Monast Law Office - April 2020

Workers’ COMPanion

LAW OFFICE MONAST

APRIL 2020

www.monastlaw.com | 614-334-4649 | 5000 Arlington Centre Blvd. Bldg 2, Suite 2117, Upper Arlington, OH 43220-2913

ROBOTS IN WENDY’S WHEN STRESS OVERTAKES OUR LIFE

R ecently, I had some time between hearings and treated myself to lunch at Wendy’s. This counted as a treat because I actually went into the restaurant instead of just going through the drive-thru. Nothing like enjoying my french fries nice and hot! When I walked in, I wasn’t greeted by someone behind the cash register, but by an automatic kiosk where I just punched in my order. I’ve seen machines like this before, but I didn’t expect to find one in a Wendy’s. It’s yet another way automation is encroaching on the workforce. Automation has become a huge concern for workers today. Many of my clients express concern about taking time off due to an injury because, if they take too much time off, then their employers might replace them in a few years with some robot that never takes time off. For many people, this is a huge source of stress, one of many we face in our daily lives, and one that will likely get worse. April is National Stress Awareness Month. It’s not surprising that we need a whole month to talk about stress. In a 2019 Gallup poll, 55% of Americans reported feeling stressed during the day, which makes our country’s population one the most stressed in the world. No one needs to be reminded of their stress, but we could certainly use some help managing it.

If you’re feeling stressed out all the time, one thing I recommend is finding a supportive group of people to share your feelings with. These groups can be very helpful if you have depression or anxiety. I’ve met with certain groups for years (I’ve had lots of crazies in my family), and it helps a lot. I can be easily overwhelmed by frustration and stress in my life, especially if I don’t nip it in the bud. If you’re a spiritual person, then it can also help to connect with your faith. Pray. Sing songs of your faith. Talk with a trusted friend, small group, pastor, rabbi, or the like who can support you. There’s saying I think is true: Shared joy is doubled; shared sorrow is halved. Another way to combat stress? Cut down on social media. If you’re on Twitter a lot, it’s easy to think the whole world is going to hell in a handbag. Meanwhile on Facebook, you can fall in the trap of comparing your life to the carefully curated versions of people’s lives that they post online. We tend to compare our insides with other people’s outsides, so it’s easy to become depressed when you think everyone else is doing so much better than you are. I enjoy going on social media, but I limit my time and remind myself to maintain some perspective. Studies confirm that people tend to be more depressed the more time they spend on Facebook! Good grief, life is challenging enough without adding that to the mix!

One strategy I use to maintain perspective and deal with stress is to keep a gratitude journal. It’s as simple as sitting down and writing out some things you’re grateful for. If you have a hard time thinking of things, try going in alphabetical order. Each day, think of just one thing you are grateful for that corresponds with a letter of the alphabet. Look back over it periodically and remind yourself that there’s so much to be thankful for, even when it doesn’t always feel like it. We all have a certain idea of how our lives will turn out. When the unexpected happens, which we know it will, it can feel like the end of a dream. No one wakes up in the morning thinking they will get injured at work, get divorced, or lose a loved one. These unexpected events can quickly send us spiraling down with stress and depression. It’s important to remember that your control over life ends at the tip of your nose. We can’t control how life will play out, but we can control how we respond to it. Remember: This too shall pass. Whether you’re stressed about your work-related injury, the possibility of losing your job to automation, or that you still need to go grocery shopping, remember that your stress is valid. It’s a tough spot to be in, but there’s hope in everything. And people can help you through whatever stress you’re facing. That includes us at Monast Law Office. If you ever need someone to talk to, please give us a call. I know lots of you already do, and that’s a good thing in my book.

“One strategy I use to maintain perspective and deal with stress is to keep a gratitude journal.”

–Jim Monast

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