I’ve been driving the Struggle Bus for a couple of months now. If you know what Bus I am referring to, please read on.. The Bus isn’t consistent, doesn’t stop when you need it to, and usually shows up at the most inconvenient times. It hasn’t taken me anywhere this summer except for countless sleepless and anxiety-filled nights, and maybe to a few random panic attacks during the day.
Some of you have been on the Bus with me – I’ve seen you and recognize that you also may qualify to drive the Struggle Bus. I don’t know where we picked up the qualifications for this less than prestigious honor, but it appears they are now part of our resume until we can disembark the Bus and move on with our lives and careers.
How do we get off the Bus and which at stop?
Is it safe to get your footing while the Bus is barreling along in our minds and throwing our psyche from one seat to another?
Really, though. There isn’t much of an option here because if we don’t get off the bus it will eventually crash and take us with it. I don’t have the answers on how to move toward the exit door because if I did, we wouldn’t be having this discussion as I would have already jumped out.
Here are 10 steps I am taking to get off the Struggle Bus, and in no particular order. If you are driving your own Bus, take some time and implement one of these steps every day.
Put down the electronics. Social Media isn’t updating quickly enough that you need to stare at it for hours and hours every day. The news is the news and seriously, how many times do you need to search for the secret ingredient or who really is behind a conspiracy theory? While our speedy little hand-held devices are detrimental to communication and business in general, they are also managing to suck the creative life and attentive abilities right out of us.
Clean up one pile a day. Somewhere in your realm there is a pile of receipts, files, laundry, dishes, general junk… you get the picture. Clean one pile every day and make that space available in your head as well.
Organize that monster that you are avoiding. It may be the bills you can’t afford to pay, it may be work files, it may be any number of personal issues. The fact of the matter is that the monster is not going to go away, so look it in the eye and make a strategic plan of attack. Then stick to the plan.
Communicate. This is far easier said than done, especially for those of us who prefer to sit on the Bus in silence and hope no one sparks up conversation. It’s okay to tell people you’re driving the Struggle Bus. It’s okay to be vulnerable and ask for patience and guidance.
Get interested and learn. We often end up on the Struggle Bus because we have lost interest in our careers, we don’t have enjoyable hobbies, and we have become bogged down with negativity and an overwhelming sense of loss. Find something new (or old) that you like to do, like to read about, or like to participate in.
Eat something besides potato chips and cereal. Fresh vegetables and whole foods make a difference not only nutritionally, but mentally. Have you ever heard the saying “garbage in, garbage out”? We won’t get off the Struggle Bus if we don’t have the fuel to do so.
Go outside. Open the windows. Get some air. Do something besides sitting in your Struggle Bus seat. The air in this Bus is stifling.
Support other people. Support small businesses, support non-profits, support anyone or anything you believe in that makes you feel enthusiastic. You don’t have to spend money to be supportive. Sharing information, volunteering to help, and simply being encouraging can go so, so far.
Update your resume. You may not be looking for a different career or position right now, but it’s important to have an updated resume ready in case that dream position becomes available; not to mention you will be pleasantly surprised at your marketable skills and abilities once you put them on paper. Preferred resume formatting changes frequently, so be sure to research the most recent trends.
Just be nice. We don’t all like each other and that is a fact of society. But we can be compassionate and understand that everyone has been on the Struggle Bus at one time or another.
October 10 is World Mental Health Day.
If you are struggling, there are many resources available to guide you through. Utilize your health benefits not only for physical needs, but mental as well. Use your employer-sponsored EAP. Join a support group. Most importantly, remember you are not driving an empty Struggle Bus. There are many passengers that we don’t see who are trying just as hard to get off the Bus. Reach out to friends, family, and colleagues if you think the Bus is going faster than you can handle.
Get off your Struggle Bus and find a new career or position! Manage My Humans can assist you with finding a new, interesting career by guiding you through the basics of career searches, continuing education, and writing a dynamic resume. Contact us today to discuss your endless possibilities!