It’s the last video in our series for Stress Awareness Month. We’ve talked about apathy and anhedonia, a deep sense of fatigue, and finding it hard to shut off. Tip number four is about mood and personality problems, and how they can indicate stress.
Examples of Mood and Personality Problems
Now, this one is slightly different to the others in that someone else might notice it before you do. Perhaps they’ve noticed you’re not your usual effervescent self, or maybe they’ll be a little more pointed. You may be experiencing a loose temper or increased irritability, and quicker to react as a result. Or, it could be the opposite, which we call passive demonstrations of chronic stress and burnout. These include feeling weary, sad or low-level depressed, for example. It could manifest through a reluctance to engage, no longer being a team player or missing deadlines. All of these are classed as mood and personality problems, and signs you are either becoming stressed or already suffering from chronic stress.
What to do
It’s necessary to point out these signs aren’t circumstantial, and would happen over longer periods. It’s perfectly normal to experience small bouts of stress, however these can become overwhelming if left to build up over time. Therefore, I cannot emphasise how important it is that you don’t ignore these signs. If you’re experiencing mood or personality problems, step back, take a break, create opportunities for slivers of recovery. Get some deliberate rest and take a look at what you’ve got going on. Try to prioritise, reorder, or delegate. Alternatively, speak to your partner, friend, doctor or manager – get someone close on side to help you approach things differently. It’s not likely to be a quick fix, but you don’t have to go through it alone.
Tips and Resources
Hopefully this series has given you a few ideas of how to recognise the signs you are heading towards chronic stress – from lack of motivation or ability to derive pleasure to mood and personality problems. Following on from this, we produce content on a very consistent basis to help you achieve a better or different balance, which you can access here. We’ve also created a helpful resource called The 12 Stages of Burnout, which will teach you more about what to look out for. Bookmark it, print it out and put it up on the wall. Keep it close so you’ve got a measure for stress, and tips on-hand for steering well clear of it.
Finally, in my book, Rise and Shine, I share my own experience and tips to show you how to spot the signs of professional burnout, recover, and go on to enjoy a happier, healthier life and career – sign up and get the first chapter free.