Stressxit? Keep it in Perspective
It has been a little over a month since the British people narrowly decided to leave the European Union. The initial chaos has slowly quieted as the government works to figure out what Brexit actually entails, but the division created by stark differences in opinions on this issue still looms. The cloud of stress post-Brexit, or Stressxit, hangs heavy.
While these stressors appear in many areas, they generally fall into two main buckets: Social Unrest and Economic Uncertainty.
The anger was present before the Brexit vote, and arguably it has only intensified after being validated by the public. On the 29th of July, the Independent cited that there were 500+ racist incidents recorded in the weeks following the EU referendum ranging from posh customers refusing to be served by a foreign waiters to arson attacks. It is harrowing to see that hate crimes are up 42% compared to the corresponding period in 2015. For what it is worth, across the pond, my fellow Americans are facing similar circumstances as the rhetoric of a certain politician and his angry followers continues to rattle many to bone.
Of course another worry from Stressxit is fear for the future. These worries are extremely distracting and in some cases painful. There are worries about job security across industries and pay grades. Whether you work in a pub or in a bank, there are fears about downsizing and headquarter movement out of London. Executives have concerns about business profitability and the effects of new trade barriers.
What Can We Do?
The lessons of perspective seem to be so very needed now. When there is greed, anger, delusion, misery and ignorance, the mind is clouded and not able to see the situation clearly. Here are some tips for dealing with Stressxit:
- Keep it in perspective. Awareness of the situation and other peoples’ thinking will help you not be influenced or shaken by fear, anger or other emotions. Take some time to reflect on your triggers and preconceived judgments. This awareness exercise will help build your field of awareness and stay in flow
- Think before you respond, whether verbally or written. Be aware that every thought, word and action creates ripples throughout the world, and decide if it is worth your outward energy. Inquire within yourself and ponder on whether it is worth spending your own energy.
- Remind yourself that you have an identity outside of work. The next time someone asks “What do you do?” be aware of how you label yourself. Remind yourself that you are more than work, and it gets too easy for us to make work be the centre of our lives.
- Become infinitely adaptable. Life is easier when you go with the flow. Try to look at these changes as opportunities of growth and release our attachments to our comfort bubble. Challenge yourself to meet life at all levels.
- Enjoy your summer holiday and turn on your out-of-office greeting. They will still be figuring out Brexit when you get back, and even a few years after.
You can find peace during this time of uncertainty, and remind yourself that our greatest illusion is that we are separated from others (Bhagavad Gita). All of this polarisation creates and builds so much inner tension. So regardless of the chaos surrounding you, be patient, be present and focus on yourself. Answers will come soon.