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Emotional Intelligence to manage stress.

When I get stressed or feel overwhelmed I ask myself, “How much does this really matter?” This question helps me gain perspective to whatever problem I am facing. I learned the importance of this after volunteering to work with expecting parents on the Mother Baby Unit (MBU) and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). To clarify, the MBU can be divided into sections. One for mothers who deliver without complications and have healthy infants, mothers who had complications with delivery but a healthy baby, or high risk moms. High risk can range from moms experiencing medical complications which may pose a risk to themselves and/or pregnancy, delivered but the baby is in the NICU requiring further interventions, or they have lost their child before or after delivery. I have had the honor of being with many families in the moment as they faced each of these issues and struggled to process all the emotions you can imagine with the circumstances. There are no words for the joy of some parents or the depths of fears and/or grief with others. Regarding the latter, there is no way to make it better. Most times, all I could offer was just the comfort of a caring person willing to listen, be present and acknowledge their pain. Even though I have now moved on from the unit, my experience with those families has never left me. So, when moments arrive where things in my life seem really big and overwhelming, I think of those families and ask myself, “How much does this really matter?”

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