2 Spuds in a Pod

Looking after your mental and physical wellbeing.

Tag: bullying

Manager’s tone and words

A bit of a different blog today about the tone and wording that could be used by a manager within a workplace. Rosie finds these situations a little bit raw to write about, so I have written it with input from Rosie.

How a manager uses words

This has come up this week in our house as Rosie has come across it at her workplace. Now there is a big difference between a good and bad manager. A good manager will look after their staff, help them to achieve the targets and ultimately lead the team to the best ability. A bad manager will not, it is as simple as that. In this instance they used a bullying tactics with Rosie. Now under no circumstance should that be allowed. However, with current society it does unfortunately happen more and more. What we will try and do over our blogs is paint the picture, tell you the difference and more importantly how to fix and keep yourself safe. 

The situation

Last week Rosie went to work as normal. She had four jobs to do that day and achieved them all. She then went to help two of her colleagues. At the end of the day she phoned the covering manager to sign off her day. The manager in question asked about her day then asked why she had taken so long on one particular job. Rosie explained it was not an easy job and she had to try several ways to get it sorted. Her manager asked if she had been skiving. Now if you knew Rosie you would know that she is a very hard worker and under no circumstance skives, she gets the job done. Rosie told this to the manager who responded with words of “I’ll just have to take your word for it then”. Rosie was shocked and the phone call ended. Now in my opinion that was a bad choice of words to come from a manager.  

What happened next

Rosie came home and I immediately knew from the hello at the front door all was not well, which is a great shame as an hour before Rosie was beyond happy that she had completed all the day’s tasks. A few moments after the hello saw the tears and mini meltdown. Rosie unfortunately with her mental health condition does not have the resilience at present to deal with that sort of comment, nor does she have the quick thinking to answer it. In my opinion even someone without a mental health condition would find that comment shocking.  

The gym

I took Rosie to the gym that evening, and we did tyre flips. I said to Rosie to put her feelings into that tyre and post flip throw that tyre down. Needless to say, she felt better after this outlet. Sometimes you just need exercise as an outlet to let your frustrations out. Go for a walk, go to your local gym and take a class or my personal favourite boxing. Trust me when I say it will help using exercise as a frustration buster.

A week later

Fast forward to this week. Rosie was on a job which took longer than expected and had to call the same manager to let them know. The response she had was “it’s too late in the day, do it yourself”. To me that was passing the buck and said manager didn’t want to get involved.  I was always taught as a manager to look after my team and to make sure all employees had hung up their tools before I had mine.  

My point

And this is the point I want to make. A bad manager can make your job an absolute misery but there are ways to keep yourself healthy and safe. First, know the difference between a good manager and a bullying one and if in any doubt ask someone about it. Rosie and I talked about his behaviour, and I was surprised to realise that Rosie did not even recognise his behaviour as bullying.

Second point

Secondly, exercise, find an outlet. Sometimes you need to punch something like a boxing bag or a pillow.  If you do not have an outlet try and find a healthy one or speak to us.  We recommend washing the car, going for a walk, call a friend, clean the house or something similar.  Do not bottle it up, dwell on it and let it fester.  Take is from us that it will only make it worse.  Use your outlet and remember you can always email 2 Spuds.  

– From Helen’s point of view with input from Rosie

Anxiety

I am pretty sure that this topic has touched a lot of us in one way or another. It could be that you are an anxiety sufferer. It may be that you have witnessed someone have an anxiety attack. It may be that a close friend or family member has been living with anxiety for years.

From time to time we will all feel a bit anxious.  We may feel anxious before a big test or exam. We could feel anxious that we must drive to a place we have never been to. It could be that you have invited your partner’s parents’ round for tea, and you want to impress them with your culinary skills. All these examples are good ones for anxiety and examples which will last for the time they are there and no longer. What I would like to talk about is someone who suffers from an anxiety mental health condition and who lives with the condition day in and day out.

Anxiety definition

According to the dictionary there are two definitions for anxiety.

One is:

“a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.”

And another is:

“Psychiatry, a nervous disorder marked by excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behaviour or panic attacks.”

Taken from Oxford English Dictionary.

And there you have it, the definitions of anxiety. However, as I have said I want to speak about what it is to live with anxiety day in and day out.

Anxiety everyday

This means everyday you live with constant worry and nervousness. According to the charity Mind there are several triggers for anxiety, and they are:

Past or childhood experiences including neglect as a child, bullying or social exclusion.

Your current life situation including being out of work, working long hours and not seeing family, money issues, bullying.

Physical and mental health problems including living with a serious or life-threatening health condition.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. If you speak to anyone who suffers from anxiety and ask them about triggers, I can guarantee that they will all be different from each other.

Triggers

The best thing you can do as an anxiety sufferer is know your triggers. This way you will be able to avoid them if needs be or be prepared for them. Obviously, this will take some time to do. It will be very hard if you are in the middle of being diagnosed with anxiety to know what a trigger could be. You may end up going through a few months where everything will be a trigger. This is nothing to worry about (I am fully aware that, that is easier said than done). It is because your anxiety is at the fore front of everything. Once you work at getting it under control it should settle down and you will hopefully be left with one or two triggers. You will hopefully be left with how to deal with an anxiety attack as well.

My main trigger would have to be bullying. I have been bullied both in school and in workplaces. It is the one thing that will rally my nerves, gets me wound up and leaves me feeling anxious. I have worked hard at keeping it under control and I now try to sort bullying out as soon as it starts rather than several weeks down the line.

BBC Anxiety and Me

There was a fantastic documentary on BBC one recently called Anxiety and Me. It was presented by Great British Bake Off’s winner Nadiya Hussain. The programme took the viewer through a journey on what it was like to live with anxiety. It also showed the viewer the realisation that you may need to speak to a professional as well as actually speaking to one. As far as I am aware it is still on BBC iPlayer. I would encourage you to watch it.

What is a panic attack?

So, as you can see anxiety can be a very debilitating condition to live with. The constant fear of what if this is to happen or what if that was to happen. Living with anxiety could also lead to a panic attack.

What is a panic attack and what does it feel like to have one? These are both great questions. Both Rosie and I have both had panic attacks at some point or other in our lives. Being individuals, we also have different symptoms.

The main symptoms according to NHS to look out for are:

Palpitations, sweating, shakiness in the hands, nausea, dizziness or hyperventilation.

For more symptoms please visit the NHS website.

Rosie’s symptoms are:
Pacing, cannot be still, struggling to talk, cannot make any decisions and crying.

My symptoms are:
Fast breathing, facial twitching, shaky legs which could then travel up the body to arms and torso, sweating.

As you can see there are a whole list of symptoms with regards to a panic attack. It will differ to each person.

How to help someone having a panic attack

Now, it can be very frightening to witness someone having a panic attack but it can also be extremely frightening if you have not had an attack before. The best way to deal with one is:

Keep calm. Either on your own or as the helper you must keep calm. There is no point in making a panic attack worse by panicking.

Move away from the situation to a quieter spot if you can. Moving away will help both yourself and the sufferer settle down.

Breathe. Take a deep breath. In through the nose and let it out slowly through the mouth. Keep doing this until you feel calmer. If you are helping someone do this then breathe with them.

Reassurance. If you are on your own then call a friend or a family member who can help you. As a helper reassure the person suffering from the attack. Do not ask them too many questions, and it may be enough for them knowing you are listening without saying anything. They may tell you afterwards what the trigger was, but your priority is to help them be calm.

Panic attacks last anywhere from 5 to 25 minutes. It can be a frightening experience, but it is rare that a person will need to go to hospital with a panic attack.

– Helen

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