In today's episode I am going to tell you the key things you need to manage your Adjustment Disorder at work.
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Show notes and the transcript can be found here: https://michellekevill.com/podcast
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Hello, everyone, I hope you're well. And if not, I got you, at least you are here. My name is Michelle Kevill. And I help high achieving corporate women feel passionate about their job again. I'm very excited. Actually, that's not true.
I say that every episode because I am very excited about the episode that I'm gonna share with you. But I'm also I'm having
a fucking human experience. I'm just in it with all the emotions,
lots of emotions on today,
I literally did a story I'd like should make this into like a trend like following me is like, first this human emotions and struggle with thoughts and courage my way out of them, and just yeah, just just basically be a fucking human, I do sometimes wish there was no switch. But resisting, it doesn't help, it makes it worse. So we continue to ride it. And we continue to keep going. And after this, I'm gonna play some video games and really just continue to give myself the TLC that I need. But I'm excited for this episode because it is touching on in a very old episode that I did a lot. It feels old, but it's you know, like it was like a year or two ago, years ago. It's basically about adjustment disorder and working in corporate now, adjustment disorder, the episode that I made that that is my most requested and popular episode, people come to that people message me about it. And I wanted to touch on the same topic, but just around corporate, as a person who has been diagnosed with this. I want to tell you my thoughts on it a little bit about how to manage it and why I just think like, honestly, at the end of the day, it's just a label that the community has put on and why you don't really you may feel like you don't really fit this label. And it's really common. And I think a list not a there's not a lot of stuff out there even now with tick tock. Like what I was doing this like a few years ago, when it's happening for me. There really wasn't a lot out there and even on tick tock like I don't use it yet. You know, follow me I talk about stuff on it on my tick tock, but it's just not enough I feel stuffed around it to help people who get this diagnosis. So I'm going to go in it for you. If you're working in corporate, if you have heard this before, and what are the best things to do? Really, I want to give you my thoughts on it and my two cents, because I actually do not think it's the best label and give you a little bit of history. But you can find out more about that in my original episode. So I strongly recommend you check out this one. This one's going to be more a little bit around like tactics. Because if you are facing this, I definitely know what you need to be doing at work before work. After work, like all the things that you need to be doing so that you can quote unquote, adjust. So and also you're not fucking alone, like swear to God, like it's just it's so the fact that it's my most downloaded episode. If you're listening and feeling like fucking weirdo I'm telling you right now, it is common. And there's other stuff going on, we're gonna go into it. Alright, just really quickly. I just went disorder all it really is, it's that you are experiencing more stress that normally would be expected in response to a stressful or unexpected event. I literally took that verbatim from like Mayo Clinic, like just just the internet right now, just to give you a high level thing. Let me very quickly tell you why I find this condition very flawed. And I think it's just a band aid solution for things that are much deeper. What the fuck is normally expected, right? I feel like everyone experiences emotions differently. Everyone interprets things differently. This condition is so ranged from having this when your boss sends you like an email to like someone dying, like the range is ridiculous. I could maybe understand if it was like, Oh yeah, it's just just for like these types of small scenarios. But the fact that it's like, you know, you're not adjusting to the fact that your frickin partner died like what the fuck like that's, that's very extreme. There's also special caveats around it, like it can't be no longer than six months after the event of a stressful event, yada, yada, yada. So what this might look like for you, a very common thing is say A and what I've also experienced in my clients, a project has failed. So you might work in your very stressful high end corporate job, and you are doing everything you can to make sure that the project he's working on is going well. But as we know life happens. And there's something unexpected occurs that you didn't account for. And suddenly that project is getting pushed out. Suddenly you are going to have to readjust and work with all these different teams to pull it all together. Stakeholders might be upset you're sitting here thinking Oh my fucking God, I'm such a failure and you're having such an extreme reaction. Maybe you are leaving your desk going to the bathroom. You are crying, you're trying to calm down you come Home, you can't stop crying on the weekend, you can't stop crying. And you don't know why. And then when you tell the people about it, they're shocked. Because it's like, well, it's not the end of the world. Like, you're still fine. It's okay. You talk to your doctor about it. And then, you know, this is where it goes on to the disorder of adjustment disorder. It's like, oh, this is an extreme reaction to something that society is saying is actually quite small. I think that honestly diminishes the human experience, okay, because that does not take into account any like life experiences that you've gone through any trauma that you've gone through any any beliefs that you hold so tightly to my view on this is this was hot, you don't fit the criteria of full on anxiety and depression, because you're still doing things, you're still going to work like you're dying and holding on a mask and trying to put it all together. But you're still coping in a way like just coping. So we'll slap you with this diagnosis, code adjustment disorder and let you be on your way. Like, that's honestly how I felt when I got this a few years ago. And it was, you know, the typical things such as therapy and medication, and I'll say this, again, I said this on the first one, I still remember my psychiatrist when he when I was really in the thick of it, right? Like I was on medication for heart palpitations. You basically said to me, you at the moment, just believe that you don't have any coping skills, and we need to get you to the point where you believe you have coping skills, and I'm like, everyone is telling me that I'm doing fucking CBT. And it's obviously not working. Like tell me the how part. And that's what I'm going to give you today. Because I get it. You're hearing all this bullshit. Like, I'll be frank right now. I'm going to be fucking Frank, you hear and all this shit. And you might be sitting there thinking, what am I supposed to do? How am I supposed to cope? Maybe you're thinking, maybe it is me. Maybe there is something wrong with me. Maybe I should listen to the doctor, maybe I should listen to my friends and my family and whatever, maybe I should take a step down or like not continue this career anymore. There's something inherently wrong with me. That is bullshit. You're missing a fucking coping skill. Now, it might not be everything that I'm talking about today, maybe the stuff that I'm talking about doesn't resonate with you, but I want you to fucking know that you need to keep going. You need to find what fucking works for you. Because if I didn't, I wouldn't be alive today. And I wouldn't have ended up getting promoted twice in one year in my corporate job. Once I knew the coping skills are worked for fucking me. Right you are getting if you're a regular listener, getting passionate, extreme. Michelle today. Just telling it like it is. The problem with this is more for some people, it's going to work and and if this isn't working for you, if you're seeing everyone doing therapy, and you know, like, all that type of stuff, CBT that's working with them great, and it is not working for you and something feels like it's missing. The problem is you're taking solutions that are given to you. And you're just expecting them to work and you're not looking outside yourself. And I'm not trying to put the onus on you, because you might listen to that and be like the fuck are you saying, I'm trying everything you are trying everything that you know, right now that you have been kind of, it's kind of like what's been given to you. What I mean is if you just know that, okay, it's therapy and medication, it's going to work. And those things aren't working, you potentially aren't looking outside that. For me. I never looked into life coaching because I believed coaching was just for rich people that wanted to get promoted. I didn't think coaching would help me cope at work and not just that flourish. I never knew that at all. That is what happened for me and what brick and saved me because it was a coping skill and a way to regulate myself that worked. So why aren't these things working for you? You are you every human being is a unique individual. Okay? They are fucking unique. They have their own unique needs. And then society likes to box people. That's why we have this leader will have adjustment disorder. Like I said before, this label doesn't take into account things like you know, your own unique experiences, etc. But I have grown since the last episode that I made. And I am also neurodivergent and I experience a motion at a more intense per intense level than a neurotypical person. And that is something I want to raise. I can't diagnose you. But if I can, if I had that years ago, then I could have maybe done some research education and kind of figured some stuff out. For me, the reason I kept getting labeled with adjustment disorder is the fact that I sensory wise, am experiencing emotions and feelings at a more intense level. That does include lovely things such as happiness and joy, but it also includes the ship things like fucking stress, and frickin anger. And like deep you know, panic, and you need stress. Stronger coping skills when it comes to emotional regulation. And that right now is the key thing that you're missing right now. And I'm not talking about necessarily like meditation, because you may have done meditation, and you're not necessarily seeing some of the benefits or it's not working.
I mean, here's the thing with meditation, you go away, you do it, say at night, or something that helps you fall asleep. But can you conjure that same experience in the middle of your workday? When your project you realize is just completely fucked up? Can you calm yourself down? In the moment? That is a challenge. So just a challenge for neurodivergent people to challenge I feel for anyone, when really not taught how to do this properly, what's going to work? I strongly believe, with my experience with adjustment disorder, I can't add a blanket state for every single person out there. But I can just tell you what I'm, you know, got going on here. And maybe it'll help you. You need to be focusing on how you regulate your emotions, right? If adjustment disorder is this, like, you're not adjusting, like it's an intense reaction to something, quote, unquote, small, how do you bring yourself back from that high, back to that middle ground? Number one thing you're going to do, you're going to stop fucking reacting to your emotion. How many of you have this disorder, or at corporate, you go into the bathroom, you start crying, but you start ruminating, you start freaking out, you're like, Oh, my God, this is terrible. My life is overwhelmed, blah, blah. That is you, I want you to go after this. Listen to my earlier episodes, this is my second most downloaded one, how to stop feeling anxious and process that shit that is gonna give you more detail, I'm gonna give you a high level here. I also have a free workbook called The Secret to stop crying in the bathroom between meetings. This is fucking fantastic for you if you have this seriously. Or even if you're just neurodivergent. And you just experience emotion, at such an intense level. It condenses everything that I've taught, like, like so much like coaching experience, and work life stuff into a few pages, it explains why. And I'll give you an exercise that shows you like how to calm down. We're going to do though, you're going to not react, you're just going to stop, and you're just going to notice the physical sensations in your body. Now you might be sitting there thinking, fuck you, Michelle, that's like meditation a little bit different, a little bit different. Because you instead of doing the meditation, I think for most of you, if you're listening to this, you either find it boring, it's too much, or you can't concentrate or when you do it, you'll you feel worse. And if you do it because you you know, and you feel worse, I'll tell you right now, it's because you're not processing some of that emotion. When you do it in the moment, right? And you notice what you are feeling. I do not want you to say, oh my god, I'm feeling anxious. Oh my God, I want you to just scan top to bottom for a new head and go hmm, my heart is beating faster. Interesting. And you just keep going. And when your heart is beating faster, I want you to imagine that heart beating faster, does it? Is it a heart that you're imagining? Is it like a round ball? Are there any colors? There are any shapes to it? I just want you to notice that when Michelle, if I do that the emotion is going to get worse. No, fuck no, the opposite is going to happen. When you notice it, you get in touch with your stress response. What is happening is your stress response is very reactive. If you have adjustment disorder, it's reacting too much to things. It's seeing it as a direct threat. So you want to speak to it. And you don't speak to it through fucking CBT that helps with the like prefrontal cortex like the thinking brain. Because you're not stupid, you know that this thing is stressful. But yet, why are you freaking out about it? Yeah, because the stress response. It's operating on a completely different level. It's not operating, it's not using cognition. It's using something else which I talk about a whole heap more in my episodes in more detail. If you want me to go through it again, like fuck, send me a note on my Instagram or something like that. I do have episodes just check out the earlier ones. They're all there. But frankly, you need to calm it down differently. The way you do that, I swear to God, it's just noticing the physical sensations in your body. That is it. Now, will you feel calm? Straight away? No. Will you feel fucking better compared to what you did? Will you be in that complete panic mode 110% and reduce that will when I started doing it. I was shocked and now I've gotten to a bite. I have probably avoided I want to say six breakdowns this year in my corporate job because I am regulating my emotions I am doing this type of stuff. My stress response still freaks out to things that are, quote unquote small when things fail. The difference is I know how to work through it. I know how to manage it. And I know that when I am experiencing this intense emotion, it's not a bad thing. It's fine. It's not going to kill me. That's another thing for a lot of you. You guys, that's what I was saying before around freaking out about the emotion. You guys can't be with an intense physical emotion. If you guys instead are just like scrolling, Instagram or Tik Tok, over eating, binging Netflix, having stress naps, what you're doing is you're shoving the emotion down temporarily. And I guarantee you it'll come back up to bite you I talk about all of this in my you know, second episode, I had to feel anxious and stop processing that ship. You need to feel the emotion more regularly. Today, I haven't had fantastic work stuff going on, right. I didn't feel too bad this morning. But actually conjured the emotion you know what I did? I watched some sad tic TOCs. And I made myself cry. I mean, like, ugly cry. And after this, I'm probably going to go punch my bed because I'm angry that I still haven't processed the emotion. But I'm okay with that. I'm okay, that these emotions and thoughts are here. I'm just like, Okay, this is this is okay, this, I'm not gonna die. I had to do a lot of work to create that safety. But I guarantee you, it's worth it. This is how you build emotional resilience. This is where the adjustment disorder is managed. And I frankly, I don't believe in adjustment disorder, I think it's a shitty fucking label for the main reason being that humans are complex creatures. And to then, as a society label, this is what a normal reaction is. And this is what an extreme reaction is, puts us into like this like binary kind of Yes. Like it's a very black and white, that's a better term for it's very black and white. And humans are complex. We all have different thoughts, experiences, things that we've been through, and have probably led to you having this reaction like, Are you a high achiever? Were you praised your whole life to achieve things do well at school? Like there's a whole heap of factors that come into this? And whilst CBT Yes, I did it, I've actually been to therapy for years since I was a teenager, nothing was more impactful, at least at this point in my life is when I started getting coached. I think that's what I wanted. Because I came to a point. And this might be you as well, where you are kind of sitting here like, you know, you're more capable, you know, you have these abilities, but something is missing. Surely there is something that can help me keep this job, it can't just be me. Now, some of you might be like, well, I could just quit the job. You can't just quit the job, but I quitting jobs, changing the jobs and other same things happening. And then as you're moving up getting promoted, or something changes, yada, yada, this starts to like pop up again, you have this, what feels like an extreme reaction that you just cannot manage. And that's the biggest thing that's going to help you with all this, right? Because you want to create safety with your emotions. And really, like, I could be wrong about this. Let's say it's like, you know what the universe is like, no, Michel, adjustment disorder is real, okay, that means I'm more reactive, well, then I gotta have a good way to manage it, I just gotta have a good way to regulate myself and calm myself down. I have some tools and tricks and tips, sharing them all. You can download them, like the free workbook, etc. I think the second thing I want you to work on as well. And this is where you've likely worked on it in therapy, too. And it is mixing in the coaching world we talk about, like, you know, not delving into the past and focusing on like, what's happening now and how we want to challenge it. However, if you don't have insight into where some of these behaviors and thoughts and beliefs have come from, it can be a little bit challenging when they pop up and give you what I feel is less power. What I mean by that. For me, I know that all my problems stemmed from a thought that I'm not good enough, and I have to prove myself to people. Now I knew that came from childhood and I obviously must have thought that hey, to get the love and attention that I deserve, I need to keep doing, you know, achieving and doing all these things. And I brought that into my adult life. When I really realized that I was like, oh shit, I just that's just a pattern. Like I just have to unlearn that. I
don't have to take that seriously. When I do the thing, where my brain is like we have to be good enough. We have to prove ourselves. I don't have to take that seriously. You can work out what thoughts patterns and beliefs are serving you and not serving you. Well, they still pop up Sure, but you can just treat them differently. Your true read it as if it's owning you, you treat it as if that's just that thing I learned when I was a kid still popping up, because it's trying to protect me. That's why I'm having this extreme reaction. That's okay. I'm just a human having the human experience, like it gives you so much more control. And what I want you to do is that stressful event that is happening that has led you here, I want you to write out and do something called a thought download, and you dried out all the thoughts from your brain, about, you know, what's what's going on? What's going on in there. Like we're fears, your worries about whatever it is, then I want you to just take one, just one of those sentences One, really like you read it and you go goofed, I believe that thought. And what I want you to do, is I want you to pretend that you are like talking to yourself, and I want you to ask why. Or why is that a problem? So for example, if you say, Oh, my God, and I'm so stressed about this project, why? Well, and you just answer it? Well, it's because this isn't this, why and you keep going? And if you get cyclical, because sometimes you can be like, if you keep asking why just goes back to the start is like I'm stressed because of this project, you just say why is that a problem? Well, that's going to help you do is it's going to identify in what scenarios you have what I call root thoughts. These are thoughts that are playing out in your subconscious mind that you strongly believe that are fueling everything you're doing right now. And likely having this extreme reaction to the thing at work. And, like for me, it was like the root thought at fucking everything was I'm not good enough. So when our project fails, that's external proof. I'm not good enough. And I brain is getting into like panic mode, it's freaking out. Because if I'm not good enough, then maybe I'm not gonna get the love and support from my parents, etc. Michelle, hello. What does that mean? Like, why is it happening in my adult life? Did you know the shit that happened to you, as a kid imprinted on you creating like, really cool beliefs and like, ways of being and ways your body would react to get yourself out of those situations that you now bring with you into adult corporate curry, you do not fucking know how much stuff when I work with my clients is actually related to what happened to them as they were growing up growing up and life experiences that they had. That's what it is. But that also builds a resilient person, I would say incorporate if you're able to work out what it is. And you're able to just build that emotional resilience and work on those thoughts. Because separately, what you would also be doing is, you can look for evidence as to why you are good enough. Or if you don't believe that luck. Look for evidence as to why you are coping. Because while you might not feel that right now that you're like, I'm not coping, I Guaran tee you, you actually are the fact that you have reached out, you're researching, you've likely just found this or it's been recommended to you and you've been like, Oh, this is interesting, or oh my god, this person's talking about what I'm talking about. Like you are trying to do things to help yourself. You are coping, people think coping is being happy all the time. It's not coping. I'm coping right now. Even though I'm having what's technically an extreme reaction to something, I'm managing it. And coping. I know I'll get through at the end. Because I have and I'll continue to do it. That's an example of coping, I want to be an example for you, if you were sitting there thinking, Oh, my God, I'm gonna have to get my job or something like that. And by the way, if that's what you want to do, that's totally fine for you. But I know there are people out there listening who do not want to do that, who are looking for something that's going to help them. And that's why I'm here and I am an example of someone who is succeeding in their career, who is feeling emotions really differently, who has been told by multiple doctors and psychologists and psychiatrists that no, you should quit your job, you're not ready for it, you can't do it, etc. And has fucking prove them wrong. And you can too as well that you should do it to prove people wrong. It's just I sit there shocked that if I didn't go out and you know, find this work, like where the hell would I be? I would have quit my job or I wouldn't be alive. Because it was so struggling to cope. And I want you to know that there is hope out there. Now if this isn't the thing for you, okay, cool, like keep finding it. There are people who are talking about experience experiences, way more and more. And if this is resonating, if this is sounding like you, if you're like yep, this is my story, like what do I need to do? Take the tools and the tip tricks that I've talked about in this episode. Then I want you to look at the earlier episode I was talking about how to not feel anxious and process that shit. Honestly. Listen to like binge, the whole podcast, especially my more recent episodes from last year because I talk about a whole heap of stuff in regards to corporate, then download my free workbook, the secret to stop crying in the bathroom between meetings that is literally going to help you, you end up also getting on a day or two, you get a special recording. It's a meditation that I created. It's like, it's like a meditation for people that don't meditate. And I take you through how, literally if you're in the bathroom crying, like just bring your phone headphones and like, listen to that, I will, I will show you how to calm down. And then you can get back to your job. You can show up you can do what it is you need to do you show up with your thinking brain on solving that problem, handling your emotions, proving to yourself that yes, I am capable, and I can do this, then get on the waitlist for my epic Work and Life program. It is already playing with you. If you have like curry dreams, but you feel like your emotions and thoughts are holding you back. If you feel like you is holding you back from living a dream corporate career that you're climbing and moving up and getting promoted and doing those bigger projects. And at the same time, you really want to live a balanced life as in, you don't want to be worrying about this shit on a Saturday, crying freaking out and then having to do it all over again at work, you actually just want to almost turn off your brain and just switch gears and just relax. That's what I work with you intensively for six months. And that is what we build together. That is what we work on. There are skills and habits that you will start to master implement in your own life and you WILL FUCKING flourish. You will be like fee. Or I'm like what the fuck adjustments is soda. I'm just coping like I'm figuring it out. Like it's all good. I have tools in my toolbox. I know how to manage myself. I can do these big gallops calling up big yell things, but you know what I mean? I am just shocked at how much more like I want to say instability, like just unknown is the word unknown happens at work. And then I'm just like, okay, yeah, we're gonna figure it out. Like the positiveness is just I cannot get over the change that has happened. Just by like, really? Yes, the thoughts but fuck the emotional regulation. I've really created that safety, and I know you can as well. So go do all that. I will see you next week and keep on going. Bye bye.