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  • Amirah Ahmad Shah

Under Pressure!

Updated: Apr 13

Bringing back ⚜️"Under Pressure"⚜️ by Queen:

Lyrics cover mental stress, and coping styles such as compassion, social support and Rock 'n' Roll!


“Mmm num ba de

Dum bum ba be

Doo buh dum ba beh beh


Pressure pushing down on me

Pressing down on you, no man ask for

Under pressure that burns a building down

Splits a family in two

Puts people on streets


'Cause love's such an old fashioned word

And love dares you to care for

The people on the edge of the night

And love (people on streets) dares you to change our way of

Caring about ourselves

This is our last dance

This is our last dance

This is ourselves under pressure

Under pressure

Pressure” 🎸🎼


Unemployment, Possible Unemployment & All the other Pressures

We are productive in such different ways these days.

We find competing priorities that were never in the same ‘time box’ before.


On top of financial demands and uncertainties, there heaps of other things to attend suddenly, and all at once:


- Activities for kids

- Improving home office situation for Zoom meetings

- Actual work

- Phone calls

- Piling emails

- Laundry

- That leak

- oh and breakfast, lunch and dinner with pantry staples

- And exercise

- And more work.


And on top of all those pressures, we add more internal ones with our inner ‘should’ and ‘musts’: “If I don’t produce a stellar report by tonight, I might not get to hold onto my job much longer with this Covid-19 situation,” or “I can’t leave home with dirty dishes in the sink.”


This part of us want to be better, better than our yester-selves, and others. Do more. We are harsh, unrelentingly critical. Sometimes its conscious, or even on a whiteboard, sometimes its unconscious. For some reason, despite the employment or education changes occurring because of Covid-19, it is still as if we ARE 'another brick in the wall.'


We still are Under Pressure.


A different kind of pressure- PLUS the same kind of pressure we had prior to the pandemic. This means that we are possibly running our dopamine (feel good hormone) circuits much too often.


Dopamine is released when we meet our goals, as if it tracks our expected results. For example- finished replying to 50 emails, mowed the lawn in under 20 minutes during a mid-morning study break. But when we give ourselves unreasonable expectations too much, and we do not meet them, we feel a dip in our mood, an uneasiness, flat, dejected, disappointed, and maybe even frustrated. So to avoid that, we try extremely hard to meet our high expectations- we want more.


But punishing the dopamine circuit has consequences.


How?


Well, evolutionarily, we needed it for survival. Now we need it for complex emotions and thoughts, for life-threatening emergencies, necessary marathons of effort, and of course exams!


And by keeping the dopamine circuit in constant activation, the stress-response system is chronically switched on- giving us many short and long-term physical and mental health concerns. Examples include poor sleep, chronic anxiety, weight fluctuations and so on. With more pressures, comes more anxieties- so cull away the ones that are probably self-inflicted.


So let’s Ease the Pressure.


Easier said than done- I know.


But let’s try anyway.


- Remind yourself of your strengths

- Love others, and use some of that wisdom on yourself

- Give yourself gift of time during the day to disconnect

- Do not forsake your passions

- Be aware of ‘shoulds’ and ‘musts’

- Re-evaluate the ‘shoulds’ and musts’

- Listen to your body

- Listen to your body (Yes, it’s that important that its worth mentioning twice- in succession)

- Lower your expectations a tiny bit

- Be present

- Be realistic



And of course, ‘Be realistic’ by choosing one new item listed above each day. To sum up, the key takeaway message is that:


You have some leeway and choice in easing the pressures.


The takeaway song for this post is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a01QQZyl-_I


So click on the link and treat yourself 😉


And if you are feeling under pressure, please do not hesitate to reach out to Road to Recovery for a session at No Cost at all.


Till next post, keep well!

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