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The HaBO Village Podcast

How to Identify Stressors in Your Work and Life [Podcast]

Episode 179: Michael and Kathryn discuss common work and life stressors and steps you can take to identify, evaluate, and recover from them. If you don't feel quite at ease these days in your business or at home, give this episode a listen to help you figure out what exactly is dragging you down and how to overcome it.

Stressed woman at her desk


In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover the 4 perspectives when it comes to areas of stress you may be experiencing.

  • Find out what VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) has to do with the creation of stressors in your life.

  • Get practical tools and tips for eliminating stress so you can ultimately build resilience in your personal life and business.

“Leadership is hard work. So you HAVE to be resilient."

- Kathryn Redman


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Michael:             Hello everyone, and welcome to the HaBO Village podcast, where we talk about developing the whole leader for the whole business. I'm Michael Redman.

Kathryn:             And I'm Kathryn Redman.

Michael:             This is the podcast for entrepreneurs, founders, and business owners, leaders like you, who are running companies.

Kathryn:             Our goal is to encourage you, give you practical tips and tools that you can apply today. And even more importantly, remind you that you're not in this alone.

Michael:             Because we believe you can build a company that is financially successful, fulfilling for you and your team and avoid burnout all at the same time.

Kathryn:             We know because we've done it and we've been helping other leaders do it too for over 20 years.

Michael:             So welcome to today's show, let's dive in. Kathryn, we're going to talk about stressors. We're into our second episode in this five point series. I'm excited. Maybe it sounds like it, because I'm finally glad we're here talking about these things, right?

Kathryn:             Yeah, definitely.

Michael:             And we're not immune to these stressors, are we?

Kathryn:             Absolutely not.

Michael:             Right now it's funny where it's like, how many times in life have we talked about something with folks about how to help with your life or how to improve your life or preached a sermon or something like that. And all of a sudden that week we need, or that couple of weeks, it just conveys on. It's like, oh my gosh, it's like an avalanche.

Kathryn:             You end up going. And that would be one finger pointed out at you, and three back at me, need my own advice.

Michael:             Yes. That thumb [crosstalk 00:01:26].

Kathryn:             Not that we're pointing fingers at anyone, but-

Michael:             No, but-

Kathryn:             It's just as the analogy goes, right?

Michael:             I want, as we jump into this, a lot of times people talk about, they just talk about topics on these podcasts. I mean, we are a podcast world right now. And one of the things that I think shows up a lot is it seems like, let me tell you how to do this and how to do that, and I've got it all figured out. And I want you to know that we do a good job managing this, but this is something that you don't just do, check, it's off. I now I've got stress figured out in my life, and I've got our schedule figured out. And it's done, this is something that continues to come back again and again, doesn't it?

Kathryn:             Yeah. Well and there's cycles, right? So there's seasons in life that are much more challenging than others and things that come into your life that cause stress that you weren't anticipating. And so even right when you figure it out, it's like something else happens and you go, okay, here we are again.

Michael:             Well, and this is our probably five-part series. We're planning on five-part series on how to do self care and the things that really impede us so that we can have a path to profit and peace in the midst of it, and be more resilient. And really a resiliency. Remind our listeners, what are we talking about when we're talking about resiliency?

Kathryn:             We're really talking about having the tools internally, as well as externally to shore yourself up against all of the challenges that are coming. And one of the favorite things that we'd like to talk about is what does it look like to develop what we call a non-anxious presence in your leadership. So resilience is the ability that no matter what's coming any given day, you have perspective. You're able to back away and go, you know what? I don't know how, but it's going to be okay. Just that ability to stand up and not have a panic attack in the middle of every hard thing that comes along, because leadership is hard work. So you have to be resilient.

Michael:             Yeah. And in this world of VUCA that we've talked about a lot on the podcast. It's happening everywhere. We were, just to share a story, our other business partner, and I, as you know were traveling yesterday to talk to some art-

Kathryn:             They don't know that you were traveling yesterday.

Michael:             I was actually referring to you. You knowing and not as they knowing.

Kathryn:             I was like, they don't know that.

Michael:             Because I'm talking to you.

Kathryn:             Oh yeah. There's other people listening.

Michael:             Yes. Anyway, now I'm lost. I lost my story-

Kathryn:             You were traveling yesterday with our other business partner, from our pet food company.

Michael:             And we were talking, yeah, our pet food company and we had to go talk to one of our vendors, that's one of our suppliers. We're not getting a lot of communication from the supplier right now. And they're not communicating with email, they're not communicating with phone as well. So we had to drive out there to do it, which is a four hour drive away to get to where they are. At least we don't have to get on an airplane and go across country to our vendor, and really getting out and being out on the ranch and having a conversation because it's an organic product and being able to go, what's going on in your life? What are the challenges you're facing? And immediately in the middle of the conversation, within five minutes of the conversation, he talked about the volatility of prices in the agricultural industry.

Michael:             He looked at a container. And I told you this yesterday, but for those of you listening, their fuel prices from last harvest to this harvest, have at least almost doubled. They haven't fully doubled, but they are almost doubled. And fertilizer costs have more than doubled. So right off the bat, any margin they had, and it's not like they're living on a fat margin, was shrinking radically. He looked at this white fuel tank, I mean, it was big, but it was what they fill up all the tractors with and everything else because they all run on diesel. And he tells me, that thing costs $70,000 every time we fill it. And they come every two weeks.

Kathryn:             [inaudible 00:05:15]

Michael:             Every two weeks. I mean that's 140 grand a month. This farming operation is going through just in diesel.

Kathryn:             And you're coming from a year ago, it being 35 to maybe 40 grand per truck. So that's a pretty steep increase.

Michael:             Yeah, man. And maybe less. So yeah, a huge problem. And then you just got other environmental challenges and problems that he was telling us about, because now all of a sudden you've got new seasonal challenges that you didn't have before or worse than they were last year. We struggle with when we grow timothy-grass, there's a, they call it cancer, which is not really funny, but I don't know what else to do but laugh is the bluegrass gets into the field and you can't just kill the bluegrass. And when you want to sell a pure product and it's mixed in there and you got to bale it, you don't just go in and separate it out. It's just, you just can't.

Michael:             So it's really interesting to watch this volatility and the ambiguity of year to year, what's the weather going to be like? Or that farmers are doing that on a regular basis and have to some extent, but this year it's changing everything, it's changing our prices, which means our business becomes volatile too, volatile because we didn't know it. These things add stress, because I can't anticipate it. And then when they do happen, I have to deal with the consequences, consequences of fuel prices going up is, they're trying to figure out how to make their numbers so that they can actually be profitable and not be upside down. He has to have conversations with people like us, his regular vendors-

Kathryn:             Pass along his costs.

Michael:             Ggo, yep. This is going up-

Kathryn:             And then we have to pass along to our customers.

Michael:             And you just don't want to do that-

Kathryn:             Big happy cycle.

Michael:             The bluegrass causes problems for all of us because everybody's looking at the person above them and calling and complaining. This isn't good enough for us and our customers. Our customers are going, this isn't good enough for us and our rabbits. And then everybody's like, okay, what are we going to do? We're not prepared for this kind of price increase, or we're not prepared for... And some of this you can't prepare for easily because you're like, well, this is the way it's been for the last five years, why should I change my strategy for next year? Well, now I'm just thinking political things that shouldn't be said on a mic.

Kathryn:             Moving along to stressors.

Michael:             So these things like right now, this is like, you can tell these are things that we all have these kind of attributes going on. I was listening to, I mean, you're talking about current events right now. Here it is in summer of 22 and I'm listening to the housing report that just came out for a new building. And we have something that is evidently very unusual. We're moving into a recession where cost is going up. And we have a supply shortage. Usually at the peak. It's like, well, costs are going up, but we have all this supply that we could do-

Kathryn:             Surplus and stuff.

Michael:             And we don't have surplus of product and there's still a labor shortage. So it's a really interesting time on construction. And every, I saw this cool video that was this graphic, every recession in the last 100 years has led with a challenge in the housing industry.

Michael:             And every one of them, evidently the housing industry has also been a early indicator in when the housing industry starts to do better, we're pulling out of the recession. So this is a unique, even this time economically is unique. The indicators aren't all clear based on history, there's some ambiguity to them, there's some confusion to them, all this stuff causes stress. And so today's episode is really not only how do we deal with that stress? But what are some of the things that we can specifically look at for stress? Make sense?

Kathryn:             Yeah.

Michael:             Okay. Today folks, well you're going to hear from us as we talk about this, I think this could be really helpful. We're going to talk about four different categories and some different issues you need to look at when you're dealing with stress and how to be more resilient because stress zaps are energy too. There's just so many factors that go in here, is stress effects. When you think about stress, what are you thinking? The more stress you get, what happens, and what negatively happens?

Kathryn:             I don't sleep.

Michael:             Oh, okay, that's a good one.

Kathryn:             I get short tempered. My stomach hurts.

Michael:             What happens? So those are clearly we're zoning in on a few things-

Kathryn:             Yeah. You asked what happens when I get stressed. I'm just being honest.

Michael:             What happens to your judgment?

Kathryn:             Oh yeah. My judgment goes out the window. I mean, if I'm really stressed, I'm not making great decisions. I'm making decisions too quickly. I'm not considering all the angles. I'm reacting more than being proactive. I mean, all of those things. In fact, those would be, we would call those indicators of stress. How do I know I'm stressed out? Well, I'm stressed out when I'm not sleeping. My judgment is going down, I'm not making good decisions. I've lost perspective. All of those things are indicators that I'm carrying a level of stress that is not healthy. And that has to be managed and hopefully righted pretty quickly.

Michael:             Yeah, absolutely. Those are a big deal to us. So let's talk about four different perspectives on this topic. We're going to talk about personal orientation, personal perspective, actual stressors that we're going to pay attention to and personal reserves. We're going to look at those four categories and let's talk with stressors real quick. There's three categories of stressors, there's professional, personal and life balance. And we actually measure these. We've got some resources and tools that we actually, when we're assessing folks where they are over a period of time, not short term, but longer term, we haven't assessed like a year. Where are you in this? Where is your stress level, professionally, personally, and life balance? You have a saying that you use a lot that I like that we've adopted. And that is you bring your whole self to work. Talk about this place between professional and personal space and stressors and where we are in that? Home life, personal life and work life?

Kathryn:             So in terms of just re-wrapping our brains around it, some of this is the, let's just state the obvious. And yet in some ways the obvious gets missed by a lot of people. So the obvious is that if I am super stressed out in my home life, if I've got challenges with a member of my family has health issues, or there's relational challenges, my kid isn't speaking to me, or there's financial challenges, or there's a project that just can't get done. And it's just, I mean, whatever it is that's causing stress at home. You bring that to work with you. It affects your mood, it affects your perspective, it affects how you see the world, right? So because we have this arbitrary work life thing where people are like, you leave your personal life at home.

Kathryn:             The truth is you actually, I don't know if anyone's that good at compartmentalizing, right? And even if you can turn off and go, I'm not going to pay any attention to that. If your personal life is full of stressors, it will impact how you function at work. And I think as leaders to be healthy leaders, we have to acknowledge both personally that whatever's going on at home actually impacts our work life, but also leave space for that to be true for our workers, for our employees.

Michael:             What about people who can compartmentalize really well? And they say, look, it's really easy for me to walk away from home and go to the office and shut it all off. And I don't have to think about it. It doesn't affect me. What do you say to those people?

Kathryn:             My first response is whatever you say to sleep at night. I don't think it's true. I just don't. Whatever you tell yourself. I mean, I think there are people who are better at it. They're probably high thinkers in terms of their Myers-Briggs. They tend to be a little bit more cerebral, little less so they can compartmentalize their feelings and stuff. But I would argue that it's still affecting you, even if you're better at it than some people are, because I think sometimes when people compartmentalize, what they're really doing is they want to deny there's anything going on. And that's actually fairly exhausting over time. If you just like, you can't talk about it, it doesn't feel safe, whatever. I think those things begin to wear on everything about how you function as a human being.

Michael:             Well, and a lot of times here's what happens. I think a great example of when things are being denied, it's not bothering me. There is proof that when we're having stress in a situation at home, we might be able to clear our minds and push it away. But it has an impact on our body and our nervous system and our endocrine system, which gives us energy and everything else and capacity. It's like heart disease. I can say, I don't have a problem. I can actually even not feel or sense, I have heart disease, until it gets to a place where now I have a problem. Most people who have heart attacks, don't have tons of symptoms going up to the heart attack. It is a moment where everything's fine, everything's fine, and then all of a sudden, I remember a chiropractor telling me a long time ago, really when you have pain in a nerve in your back or anything else, the nerve is being pinched. But it's usually going from that 50%, over 50% is where the pain starts. So that means that you-

Kathryn:             It's already been happening.

Michael:             You've been happening. And you've had an impingement, a problem, a stressor that you were completely unaware of because you weren't in tune enough to what was going on. But you can sense some of those things, you can start to learn how to be more sensitive to stress. And I think we have to, what about work stress taking it home?

Kathryn:             Same thing. I mean, first of all, again, I don't think we compartmentalize, we also take ourselves home from work. We bring ourselves to work and we take ourselves home, all of who we are. So I think in reality, work stress going home is this hard on your family? Is it as the opposite, bringing it to work and having be hard on your employees. The reality is we live in this place where we have to own that we're whole human beings. We have to own that we have to be developing our entire self because the reality is we don't want to damage our relationships at home because work is always an issue. I mean, you see story after story, after story of all you talk about is work, I'm so done, I just I'm over it. And we have the weird thing where we work together.

Kathryn:             And so we do talk about work at home, because it's a part of our life, but not always, it's not a negative thing necessarily. So it's not bad that you talk about work at home. But when stress and the fear of whatever's happening at work, that's going to impede your home life, it's going to impede how you interact with your kids. You come home from a long day at work and a bunch of stress and your kid irritates you by doing something really minor and you chew their head off because they don't understand how stressed out you are. And so that overreaction that happens in the middle of stress because there's all of these competing things that are weighing on you that caused this one place that's safe. You lose the plot on the people you're safe with. And that's unfortunate.

Michael:             Well, I'm thinking about this one leader that we spoke with, that we work with, and we're working on a very intense project for five years, big budget, bid client. There's a lot of consequences, there's a lot of people pinging on the work they do. Lot at stake. So, a, he was always nervous, they were going for almost five years. Always nervous that it wasn't going to work, they were going to fail, they weren't going to perform. This was the first project he'd had at this size at all in many ways. He was working seven days a week, for almost five years. He was going in on Saturdays. He was cranking it out. He might not have been working all day on Sunday or all day on Saturday, but he was probably working most days on Saturdays the way he talked, might take a little time here but then he is going back in and doing a 12 or 14 hour day.

Michael:             And when the project was over, and everything was his success. The client was happy. Everybody was good. He was still finding himself. He'd gotten into a pattern where he wasn't sleeping well and he was going in on Saturdays because what he had been before, the way he described it was I was worried that there was just too many fires, something was going to burn down. If I didn't stay on top of it all, on top of the things I had on my plate, it was going to be disastrous. And six months to a year after the project's over, his wife had to sit him down and say, why are you going in on Saturdays?

Michael:             And he realized he was going in, and there were no fires. There were no big projects, no big problems. They were fine. But he had learned not only had written his health and his wife had to do a mini intervention, the way he described it. He also said he had built a habit of stress that when the thing that theoretically caused the stress was gone. He was still stressing, and there was nothing to stress over. He'd built a habit of this whole thing.

Kathryn:             Yeah. I mean, the reality is, so there's a book and I can't remember the name of the author, the psychologist who wrote it, maybe a psychiatrist. Anyway, the person wrote a book called The Body Keeps the Score.

Michael:             Oh, I remember that.

Kathryn:             And really it's that what happens when you deal with, whether it's sustained habitual stuff like that, or a sudden trauma or stress or whatever, it's like your body physically records it. And so it's hard for people without intentional work, without intentionally acknowledging, realizing, and pushing into that thing, to train your body out of it. It's like your physical body knows what it's used to.

Michael:             Okay. Here's the author, Bessel van der Kolk.

Kathryn:             Van der Kolk.

Michael:             And he's an MD.

Kathryn:             I see. Okay.

Michael:             And The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, and any kind of major stress or continued minor stress becomes a trauma.

Kathryn:             Yeah, it does. And so that whole concept that your body is used to a certain way of functioning, right? So you can have this almost low level anxiety, because you've carried anxiety for so long, your body doesn't know how not to feel anxious.

Michael:             Yeah, absolutely.

Kathryn:             Even when things are fine. So that personal, professional, that overlap really when you're carrying a lot of stress in either place, knowing what that is, and then really choosing to say, how do I address that directly? How do I go after that to begin to settle it down?

Michael:             Yeah, absolutely. Okay, so when we're talking stressors, we're talking this personal, professional and life balance. I think we've spoken a lot to life balance, but I think I want to just add this. There are some people who go life balance or work life balance is crap. I've heard that a lot more in the last couple of years, this is stupid, we shouldn't be talking about it. But I think the reality is because it's not a clean cut thing, but a work life balance is really a good ratio of making sure you have. I mean, we have to work. And if we're business owners, we've got a company, we've got people who depend on us, but if we start to wear ourselves down and we don't have a personal life, we'll wear down the reasons we started the business in the first place, and we will become less helpful. So there's a, I'm just going to say, when we talk work life balance, we're talking, is there a reasonable ratio between personal time outside of work and work time? Especially as a business leader or owner or founder?

Kathryn:             Well, yeah. So things like, do you actually schedule vacation for yourself? Or are you convinced that you can't-

Michael:             I still remember that teriyaki restaurant over in the strip mall by our dry cleaners. And they said the first time in 10 years, we're taking a vacation.

Kathryn:             Or you can't take a vacation because the place will fall apart without you, or you can't take a vacation because you're not profitable enough to be allowed to take any time away. So all of those things, the whole idea, we don't live to work. We work to live, and we believe, especially, at half a bubble out. I mean, our big thing is your work is your calling, it's your contribution to the world. So we want you to love what you do, but it isn't the only reason you exist. You exist for your family and your relationships and to actually enjoy the fruit of your labor.

Michael:             Yes.

Kathryn:             So that's the work life balance that we would suggest is important.

Michael:             Nope. I think that's good. Okay. So let's talk about one of these, out of these other three categories, personal orientation, personal perspective, and personal reserves. When you're fighting stress and you're dealing with stress, these are some subcategories that you want to think about in the personal orientation arena. We're going to talk about tolerance, dependability, and patience. And really what we would in general ask, if you're just high level thinking about this, and we're not doing a formal assessment and we're formal assessment with one of the tools we have, you're going, okay, on a scale of one to five, one being red zone horrible, five being green zone great, how would you grade your tolerance of mistakes, challenges, other people's opinions?

Michael:             Do you have a high tolerance? Are you able to flow at work and at home with people's different opinions and perspectives? Or do you find yourself being very, very frustrated with other people and their differences to you? There's a tolerance and we're not talking about major moral issues or black and white, they're a thief and I have no tolerance for that. We're not talking about that. We're talking about those days, we all know about where yesterday, so and so came in my office, I talked to them, I had a conversation, they have their own quirks and unique perspectives, it didn't bother me, I let it roll off my back like duck and water. Today, they walked in the office and before they said anything, I was annoyed.

Michael:             I mean, we struggle with those on days that our tolerance is low, and it's an indicator of our stress and asking ourselves why we do it. I mean, what do you think about, speak to me about tolerance, because you're good at understanding and thinking about your own?

Kathryn:             My own lack of tolerance.

Michael:             Lack of tolerance.

Kathryn:             Yeah. So I know I'm struggling with tolerance when someone says to me, could be employee, could be a friend or whatever. They share something with me that they're struggling with, and my internal response is, well, welcome to my world or yeah, well, you haven't seen anything, woe is you. So I realize that my tolerance level, when I'm really stressed, I can measure my tolerance by how able I am to celebrate other people and how able I am to commiserate and help them carry their burdens. And when I'm not feeling tolerant, when I feel like, you know what? I've got my own issues, I got enough of my own problems, I don't have time for yours. That's where that shows up. So it's a good indicator. And I think that for me, when I have one of those moments where I'm just literally like are you kidding me right now that you're telling me this?

Kathryn:             And I'm so intolerant, it's like, oh, you should dig here. What's happening that's making you so intolerant? I heard someone describe it recently, was really helpful to me that when you have a reaction, whether it's intolerant and we'll talk about patience in a minute, I acted impatiently or I yelled at a driver or whatever, instead of just being like, I'm a horrible person, to be able to go, trailhead, I should go down the trail and figure out what's causing this reaction. And use it as a tool to go, oh, something's happening? And I need to figure out what. So it's just a really good indicator for me, by tolerance.

Michael:             This guy, we were talking to the ranch manager that we were talking to yesterday. We were talking about how just the challenges with fuel and everything we were talking about earlier. And he had this analogy that Jason and I had not heard before. And that was, it was like, he's got a jet and he just pushed the stick forward, drive it down into the ground, like a lawn dart.

Kathryn:             Wow! That has a bad result.

Michael:             That's a visual right there.

Kathryn:             That's a visual.

Michael:             And yeah, when you're like, this is like a jet turning into a lawn dart, and you're just like, you might be overreacting or, it actually might be a lawn dart like some of the costs we have right now. Dependability is another one, so you're wanting to look at your own tolerance and you want to look at yourself in, when you do a self check really quick like, how am I doing today? How's your tolerance on that scale of one to five, five being awesome, one being lawn dart.

Michael:             So here's what happens, the most dependable I am when everything's going great, I show up, I'm there, I'm present, I don't drop deadlines, I don't drop work, I don't have to ask for apologies. I'm just for the most part-

Kathryn:             You mean forgiveness.

Michael:             Forgiveness. I don't have to ask for apologies. I'm don't have to ask for forgiveness. And then all of a sudden, extra stressed. Oh, I dropped that. I forgot that.

Kathryn:             I didn't show up, I didn't realize, I forgot to look at my calendar.

Michael:             I didn't do the extra communication.

Kathryn:             Yeah. So that's an easy one to assess, is just look at how are you getting things done and showing up where you're supposed to-

Michael:             And quite frankly-

Kathryn:             And tolerating people when you get there.

Michael:             Well, and the people with the most dependability, and a lot of people who own and run businesses, we're dependable. We show up, we stay there, we're getting stuff done, we know there's deadlines. If we don't, we know what the consequences are, business suffers. We don't want to have to let somebody go if we don't have to. But when we're all stressed, things drop between through the cracks. And we just have to evaluate that. So if you have any kind of pattern there of your own personal dependability, that's a great short term, early signal. And or if it's been going on too long-

Kathryn:             And as a leader, if you see someone who's normally dependable and suddenly isn't, they're having trouble so it's a good place to go. Okay, what's happening there and how do I help them write the ship?

Michael:             And here's a great thing. If somebody comes up to you and says, is everything okay? You're not usually this, don't bite their head off. See that as a phenomenal indicator because you might be so involved in the stress or the concerns you have or there's a lot riding on your shoulders.

Kathryn:             You don't realize how you're coming across.

Michael:             And that's something, patience-

Kathryn:             Patience.

Michael:             Five scale lawn dart, totally awesome. When we're talking about patients, these are all personal orientations stuff. Tolerance, dependability, patience. Again, tolerance and patient, there's a lot of-

Kathryn:             Yeah. A lot of overlap.

Michael:             A lot of overlap there. So let's move on to personal perspective because I think we all get that. View of work, morale and drive. So what's interesting is personal perspective and personal reserves, it's how much energy do you have to actually feed or give yourself tolerance, dependability, patience, give yourself energy and to fight the stressors. Because if the stressors are high, but you have a really high view of work, or a high view of the work you do, you like it, you enjoy it. That gives you a lot of tolerance. It allows you to work harder. And because some things and stress, aren't just, things are going wrong. You apply stress when you put too much strain, you work the body too long. You try and pay attention too much. You don't exercise, you don't have the fuel in there. You don't have the exercise is great because it doesn't just build muscles and stuff. It keeps you limber. It actually helps burn off some of those chemicals that come with stress, right?

Kathryn:             I need to exercise.

Michael:             As your eyes are rolling back.

Kathryn:             I know, I need to exercise.

Michael:             So your view of work, positive, again, five chart or five point scale, how are you doing? Because odds are, if there's a lot of stress and everything else and it's been going on too long, your view of work's starting to slide. I don't like this job. I don't like my clients. I don't like my employees. I don't like my life, which is not me. I just want to clarify there.

Kathryn:             He's not saying that like it's true.

Michael:             Okay, morale.

Kathryn:             Yeah. I mean morale's again, these are the things that help you identify if your stress levels are super high, like how's your morale? Do you feel hopeful? Do you feel encouraged? Do you feel whatever the problem is in front of you, you can solve it or is it like woe is me, are you having your place? If it ever gets better, which it probably won't.

Michael:             And then there, you have your drive in that quadrant. So you've got this drive of, how much drive do I have? Right now I've got a lot of drive. I've got some stressors right now with our workload and what's going on in some of the projects we are involved in, and a couple that we chose.

Kathryn:             Chosen our own chaos.

Michael:             I chose my own chaos. And so my drive is high, but my stress is also a little high, also because there is going to be an opening day. There is going to be a point where the curtain does go up, and there is an audience there, and it's either going to be done or not. The actors are either going to have costumes or they're going to be naked. And it ain't that kind of show.

Kathryn:             Well, and Michael mentioned earlier, you test these things over. I mean, you're looking them over the course of time, not just today, single point in time, because if you ask me about my drive this week, I had a migraine for three days, I am whooped. So I do not have high drive this week, but that is not normal.

Michael:             It's not a normal indicator.

Kathryn:             There's a personal stressor, it happened to be physical, that has absolutely created some inhibited work drive. And a little bit of, I mean, whenever you're physically struggling, it's hard to keep your morale and all of those things moving forward quickly. So those things are just real. So it's over a period of time. Like, how's your drive, how's your morale? How are you viewing your work?

Michael:             Yeah. And these are all perspectives or mindsets, right? This is where mindset really kicks in. And then you have the fourth quadrant that we were talking about, and these are personal reserves. How we see ourselves, our own personal self-esteem?

Kathryn:             That's so important.

Michael:             Our role satisfaction, are we in the right role? Are we doing the right things? And then motivation, if we're in the wrong role for multiple reasons, that can start to affect us, but we could be in something that we don't enjoy, we could be in something that we want to be in, but isn't a good fit for us, because sometimes we're like, I'm in a hurry. Or I think I should be able to get to a certain point perspective in my career or size of company. We should be a $3 million company right now. Or we should be a $5 million company right now. Or we should be profitable right now,

Michael:             Depending on where you are when you're listening. And you're like, okay, sometimes our estimation of where we should be, our expectations where we should be and where we are, are not aligned properly. And that alone can affect our role satisfaction too sometimes. And then motivation, what's our motivation? How is our motivation, motivation and drive are right next door to each other. So they're neighbors, but those kind of factors of self-esteem, role satisfaction and motivation. We're looking at this as stressors, but we're also looking at them as tools of engagement. I mean, these are our measurements of engagement. How engaged am I? And stress can really take away my ability to be engaged.

Michael:             And these are things that we can also work on. These are 12 attributes in four categories that we've talked about today. These are those things that we want you to be paying attention to and a level of which you could say, what am I doing to take care of stuff? What am I doing to make sure that I'm doing okay or I'm not doing okay on a daily, weekly basis, we need to be checking in and making sure that self-care is, we're paying attention stuff so that we're not wearing away our ability to be resilient, but we are being resilient. Well, what do you think, Kathryn, Kathryn Jane.

Kathryn:             Audience member, talk to us.

Michael:             When we start to talk about this on a daily basis, what do you find to be really helpful in that at least something to do every day in your self-care? What's important that you know that if it's there, you're going to be doing better, if it's not, everything else is going to wear on you more.

Kathryn:             Yeah. I think for me, it's for sure taking a few minutes in the morning to orient myself and to gain perspective. So I'm a journaler, so if I can take, even if it's just 15 minutes, to sit on my back deck and breathe and process a little bit, think about the things that are coming in the day and just mentally prepare. And a lot of that, it's just perspective, right? Just to sit back and go, okay, in the big picture of life, whereas today, and is there anything that's concerning me and what's that about? And how do I approach the day? The other thing is probably, then I'll say this with full confession, that exercise is also really helpful. I'm not doing a very good job of that, but definitely that quiet few minutes in the morning to just gain perspective, as opposed to hitting the day straight out the gate and trying to play catch up from the beginning.

Michael:             So I mean the habit that you've been engaging in lately that I have a little bit different version of myself, not quite as much as do, is that 10 minutes or so in the morning and 10 minutes or so in the evening that has-

Kathryn:             The pre and post.

Michael:             Yeah. That's really been good. And, I find that on days I don't do that, they build on me and I get into a couple of days of feeling frazzled, a little disconnected, it's harder for me to wrap my mental arms around everything that's going on in all the different responsibilities that we have. There are a number of different things you can do. I'm going to run through just as we finish today, probably about a dozen questions, really quick that you could use for a checkpoint. And if you're listening today, I really encourage you to go back and listen to this episode again, because you want to know about these four categories in these 12 areas that we talked about, and you want to give some thought to it, but here's some questions if you were to sit and right now you have the ability, whether you're taking a run or sit and listen in the car, whatever you're doing, think about these questions.

Michael:             Are there any special events on this date? Calendar events can impact our stress and what's going on. Are there any recurring events on this day of the week? Things that are just normal patterns that I have to pay attention to, does anybody need my specific help today? Am I going to be required to give out and help other people today or do I have a schedule that allows me to focus on my stuff? Do I have any deadlines within a week from today, work or home, allows us to get a little bit bigger context. How is my sleep, amount or quality last night? How was my sleep, the amount and quality last night? Who does a phenomenal job of talking about sleep and the power of sleep and really elevating a lot of the research and impacts and everything is Ariana Huffington, she's done a phenomenal job.

Michael:             She's got some great stuff on YouTube and different things like that because even when she sold the Huffington post, she went and started a company that was like, okay, how do we work in larger companies? How do people have larger companies that have lots of employees and still create a healthy environment? How do those employees have a healthy process? And she's just the amount of sleep, we heard a keynote of from her a few years back on that before COVID all right. How does my health feel today? Check in with your body. How's my health feel? What about my mood or temperament? That of my family? So what's going on? What's the mood and temperament, or mood and temperament of my family?

Kathryn:             Let me see this nice blend of work questions and personal life questions.

Michael:             Was I on time, late, or rushed this morning? That's really big. Where did I sit? I was on time this morning getting up and getting going and getting to my meeting. But I ended up about late morning around 11 o'clock this morning, all of a sudden realizing I felt like I was that guy on the barrel, spinning in the water. And I felt like I was behind. I felt like I was just trying. I wasn't quite on top of it. And I had to stop and breathe and regain my center because I realized I was responding to the first five questions I was asked this morning at the office, like I was stressed and bothered and behind. And I really wasn't. I mean-

Kathryn:             You exhibited a little tolerance.

Michael:             Yeah, I did-

Kathryn:             No patience.

Michael:             Well, yeah. I was like, sometimes I'm like, oh, how are you doing? Oh, I'm just stressed. And we take it as a badge of honor. Anyway, was there anything? Not at hand that I needed this morning? I like that. I don't like the phrasing of it, but was everything I needed at hand, or was there anything that I needed that I couldn't get my hands on it easily. So it delayed me getting a project started or working on it or whatever. Sometimes that just stops me cold, it's like, well, I don't have three things I need. Now I got to go find those three things and I don't get stuff done and then I'm behind the eight ball. What will I eat for lunch and dinner? Okay. I like this question a lot.

Kathryn:             I hate this question.

Michael:             I know you do. And the reason I love this question is because you set yourself up and sometimes I do, but you're doing great, but you don't think about lunch and then you get to three o'clock and you haven't eaten, but you've been grinding away. And then your body starts to just-

Kathryn:             Crash.

Michael:             Yep.

Kathryn:             The standing joke in my family is even when my daughter was nine, she would call me when I was working for a different company, before we started half a bubble out, she would call me at work sometimes and be like, "Mom, it's two o'clock, have you eaten?" That's kind of sad that she had to check-

Michael:             She asked three nights ago, or five nights ago-

Kathryn:             Do I need to start doing that again-

Michael:             To start asking you at work, have you eaten?

Kathryn:             I know.

Michael:             And eating a three o'clock lunch for your first meal a day. I mean, you're not a one meal a day keto type of person, you're not doing that. So your body's not used to it and you don't recover quickly. It fries you out. And the older we get, all of us need to realize, the older we get, especially over 50, some of this stuff, it takes it out of us faster. And it's harder for us to restore the energy. When will I exercise today? We won't talk about that anymore. What challenges do my-

Kathryn:             Easy, I won't.

Michael:             What challenges do my family and friends have within the week? What challenges do my family and friends have within the week? Could be basic challenges. One of our dear friends, their kids in rehab, and they didn't know he was going into rehab until a week ago, or a week and a half ago.

Kathryn:             No, there was an issue.

Michael:             So not only did they have massive challenges, they're close enough to us that I was engaged and stuff like that, which reminds me, I've got calling him today. Is anything in particular weighing on me today? What must get done today? And finally, what can I prepare today that will help me tomorrow? I like that last one because I've been thinking about late, because I realize I don't take 10 or 15 minutes at the end of my work day or even five minutes at the end of my work day, look at tomorrow's schedule, see if everything's ready, prepping. I'm trying to do it more, but it's not easy. And it's something that I'm trying to add to my schedule. And I think if we can continue to take a moment and think about those questions and make them more of a habit in our life on a daily basis, we will be more set up to be engaged, have the energy we need and be resilient against stress.

Michael:             So today's topic, about stress and somewhat about self-care, but really paying attention to those topics. Some of these topics and going, how can I pay attention? These are indicators of categories. And a lot of times when people say, can you list the categories? We cannot. Hopefully this is helpful today, to really understand as we journey this process of being leaders in a VUCA world, when things might be going great, even things can be going great. And you can be growing your company for X this year and still be stressing completely because of all the different pain points. We've seen it, we've done it, we've survived it. And some days I wish I don't know how we survived it, but we did. And we want to continue to go, these are important things to think about, you and the people around you that work for you, with you and your loved ones will thank you.

Kathryn:             Well, and we want to thank you just for taking a little time to listen. It's fun for us to do this, but it's only fun if we know that it's actually being helpful. So would you subscribe, share, tell your friends, anything you can do to help us continue to spread the word that it is possible to have both passion and provision in your life. And as leaders, we want to help you come to the place where you are consistently thinking about your own development as a leader, as a whole leader, and you're consistently thinking about your whole business. So let us know what questions you have, share with your friends, hit like, subscribe, whatever it is you do.

Michael:             And we hope you have a great week. I'm Michael Redman.

Kathryn:             And I'm Kathryn Redman.

Michael:             And this is the HaBO Village podcast. Thanks for joining us.

Kathryn:             Bye.