All in all, I’d say today was moderately stressful.
Stress management was only 20 minutes long today because our professor was sick, and she didn’t feel well enough to continue the lecture. We were supposed to speak about confrontation…definitely could have used that lecture today.
- Bill$. So today I went into the financial aid office at my school to discuss the voicemail I got last Friday. Somehow I need to come up with $1500 by November 5th. Yeah, November 5th. Today is November 13th. You do the math… The stress from this will probably be looming over me until mid-December. Basically I have to choose between making the last payment for my tuition this semester, OR pay for the study abroad program next semester. If only the due dates weren’t 8 days ago and if only I didn’t get the phone call 3 days ago then maybe this could have been figured out early. But such is life and I’m not made of money so until that paycheck comes in December, one bill is going to remain unpaid. Let’s hope that doesn’t result in something horrible.
- Lack of sleep. I’ve been working as many hours as I can pick up every week because I’m saving up money for next semester abroad. And as you can imagine it’s taking a toll on my relationship with my bed. We just don’t see each other as often as I’d like and it stresses me out just a tad. Today I was literally penciling in time to take naps throughout the day…I took two 1-hour naps within the same four hours…Go ahead, judge me.
- Waiting. So I e-mailed someone last week about writing me a letter of recommendation for another position I’m applying for while abroad, and I still haven’t gotten a response. It’s frustrating to me because I would really like to get this done ASAP and clearly that’s just not going to happen. I guess sometime tomorrow I’m going to drop by the office and see if he got the e-mail and if he would be willing to write the letter.
- Distance. Still feeling conflicted about this LDR (long-distance relationship). I wish that telepathy existed because I can’t take the distance–literally and figuratively–anymore. I’ve finally spoken about this out loud to my closest of friends, but it’s not a problem that anyone else can fix. I’m just trying to let this play out for a little bit longer I guess?
Lately I’ve been using the DESC technique (stress management) to addressing issues. Describe, Express, Specify, and Consequence. In resolving conflicts, it really does help.
Describing the issue to the person with whom you are in conflict, preferably in one sentence, paints the picture in their mind so they can see what the problem is.
Expressing yourself using “I” and not “You” gives the person a sense of what you are feeling or how this situation makes you feel. By using “I”, you’re not offending anyone because all you are doing is saying how you feel.
Specifying is when you tell the person what needs to be done in order to resolve the conflict. Using phrases like “I would like if…” or “It would make me feel better if…” can help in detailing what you want.
Consequences should be chosen and vocalized so that both parties are aware what actions will lead to eliminating issues in the future. You can give both a negative and positive scenario of what could happen if a change is made, or what could happen if the situation stays the same.
The most effective part of this theory (at least for me) is that it doesn’t require an intense confrontation or argument. Although it is still a confrontation of sorts, it is more of an expression of feeling rather than a blame game of sorts. People tend to point out issues by blaming the other party or focusing on what he/she did rather than expressing how it made them feel. Like I said, by expressing oneself, it does not offend or give the other person a reason to be on their defensive.
In the simplest of situations, I would suggest practicing the DESC technique so that when bigger issues arise, you’ll have an idea of how to approach. It’s working very well for me lately. (Except for that last stressor that’s been present for a few days now. Still workin’ on it.)
In other/lighter news, a happy happy birthday to this most precious pup: