I love working. Not only am I doing the work that I want to be doing at the moment (this after some not-so-easy soul searching and job hunting), but I’m grateful for the lifestyle that my job affords me.
Still, as with any job, some days are tough.
I’m talking about those days when we’re just not on our A-game, and we either make silly mistakes or otherwise fail to be productive. Some work ruts can even stem from things beyond our own roles – like major shakeups within our organization, or personal situations that completely blindside us.
Working in nonprofit, many of my off-days came from the sheer pressure of knowing that I just couldn’t help everyone. I may have been helping a cause, but I could never do enough. Sometimes it’s a tough pill to swallow.
That’s why it is important to take the occasional step back. Our careers, and our sanity, depend on it.
8 Things to Remember When Work (& Life) Weigh You Down
1. You’re human.
Mistakes and fatigue come with the package. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
2. You’re learning.
No one is born knowing all of the answers. Whatever you didn’t know or got wrong today, you’ll get another chance to get it right tomorrow.
3. You’re more than a single role.
Whatever your full-time position may be, it is only one part of who you are. There are other realms in your life that deserve your care, and when you tap into those pieces, it can help you feel complete in all areas.
4. Life can be hard, and it’s okay to acknowledge that.
There are some things that can be difficult to grapple with, even downright painful, and this makes it hard to focus. It’s okay to feel those feelings – again, we’re only human – but we should feel these things responsibly. Avoid ruminating on negative thoughts for too long and make sure that you’re not isolating yourself. It’s not always easy but whenever I ‘m struggling, I find it’s often worth the effort to reach outwards and connect with others.
5. Life is also good, and we must acknowledge that.
For every setback or failure, we’re one step closer to a grand victory. For every horrible story of injustice that we see on the news, there is a person somewhere in this world setting a gracious and compassionate example for mankind. It’s the logic of this world: a glass that’s half-empty has to have some water in it.
6. You can and should disconnect.
It’s easy to forget that at one time, we didn’t have email, Twitter, Facebook or CNN to remind us of all the craziness that’s happening in the world. Even further, our smartphones shoot this data in real-time right into the palms of our hands. At best this is distracting and at worst, the information overload can be anxiety-inducing. That’s why I make it a point to step away from my devices, even if the best I can do is 10 minutes for the day.
Tip: This is where self-care comes in. Pop in that old movie that always seems to cheer you up. Treat yourself to your favorite meal, or a nail salon date. To engage more fully with our lives, sometimes we have to temporarily disengage from our stressors.
7. You’re not alone.
No matter what you are struggling with, remember others have faced similar situations. You’re not the first person who’s ever been in a work funk, and you’re not the last person to ever make those mistakes. Whether you can identify these people or not, take some comfort in the fact that other people have walked in your shoes.
8. You’re only getting better.
We’re all a work in progress and we’re growing every single day. That’s always something to celebrate!
When work is bringing you down, how do you get back up? Share your thoughts!