Phone a Friend
ONE DAY NOT LONG AGO, I sat at my desk staring at pages and pages of data: the results of a huge survey on stress we’d conducted with the nonprofit HealthyWomen and the communications firm GCI Health. The numbers were fascinating but overwhelming, and I was, well, stressed by them. So I emailed the (many) spreadsheets to one of the smartest writers I know, Sandy Fernández, and we set up a time to talk.
Sandy and I mostly work together over email because we’re both so busy (and stressed!), but talking to her was worth every minute. Together, she and I were able to think in a deeper way about how to turn the data into a helpful story. We caught up on personal stuff too—how our sons were, what mutual acquaintances were up to— and I hung up feeling lighter about work and life.
When you’re on edge, do you keep it to yourself, thinking that you should be able to handle it or maybe that you don’t want to burden anyone? You’re not alone, but when you read Sandy’s article on page 34, I hope you’ll see things differently. We can’t usually make our stress go away—our concerns often relate to things we really care about, after all. But when we talk about our stressors in a real way, we can start to control how we react to them.
Our survey found that gift-giving creates a lot of holiday anxiety, so find some time this season to connect with someone: Ask what’s bothering her and share what’s hard for you. It’s a surprisingly perfect present to give each other.
WHO’S STRESSED? Well, writer Sandy Fernández and I often are, but not when we’re together!