Former businessman talks about dealing with stress

TISDALE — Community Futures Newsask had former Regina businessman Darren Lang in Tisdale to talk to people about the impact of stress, and how to deal with a stressful situation.

Lang said all his tips come from personal experience.

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“I was a fellow who was far too stressed in my work life, far too stressed in my family life to the point where I was not coping with things,” he said. “About 15 years ago I absolutely crashed, I got so depleted I started dealing with all the mental health issues — the depression, the anxiety.”

Lang said that as tough as it was, it kicked off a journey for him to figure out how stress works.

One tip he gave at the presentation was to “chill and choose”.

“The idea is that whenever you’re upset about something, you first have to calm down a little bit, chill out as I call it — before you deal with a situation,” Lang said.

“So many people want to deal with a stressful situation when they feel upset, and many of us have heard before, you’re not in the best frame of mind.”

Lang said this can play out in different ways, but the core part of the idea is to take some time before a person acts on a stressful situation.

“The bigger the issue, the sort of more calm down time you need. If somebody cuts you off in traffic you might be able to calm down, takes about a minute to calm down, because that’s not a big issue.”

A bigger issue for Lang could be something significant going wrong with an important project.

“You might need to sleep on that one and give your brain a chance to kind of get back in the groove and then you revisit the situation. It’s never sort of procrastinating and not doing it, it’s calming down so when you think about it you come to less stressful decisions.”

Another example of a stressful situation he advises taking time before acting on is an argument with a coworker.

“The first thing that most people do is they dwell on it and stew, ‘Who the heck do they think they are, they can’t talk to me like that.’ They might go over and talk to a coworker and the coworker says, ‘That’s so Betty, she’s always up to stuff like that’. And you’re upset, right? You sit there and talk about it and you problem solve on it in the middle of feeling upset.”

Lang said a better solution might come to the person if they were to go for a walk, coffee break or talk about a positive topic to calm down such as a movie they watched. At this point he suggested going back and checking, “How do I approach this? What do I say to my coworker?’ If you need to say anything at all.”

The event in Tisdale on Oct. 23 had about 50 people registered.

“Something Newsask values is putting events like this on, trying to raise awareness for stress in the workplace,” said Taylor Watt, chief executive officer with Community Futures Newsask.

“Everyone, no matter who you are gets stressed once in a while whether it’s in your home, or in your business life, or your kids, or your job, whichever it is. At the end of the day we just want to hope this workshop can provide a little bit of assistance on how to better deal with it.”

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