Heartland finds unique ways to deal with stress

"I've learned sometimes I just have to tell them 'Mom has to work now," said Angie Slinkard
"I've learned sometimes I just have to tell them 'Mom has to work now," said Angie Slinkard
Counselor Judy Statler with Riverview Counseling
Counselor Judy Statler with Riverview Counseling

By Holly Brantley - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - According to a recent survey, as many of a third of the people who read this story could be so stressed out at work they're looking for another job.

Doctors say when stress becomes that severe it's time to do something about it. Believe it or not, counselors say you can turn the stress into something healthy or find easy ways to manage it.

For Angie Slinkard of Jackson, she's found a way to manage her stress and even come to appreciate it. She works for Showcase Technologies.

"I do a lot of jobs for the company," said Slinkard. Her situation is unique, not far from her desk her three year old daughter, Samantha watches her favorite movie. The scene is part of her double life as a working woman and a working mother.

"About the last hour of the day I have three kids here while I'm trying to work," said Slinkard. "I've learned sometimes I just have to tell them 'Mom has to work now."

While the company has an office in Cape, Slinkard has chosen to work from home until Samantha goes to school.

"There will be times I'm sitting here with a tiara on and a princess dress while I'm talking to a customer," said Slinkard.

Counselors like Judy Statler of Riverview Counseling, say most of their clients report some kind of stress from work. That stress ranges from work load, to fear of layoffs.

"They feel trapped," said Statler. "That fear can be paralyzing, and it's hard to move in a positive direction."

Instead of turning to coping mechanisms that, according to Statler, only perpetuate the problem, she says you have to realize you still have control. She recommends having a discussion with your boss, or asking for help.

"You need to realize you still have control. You can still make decisions," said Statler.

Statler recommends taking time to take care of your personal needs and that includes time to play, especially with your co-workers.

"In order for them to play reduces competition and friction," said Statler.

In fact, that is a trend that's catching on for Heartland Companies. Offices rent out places like Le Bounce in Cape Girardeau to bond and boost morale.

"They look like kids," said manager, Maddy Howard. "The expressions on their faces are hilarious. They have a good time and you can tell their mind is only on fun."

Meanwhile, for people like Slinkard, counselors say the best way to manage stress is to get time for yourself. You can also take a moment to reflect on the positive aspects of your situation. That's something that's easy for Slinkard.

"I wouldn't trade anything to be close to the kids in spite of the stress," said Slinkard. "No matter how stressful the job is this is the best job I could have. That's why I love my job."

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