What if communication doesn't occur or is misleading? What if one day you are told to do one thing and the next another? Chaos in a business or home environment can make it difficult to find peace in your external environment making it even more important to stay connected with your internal values.
Trying to see patterns in the chaos may lead to more frustration or it may help reveal issues that can be improved. Chaotic environments my be due to lack of skill at organization or there may be personal home or health issues causing stress and frayed attention and emotion in a manager or management team. Ongoing problems may be personal traits learned in childhood that no longer help the adult or their team - Peace is Recognizing Gaslighting provides tips about emotional manipulation. The person involved may not be aware that they are causing problems. It can be difficult to change however recognition is always the first step towards change and changing how you react to an uncontrollable chaotic situation is in your control.
With stress coping it is very important to look at what parts of a situation you have control or influence over and work on those and let go of stress related to the issues over which you have no control. So the boss is having a bad day and blaming everyone in sight? Take ten deep breaths and the oxygen can help your body cope with the physical effects of stress and may give a moment's pause before taking it personally or saying something in response. Long term work or other stress can lead to burnout, a nickname for a type of dissociative disorder called Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder. It is discussed briefly in Peace is Enough Employees for the Job with links for more information geared towards the healthcare industry and in G3.7: Work Burnout is a type of Dissociative Disorder with more information and links about a few therapy techniques.
While recognition that a situation is unreasonable helps, there remains what to do about it - what can you change and what do you have to let go? Knowing your own worth and letting go of messages of blame is important. Setting boundaries when asked to do things that go beyond reasonable job requirements is also important. If a situation is abusive document specific events and record who might have been a witness along with the date, time, place, and details of the inappropriate behavior. More information about the legal definition of work harassment and record keeping are available in 7. When to Report?.
Ways to cope with a chaotic work environment are summarized by a leadership specialist: "The Chaotic Leader: How to Survive It," by Lolly Daskal, lollydaskal.com.
The day in the life of an employee in a bad job situation is described in the article: "Clocking In: What It's Like to Work a Bad Job," by Laura Amico, hbr.org.