This week’s article was written by DIZPOT’s Warehouse and Delivery Coordinator, Shaine Pettiette. Shaine spent four years in the U.S. Marines as a Technical Controller and Weapons Specialist. He deployed to Afghanistan for a year and left the Marines as a Sergeant. As DIZPOT Warehouse Coordinator he manages the cleanliness, safety, and organization of the warehouse, he also preps receiving and delivery shipments. He has been an excellent addition to the DIZPOT team and a beacon of joy throughout his time here. In this article, Shaine discusses how he has personally dealt with stress in his life and how his life has changed through trust, patience, and compassion. At the DIZPOT family we have come together and given our perception of and experiences with stress, this article written by Shaine, with input from Ben Pitney, Beth Toci, Larry Jansen, and Grace Clough, we all hope to help everyone move forward and develop a healthy relationship with stress.
Stress is a significant factor in all our lives. As we realize how it impacts us and changes our behavior, we try to grow and develop different outlets that are healthier. Growing up, we go through challenges, and we learn subtle practices that can help us up to improve our relationship with stress, or we learn things that put us in perpetual states of discomfort. We develop friendships and relationships that add to our burdens. We grow up and must get jobs and learn how important money is, and how controlling cash is in our lives. We look back on our childhood and think of what should, would, could have been, and sometimes we get stuck there.
Immensely stressful situations that we get into narrow down our viewpoint and as we push ourselves through it, we figure out what is, and isn’t important. Friends we thought would be there, family members that could have helped but didn’t, and the total strangers that step up to the plate and save our lives. Stress is a curse and a blessing, and it’s figuring out how to deal with it determines how it will impact our lives.
Communication, when done encouragingly, can bring new bouts of incite, deeper trust, and can change the aura of an entire room. When communication is done in a damaging way, the effects can be lifelong if It’s not worked out and understood by all viewpoints. If communication breaks down, and painful feelings start to fester, it is vital to your relationship and your environment that things be discussed. As these feelings are ignored and pushed aside, the subconscious control takes over. Secluding yourself trying to manage it all alone and do what you think others expect of you with no help, will take its toll and cause damages either in your career or in your personal life. Learning who you can trust and who can help will take an immeasurable amount of stress off you. Growing to trust people after you have been betrayed is a terrifying, stressful situation, but there are people out there worth trusting.
Trust, trust must be developed. When you trust someone, you’ve given up a part of yourself to that person, you believe they will be there, you trust they will help you, you have effectively said, I’m not going to have to worry about this situation because if it goes wrong, that person will be there to help me through it and I know they will do whatever they can to make things better. Trust in your workplace can make a project go without a hiccup; trust in your friends can make even the most horrific situations seem not that bad because you’re not alone.
In life, stress has never been a friend of mine. When I was young and stressed, I basically wouldn’t eat. I’d go days without a full meal, and I’d maybe eat a slice of toast with butter on it. I’d cocoon in my room and dwell on what happened and never express to anyone what was going through my head. I’d then accept no one cared about me and with that thought, I’d get upset and hurt. With no healthy outlet, I’d sit and think and think and think. Wondering why, how, what I did to deserve this. As I grew up, I wasn’t able to shake this way of coping, as unhealthy as it was, I thought this was the best way to do it. After I came back from war, unable to process simple tasks such as driving or walking around a corner. I didn’t have a support network to tell me everything was okay. When I got back, I had my child taken away from me with the help of my family, and I felt I had no one, I was lost. I remember getting ready to end it all, because after all, what did I have?
Then, I met someone that I could trust and was understanding of what I had gone through. I was able to confide in this person and tell them how I messed up, what I did wrong, and how hurt I was. I was never judged, I was never looked down upon, my world changed. With the help of one person, I was able to reach out to my dad and develop a deeper relationship with him, and I was ready to fight in court to gain equal parenting time of my daughter, despite family doing everything they could to prevent that from happening. Exposing myself to someone trustworthy let me learn better, healthier ways of coping with the immense stresses’ life continues to put me through. Now I’m able to talk things out with others, and I’m able to eat, go to work, be a functioning member of society. I’m a part of my daughter’s life, which has taught me, above all else, how important I am.
The stresses of my childhood still haunt me to this day, but as I develop more healthy relationships, and learn more about myself day by day things get easier to deal with, and things become less significant.
Here are some ways my co-workers have dealt with and progressed through their stresses.
I’ve been fortunate enough to come from an excellent and loving family and have had consistent friends throughout most of my life. Recently when I get stressed, it helps to make up my mind about how I want things to go and quiet the discussion in my head. Being confident of precisely the direction I want to go allows me to work towards a goal. Another thing that has been pertinent to me living with a positive outlook has been running. Running helps balance me out and coming to work feeding off a runner’s high brightens up any morning. If I didn’t force myself to be active every day, I’d misplace a lot of energy and not be able to work as efficiently or motivated. I don’t think the human body was ever meant to outsmart mother nature. I think it needs a level of stress and cardio to get it working optimally. Every day I work on my patience and composer, sometimes it’s tough, and other days it comes naturally. Stevie Wonder said that “When your intentions are good, your destination is the brightest star.” He never said it was going to be easy.
Growing up, I wasn’t taught how to handle stress or emotions healthily. I was taught to bottle everything up and “tough it out,” being made to feel like expressing stress or processing emotions verbally was a burden to the people around me. As I grew into adulthood, I learned the hard way (through increasingly intense panic attacks, mental & emotional breakdowns, and now-chronic anxiety) that stress is not something to be ignored or bottled up. It can be challenging to process sometimes, so I’ve developed some methods to help me.
It’s okay to acknowledge how bad/difficult a situation is but remind yourself that you’re going to be okay. You have a 100% success rate for surviving every day so far, and you can get through this. Breathe deeply, inhale through your nose, and exhale out your mouth. I close my eyes when I do this.
Damage Control > Surrender Control
Do what you can to improve the situation or to prevent it from getting worse, then take a step back and allow yourself to let go of the things you can’t control.
Whatever you do for self-care or relaxation, do that. Work out, do some stretches or yoga to connect with your body, take a bath or shower, spend time with a pet, friend or loved one, indulge in a treat, play music that will help you focus and give you peace, clear your schedule and relax somewhere where you won’t be interrupted or bothered. Give yourself enough time for your mind to find equilibrium and your nerves to calm down. If you can, sleep! There’s truth to the adage “sleep on it”—it’s a great way to refresh and find a different perspective mentally.
Talk It Out
When you’ve had time to re-center your thoughts and emotions, start to verbalize them. Talking out loud has always helped me process emotions, and instantly makes me feel better about my situation. Talk with someone who knows you and is a good listener; being heard is essential when you need to let off steam so that you can get to the problem-solving. A close friend or family member can be an excellent resource for advice.
Most importantly, remember that you’re not alone. You have people who love you and are there to support you; all you have to do is reach out and let them know that you need support. You got this!
I deal with stress by working in clearly established outlets based on the severity of the situation. If it is minor, general anxiety, my primary methods of stress relief are hobbies that I keep myself actively engaged in (drums, cars, snowboarding). If the stress is related to a specific issue, I work as hard as I can to remedy factors within my control and let the rest take care of itself. If I am truly overwhelmed, I go to my friends and family that are removed from the situation for advice on how to move forward.
I believe it is vital to ask for help in times of stress, but don’t become reliant on it. Everyone needs to learn how to deal with stress in healthy, unique ways to them and learn how to work through complex problems. If there is not a clear solution to a situation, then asking for help is the best way forward from those who have more experience.
As a regularly stressed and anxious individual, I find that it always helps to expand my way of thinking and “zoom-out” from my problems to look at the bigger picture. Yoga and meditation also help me focus and align myself with the higher intentions of the universe. I am a medical marijuana patient as well, so using cannabis and CBD in different forms helps me sleep and eat better. Self-care is excellent and should be practiced when needed, but doing small things to brighten someone’s day is another way to release endorphins and feel good. When all else fails, seek out the support of your friends and loved ones – no one can carry the weight of the world on their own and shouldn’t try to. Asking for help can be scary, but not doing it and then having everything pile up and not being able to manage it is far more frightening.