Tame The Worry
A guide to self-reflection and leadership
Things seem to compound at a faster rate at this time of year. The things that wouldn’t have bothered you can begin to take a toll quicker than expected. Whether you realise this or not, it impacts your capacity to lead and interact with others. If this sounds familiar, read on to learn the simple concept of a worry bucket, how to examine what goes in, and then how to empty it, you can tame your worry and get back on track sooner.
The Worry Bucket Analogy
Imagine carrying a bucket representing your worries, negative thoughts, and emotions. Every stressor, big or small, fills this bucket. A negative interaction may add a cup of water, pondering the solution to a hard to obtain medication, a quarter, while significant concerns like your ability to take a break or find suitable staff could add ten cups. As we navigate work and life, our worry bucket accompanies us. If left unattended, an overflowing bucket can inadvertently spill negativity onto others.
Understanding your worry bucket is essential, especially in professional settings. Colleagues may have overflowing buckets affecting their communication and performance. Likewise, leaders must recognize when their own buckets are reaching capacity. Emotional intelligence involves self-reflection and self-regulation, crucial skills for navigating the challenges of the workplace.
Own & Empty Your Bucket
If you’re going to effectively empty your worry bucket, you first need to own it. Acknowledging an overflowing bucket isn’t a sign of weakness but an opportunity for growth.
To purposefully empty your worry bucket, follow these steps:
- 1. Check the bucket regularly: Identify and understand what’s causing stress. Adopting a daily reflective practice like journalling can help.
- 2. Communicate: Talk things out with someone you trust. Having someone to help unpack stressors is really helpful in getting clear on the challenges and finding different options. Also, Let your team know if you’re overwhelmed, fostering a culture of vulnerability.
- 3. Seek help: Asking for assistance is a sign of strength. Help can come in the form of asking colleagues to assist but also may be reaching out to organisations like Pharmacist Support Services or your General Practitioner.
- 4. Delegate: Assess what is in your bucket that are delegatable tasks. Yes, it might take time to explain and hand the task over to someone else, but, consider the long-term benefits of investing in the effort.
- 5. Prioritise: Not everything in your worry bucket is something you can do something about. Not everything in your worry bucket needs to be completed urgently. Distinguish between urgent and non-urgent matters and what is out of your control. In doing so you can manage your workload more effectively.
- 6. Practice mindfulness: Take breaks and stay present by engaging in mindfulness exercises throughout the day. Simple practices like square breathing are easy to execute and extremely helpful.
- 7. Recharge: Yes, it’s another time investment but make time to engage in activities that rejuvenate you and reduce stress. Doing something for you will help put a spring back in your step.
By taking charge of your worry bucket through self-awareness and action, you empower yourself to navigate challenges purposefully. You have a choice about what is in your bucket, exercise it.