“I’m trying my best, but people can be rude – yelling and causing scenes about things that I don’t have control over! It’s a lot some days”

From staffing to inventory, there are a lot of shortages these days and it can be particularly overwhelming as we get closer to the holidays. Most people working in hospitality, grocery stores, restaurants, shopping centers, and other positions with a lot of public interfaces have felt stress and anxiety these days.

Customer service workers are interacting day in and out with strangers. Raising hostility from the customers can burn out service workers – continuing the cycle of shortages. They are on the frontlines, so when the public panics, they are the first to deal with it. They are struggling to manage their underlying fear while trying to stay safe and get their jobs done.

If you are a customer service worker and find yourself struggling with stress and anxiety at work, it may negatively impact your self-worth and cause you to doubt yourself. If you ever find yourself questioning your worth after a stressful day, try this quick activity:

Take a dollar bill such as $10 and ask yourself how much is it worth?

Of course, it is worth face value. Now crumble it, step on it, fold it and unfold it. Now straighten it out. How much is it worth now? Of course, the worth is the same. This symbolizes that no matter how much we feel crushed or stepped on, we are still worth the same. Our self-worth never changes.

Stressful environments and situations shouldn’t dictate one’s self-worth but the truth is sometimes we can internalize our negative experiences. It’s important to remember that how others treat us is not a reflection of us – their actions represent them. So…being polite and courteous during these times goes a long way! Practicing patience, kindness, and compassion toward ourselves and others can help manage some of these stressors.

Here are a couple of things you can also try to elevate some of the pressure…

Take a break…

Go outside for a couple of minutes or take a bathroom break. Allow some time for you to get out of the environment and take a drink of water or get some air.

Deep breathing…

Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, take a long deep breath, hold it for four seconds – and then exhale. Try to repeat this exercise 2-3 times daily. This technique is simple yet powerful. When you inhale and exhale, it helps soothe your nerves and reduce stress.

Think of your favorite place

Imagine what it would be like to be there at that moment. Our imagination is very powerful. Tune into your five senses and imagine what it would smell like, what you would see, and how you would be feeling there.

Talk to your colleagues…

Chances are you are not the only one feeling this way. This allows you to connect and foster relationships by bonding over similar experiences.

Listen to music…

Music helps lower blood sugar, reduce heart rate, and decrease anxiety. Put on your favorite playlist during your lunch break and clear your mind! Get yourself mentally ready for your shift. Be mindful of the type of music you listen to and try to keep it soothing or upbeat.

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