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The Stress Assessment

Hi friends,

Meghan here. If you had asked me at 22 when I was first starting out in the industry where mental health/work-life balance ranked on my list of priorities, it wouldn’t have even cracked the top 10. Not that I didn’t think those things were important, I just didn’t really think about them at all. I was so excited to start my career and fully ready to dedicate 100% of my time to proving myself, who cared about anything else, right?


Since then, I’ve obviously come to recognize the importance of taking care of yourself and finding an organization that values you as a person and a professional. That’s part of why mental health is such a major focus of empowHERed.

If there’s one thing I could tell my younger self, it’s to take time to get to know what your major stressors are, your preferred methods of decompressing, and how you can best manage your stress. Developing a better understanding of how you work best and assessing what you need to be the best version of yourself can have a major impact on your career by helping you become more productive and work better with others.  


So with that in mind, here’s what I’m calling my quick “Stress Assessment”.


Things that stress me out

  • Missed deadlines – I’m a big to-do list person. It helps keep me on track, especially as someone running my own business and juggling a lot of responsibilities, so I hate when people miss or ignore deadlines. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that things come up sometimes, but when it’s a consistent issue it begins to affect everyone’s work. Not only is it inconsiderate of other people’s time, it also often creates more work for them. Nothing stresses me out quite like that.

  • Inaction/laziness – We’ve all worked with people who are content to sit back and allow the rest of their team to do the majority of the work. You know the type, the ones who have to be explicitly asked to do something before they do it. They’re not going to volunteer, even when other members of the team are already swamped.

  • Slow walkers – As a strong Type A personality (shocking, I know), I value productivity and I don’t like to waste time…which is why slow walkers are one of my biggest pet peeves. I know, I know, that’s my issue, not theirs. It’s probably better to be a slow walker who takes a minute to stop and smell the roses. But that’ll never be me.


How I can manage stressors – I know these specific triggers stress me out, so here’s some ways I’ve tried to deal with them:

  • Missed deadlines – While it’s impossible to control other people’s actions (especially because Sam and I work with so many different people and organizations), I try to overcommunicate deadlines to avoid these situations as much as possible. Whether that means adding reminders to the calendar, sending check-in emails, or something else, I try to keep the project top of mind.

  • Inaction/laziness – I’ve found there’s not much I can do about this one, some people (including several of my former co-workers) are just wired this way. And while it can be incredibly frustrating and often lead to me taking on more, I try to focus internally on what I can control, the quality and timeliness of my own work. There’s still stressful moments but changing the way I think about the situation has been (somewhat) helpful.

  • Slow walkers – That’s an easy one. Walk around them. And if you can’t, I guess try that whole stop and smell the roses mentality.

Favorite ways to destress or relax – Outside of the strategies I’ve developed above, these three things are my go-to moves for destressing.

  • Playing soccer/working out – I try to work out every morning and play soccer three nights a week, but if I ever find myself extra stressed about work, I make time for some extra exercise. Sometimes that’s a boxing workout in my basement (it feels good to hit something sometimes), others it’s a quick run to try to clear my thoughts.

  • Going to the beach – The beach is my happy place. I’m going to live there, and I can’t wait for that. In the meantime, I’ve never been less stressed than when I’m sitting in the sun with my feet in the sand (preferably with a margarita nearby).

  • Hanging out with my husband – My husband is my best friend. He works in sports, so he gets some of the unique challenges, but he’s also just my number one fan and an incredible support system. If I need to vent, he’s there. If I need to not talk about it and distract myself, he’s there. Plus, he never fails to make me laugh, which is guaranteed to alleviate some tension.


As you continue in your career in sports, I encourage you to find ways to prioritize your mental health, whether that’s by finding your own destress activities or developing strategies to minimize your most common work stressors. Try taking your own stress assessment. And always remember, you’re awesome and you belong here.

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