Finding Strength to Work When Unwanted News Shows Up

Have you been happily moving through life when horrible news appears?  Perhaps you take time off from work, but you eventually have to go back, don’t you?  How can you manage a personal loss, but do your work? How?

I unfortunately, had some horrible news show up in my life recently.  How, I wondered, can I carry on, do my work and grieve? How can I have human emotions, be a mom to a little toddler, a wife and work?  

First, if you can take time off.  Allow yourself to feel the deep human emotions that are coming up involving your unwanted news.  If you can not take off, do your best at work and know that you have acquired the skill set needed to assist you at this time.  Your work experience will carry you and remain confident that you will be be able to get through this difficult moment with grace.  For me, work was a moment to pause my grief/pain/sadness. Once work is over, go home or to your comfortable safe place and allow yourself time to process what has happened.  In order for you to move forward, it is necessary to feel your emotions fully.  Let them express in you how they want to. Stuffing them away only temporarily suppress them.

Each day you will get stronger.  Now is the time to focus on self-care and compassion. Remain healthy in your eating and sleeping habits, perhaps start a new book that elicits feelings of happiness, make a playlist of uplifting music so when you feel anxiety strike, you will bring a joyful beat into your heart, keep exercising or begin with outdoor walks. Now is not the time to slip away to the dark side, but rather be your best friend who is there to lift you up. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe and ask for help.  Friends and family will gladly assist you in your recovery after trauma/grief/sadness.

I write this from first hand experience.  I have had shocking and dreadful news twice in five months.  I wondered how I could I make it?  However, gratitude and appreciation for a life dominant with joy helped me greatly.  I took it day by day.  I remembered the past was gone and the future has yet to come. Here is where I found strength.  A strangers smile, my son’s laugh, a supportive friend bringing me food, a good cry, a new inspiring book to read before bedtime, no news, a long shower with essential oils, a hard cry, and practicing gratitude showed me the light of a new day and the clouds began to slowly, slowly lift.   You can not control what is happening, but you can control how you respond. This is where your power lays.

 

Let Me See This Differently

Have you been in situations in life and at work that have left you in emotional states such as: confusion, desperation, anger, fear, depression to name a few?  Sometimes it seems that we are only looking in one direction unable to see another way, another point of view. We get in alignment of seeing the unpleasant in the unwanted situation.  However, is it possible to be in a situation that is unwanted, but able to navigate the water and flow in another direction allowing a different perspective to arise?

“A trained mind can accomplish nothing” (A Course in Miracles).  If you look at your situation objectively, you realize that living in angst and suffering is not necessary and not expected.  Perhaps you might realize that it is not what life is about. This is the moment to allow another way of being to emerge in you if you are not satisfied.  Allow, allow, allow and ask yourself “Let me see this differently”. When you get in the driver’s seat of your own life you and have control over your thoughts, you have the power.  Not your boss, not your partner, nor your brother or aunt, YOU!

Sure, situations arise, but how do we grow from them not crumble?  Yes, experiences can be challenging and difficult, but how do we stay in a place that our reactions serve our highest good not drag us further to the dark side?  It is crucial to build within you a core that is unshakable. A core that can take that failure because let’s be honest, a failure is an experience not a characteristic trait.  A core that can manage stress, and know that joy is life’s ultimate manifestation of itself.

“Let me see this differently” has been a tool that I have used time and time again in all areas of my life.  It give me the strength to shift my perception and see how to navigate the challenge, fear, sadness, loss etc…Yes, unwanted situations arise in work life and personal life, but we can and must navigate with clarity and grace.

Self-Care & the Workplace

How do you feel at work?  Are you tired and exhausted regularly?  Do you feel like you are in a dry routine without any enjoyment or minimal pleasure?  Do you often describe your energy level as drained?  Perhaps it is time to look into some self-care.

  1. Exhaustion.  This is something that I have battled with.  I even went as far as going to the doctor to check my iron because I knew something was wrong.  Turns out, I needed to simply SLEEP.  Imagine that?  Try going to sleep earlier.  I know I need about 7.5-8 hours of sleep to function the best.  Figure out your sweet spot and adjust.
  2.  Put your favorite affirmation on your screensaver.  If not that, put something on your desk that reminds you of joy and happiness.  Perhaps a picture of a loved one (or animal), a picture of a dream destination.  Anything that reminds you there is more to life than work.
  3.  Remember that your purpose in life is “LOVE” .  Your occupation is your choice. You are not your job.  It is what you do.  What happens at your job is an experience in your life.  It is not your life.
  4.  Lunchtime.  Make sure you eat healthy, balanced food and take a break to eat.  Even if you stay at work, get away from your work desk, stop and eat calmly.  Eating well will nourish the brain and body.
  5.  Take a break away from the office.  I would eat in the office break room, but would take a walk after for 10-20 minutes.  If you can, get outside. Perhaps a 10 minute break/meditation of sitting still outside?  It really helps to change the scenery.  Yes, even standing outside of the office on a busy street can clear your mind.
  6.  Rushing.  Don’t do it!  Get up 10 minutes early and arrive a bit early.  Added bonus is that it gives you a few minutes to socialize before ‘the doors open’.  Rushing causes stress.  When you feel calm you can adjust to work easily leading to a more productive day.
  7.  Leaving on time!  I know this can be the greatest challenge.  There will always be more to do.  Always.  Remember that it has been proven time and time again that leaving on time leads to better rest, less stress and in the end better work productivity the next day.  If you want to be more focused, you must leave work and take a mental and physical break.  I will repeat, it is not your life.
  8.  Fun!  Yes, you can and must have fun outside of work.  Again, your work is what you do by choice and it is not the master of your life.  You are in control.  Joyful living is one of the greatest emotions which leads to one of the most powerful life boosters: Appreciation.

Getting Still

Have things been a bit tough lately?  Do you sometimes feel like you are not yourself? Are you feeling confused regarding a decision or has an unwanted situation presented itself and you feel stuck, lost or upset?

I have certainly felt all that plus more.  On top of all of it, you have to continue to work, go to school, parent etc…how can you deal?  Here are simple tips in managing stress: Exercise, healthy diet, limited alcohol consumption, journaling. However, I want to suggest a few extras to help you along in your day.

Begin The Day Right.  Wake up with just a few extra minutes that will take away the “morning rush” within you.  Even if you have kids (I have a toddler), I still set the mornings tone to be calm and create time to do things without rushing.

Nourishment.  Do your very best to make healthy food choices.  Your body is your physical powerhouse ready and alive. It provides you the most energy that is needed to have a day rooted in balance and creativity.  Also, get out for a walk after lunch even if its around the block. Just get some air and a change of scenery.

Organized.  Stay organized at work.  To be able to do so requires less rushing and more relaxed focus.  Staying free of mess and clutter allows you to be more efficient and clear.  Its ok if you fall into the “I’m not a very organized person”, but you can plan ahead of time and stay on point.

Being Perfect.  We all want to succeed and do our best, but too much pressure, especially in high-pressure working environments, can lead to nervous behavior and inner criticism resulting in disappointment and driving you and others around you crazy!  Do your best. That’s what is required of you and acknowledge your efforts and achievements. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Be your own coach and keep constructive criticism healthy.

Get Still And Let Go.  This is the best of the best saved for last.  You have to get still. No distractions. Just a moment where you just sit and connect to your breath.  This does not have to be some out-of-body euphoric experience (though it could). Just sit, relax. Perhaps listen to nature sounds, no sounds, look at a candle, just sit and ground yourself.  Let your body rest in the stillness of who your really are. If thoughts come up, let them, that is a sign of releasing stress. Refocus on the breath and stay in the quiet moment.

Find things that bring joy more often than not.  Perhaps that’s music, cooking a new recipe, doing an arts and craft project with the kids, a monthly spa Groupon, exploring a new restaurant once in a while, seeking out new wines to try, joining a community sports team, doing some yoga at home, starting or joining a book club, finding a spiritual center, listening to a great and uplifting podcast.  Find joy! A prosperous life is lived in love and peace.

Finding the Joy

Let’s talk happiness.  This might seem like a no-brainer, but people that are happy in their (personal) lives tend to be happier at work. There is a correlation between being happy at home and being happy at work.  It’s important to note that getting your personal life in order is key to your overall happiness. Nevertheless, here are some steps you can take to create a better and more satisfying work experience.

Find meaning in what you do:  Yes, even if you don’t love your current job.  You can always learn from a job experience. When you take pride in your work, you learn and grow your skills.  When forward thinking, your learned skills and accomplishments will impact your future position.

Employment:  You might be unsatisfied at your job, but it is important to note that you would be unhappier without one.  Take a moment to appreciate what you have.

Work/Life Balance:  It seems that more people find happiness at work when they are able to spend time with loved ones.  Yes, some jobs are “demanding”, however, if you manage your time and can create time with loved ones, you will find more joy.

Look for growth instead of failure in the workplace:  What’s good about where you work?  There must be something. Are you always on edge and defensive?  Try breathing and relaxing. Look for opportunity where your own skills will shine.

Create a social circle and help out:  Have you noticed a fellow co-worker is having difficulties with a task or perhaps is challenged in some areas?  See if you can lend a helping hand. Talk with your co-workers instead of being reticent. Looking forward to seeing a work buddy and helping out could lead to a few laughs and contributing to someone’s progression.