empowerment Agency, LLC
Shawnee@alpinesempowermentagency.com
Love & Serenity Wellness