Ask Sheree: Owning Your Personal Power During Work Stress

Ask Sheree: Owning Your Personal Power During Work Stress

Dear Sheree, I am a seasoned professional with an MSW (Master of Social Work) who has worked a little over a year in a senior residence.  A management change has resulted in my current duties of caring for our senior clients being expanded to include managing our 24-hour concierge desk.  The last person who worked in this position was assigned to it exclusively and whenever it was needed, often had to come in during the middle of the night to come in to cover a shift. While I have not assumed this responsibility yet, since being informed of the change my head starts to hurt each morning on my drive to work.  In addition to my job, I am the mother of an active 2-year-old with a husband who travels for work. My husband wants me to quit but I feel a responsibility to my senior clients and don’t want to just leave.  –Overwhelmed

Dear Overwhelmed, I can well understand your stress level escalating to the point where you are manifesting headaches. I take my hat off to every parent who is trying to balance work and his or her commitment to family. It sounds like your husband wants to you immediately resign and you are struggling because you enjoy the job you were originally hired to do.

It is very common for organizations to opt not to rehire when a person leaves and instead roll over the responsibilities to either one or a few employees. When this happens many people feel overwhelmed and stressed to the point where health challenges develop. My first question is when was your last physical? In extremely emotional times, health problems often get worse. It is not uncommon for caregivers (social workers) to be so involved with caring for other people they forget to take care of themselves. If you have not scheduled a health exam this year, please do so.

Once you determine that there are no major health issues associated with your headaches, here are four ways to own your personal power during extremely stressful periods in life.

Accept that everything in life is temporary. Rather than fighting the change that is occurring, allow yourself to meditate on the idea that this is an opportunity for growth.   Being open allows us to stay fully grounded and to help maintain balance. Many times we perceive change as a negative, when in reality it is a necessary stage in our growth and development. I can imagine you feel overwhelmed with both your career changes as well as being the primary parent for your child. Realize that life is a constant series of changes, and in our human experience we must practice nimble thinking and adapt when it is necessary. It is time to be open to the fact that your current organization may not be the last step in your career journey.

Be in a state of non-resistance. Whenever we attempt to fight or resist change, the feeling of fear intensifies. The best way to shift out of feeling afraid is to replace that emotion with hope and gratitude. Many people are facing major career changes and learning how to handle this period will serve as a training ground for future challenges you will face. It is time to update your résumé and network with others in and outside of your field. Your educational background and training are invaluable in a variety of career choices. Open your mind and start to begin to believe that you have options.

Own your personal energy. Each of us has an energy field that surrounds our body known as our aura. When we stay fearful, our energetic field presents like “Swiss cheese.” The holes in our auric field signify that we feel depleted and drained by what we are going through in our life. Staying in a balanced energy field requires that you maintain a healthy mind-body connection even in the midst of major upheaval. We always have a choice–even if it is to adapt ourselves to a bad situation. Change is inevitable in life. During stressful times one of the first things that let many of us know when we have gotten overwhelmed is when our sleep pattern gets disrupted. The ultimate release we can experience in life is letting everything go and sleeping through the night. Waking up refreshed also gives our minds access to new ideas and concepts to handle any challenge we are facing. Make sleep a priority for yourself as you navigate this period of growth.

Embrace your personal power. Claim your personal power by meditating daily on believing that you have a bright future. And, as soon as possible, speak with your HR department; it may not change the outcome of the additional responsibility you have been asked to do, but you owe it to yourself to schedule an appointment to discuss your issue.  In addition, most companies have free mental health services to help their employees deal with stress. The HR department should have pamphlets and handouts of service available to employees. Review your health benefits and determine if this is covered and consider scheduling an appointment to discover your options with a non-involved third party.

Intuitive Life Strategist Sheree Franklin helps people to find the courage to release their life challenges in order to live in alignment with their true self.

She is the author of Intuition: The Hidden Asset Everyone Should Learn to Use.  To learn more about Franklin’s book go to

Sheree Franklin is a practitioner at Holistic Health Practice at One East Superior, in Chicago. You can email your questions at Her practice includes one-to-one coaching as well as speaking to organizations. For more information go to or call 312-664-8376.