Melissa at NaBloPoMo on BlogHer asks, "DO YOU WORK WELL UNDER PRESSURE?"
Well, yes and no.
I think some pressure helps, what they call in psychology, 'eustress'. For example, I have acted in quite a number of stage plays. There is a certain amount of stress encountered on opening night. After all, it is the culmination of six to eight weeks of work. Most actors have a 'day job' as well, or go to school - in other words, a life full of obligations. You want the audience to enjoy the play. You want to remember your lines and cues. And when you come off the stage for the first time on opening night, there's a lot of fist-pumping, end-zone style dancing going on. Eustress spurs you on to greater accomplishments and satisfaction.
Distress, the opposite of eustress, well ... sucks. I remember one day, on the way to my job at a residential facility for adults with MR/DD, stopping in at the doctor's office for some samples of one of my medications. They refused to see me due to a small, unpaid bill. I left the crowded office in tears. By the time I got to work, I knew my blood pressure was dangerously high. Before reporting, I asked the cottage nurse to check my blood pressure. She took the reading, and then went to get her supervisor. The supervisor confirmed it at 212/120. I tried to call my husband because they wanted to take me to the hospital. I could not dial my phone and was having trouble talking.
The tricks, if you can call them that, is to:
- prepare for challenges as best you can.
- find a way to vent your stress (which is probably different for everybody) so it doesn't affect your health.
So after all that, to answer Melissa's question - I believe I do work well under pressure, for the most part. Whatever the situation, I can usually hold it together until the crisis is past. After the pressure dissipates, how hard and for how long I crash depends on how I have prepared myself beforehand and how well I am able to vent the pressure.
What about you? Do you work well under pressure? What is your best stress-relief tip? Leave a comment and let us know!