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How To Function Professionally Despite Personal Problems

Everybody is learning to function with a significant amount of stress in their lives. This is clearly evidenced when a budding entrepreneur or someone who is frustrated in their lives decides to start a business. And people who are starting a business during this time but are also feeling the pressures of modern life (without the small matter of a pandemic) are facing a unique battle. Millennials are considered the most stressed-out generation. And if we are trying to do a job while still juggling stress anxiety or personal problems, how can we function appropriately? Is it a case of flipping on a switch and becoming a different person when we are working? Hardly.

That Notion of Perspective

We have to remember that everybody has their own personal set of circumstances. And while perspective is one of those cliched notions that is communicated to help someone do what is expected of them, when we are in a work environment it is important to remember that perspective can help, especially when we look at the pressures other people are under. 

When we have a variety of personal pressures or we’ve undergone a stressful time, we are not alone. The question is whether we are willing to share it. But sharing may feel like a problem halved, however, we must remember when we are speaking to our employer for additional support, that we don’t give away too much information. We have to remember that confidence and productivity are crucial components in the work environment. If you share too much about your external problems, this may give people the wrong impression about your abilities to function in the office space. 

With numerous employer drug testing facilities being rolled out in every organization, as well as regular appraisals or one-to-ones between employee and employer, it’s important to remember that when you have a job to do, you cannot give away too much information that might throw your job into jeopardy. Confiding in another employee about your personal circumstances may feel cathartic, but it’s important not to give them any ammunition. You have to tread a balance between asking for support and sharing too much. Personal matters can be temporary but the job is, hopefully, not.

Learning to Compartmentalize

Mental boundaries are effective. When we are working, we may feel overly stressed because of an external circumstance, but there is a lot to be said for learning how to separate your “work mind” from your “home mind.” Putting personal issues on a “mental shelf” can help you to focus on the job at hand. It’s a good skill to learn how to delay dealing with certain problems. 

Some people feel that when a problem arises, it needs to be dealt with right away, which can be incredibly stressful if your work piles up in other areas. Learning how to spin plates in this manner is incredibly beneficial, not just because you can prioritize your workload, but you can also learn how to handle stress effectively. 

When there are personal issues competing for attention, we need to learn the importance of burying ourselves in work. When we focus on a task, it can give us a great sense of achievement, especially if we’re undergoing a problem outside of work.

Minimizing Symptomatic Sensations of Stress

Many of us feel stressed but don’t know why. Anxiety is an incredibly crippling thing if we don’t know how to handle it. When we are working, we must remember that there is a lot to be said for understanding when symptoms of stress creep up. It goes back to the age-old notion of fight or flight. If we can control our stress before it snowballs into something worse, we will have better control over every aspect of us. 

The solution is not just about employing stress reduction techniques, but it’s also about realizing that in your work environment there will come a time when you are feeling the physical or mental effects of stress. This is why you need to get the balance right and communicate with those in charge to give you the support necessary. Some employers feel when someone comes to them with concerns in relation to well-being, that it’s “all in the mind” or that it’s a common ailment of the “snowflake” generation. But the fact is you need to know your rights when you are looking for support in terms of anxiety. 

One of the many get-out clauses from an employers’ perspective is that because an employee feels anxious that they don’t undertake the relevant research. It pays to speak to someone who is well versed in employment law and can give you the support you need, even though they may not appear too receptive to the idea. And right now, the best example is working at home. Many people have now understood what working from home has done for their mental well-being. And if you feel the difference working at home, it is something worth bringing up with your employer.

Setting Digital Boundaries

When working in an office and you feel stressed, you may think nothing of sending a text or going on social media to take a mental break. But creating boundaries between your personal and professional life is more difficult these days. Because your phone is accessible 24/7 you can feel bombarded. 

When in the office, it’s recommended that you turn off any personal notifications. By the same token when you are at home, turn off your work email notifications. Everybody deserves to live their life without constant notifications reminding them of work and vice versa. When we start to compartmentalize our lives we can truly focus on ourselves rather than feeling obliged to communicate with everybody on social media or texts. 

Taking the opportunities, where possible, to turn your phone off to focus on yourself will give you a clearer understanding of what you need to look after yourself.

Taking Time Away

Many people feel that they cannot take time off work because they’re not able to book relevant holidays or they are self-employed so if they don’t work they don’t earn. But taking time away doesn’t necessarily mean being off for weeks at a time. It’s just as important to take Friday afternoon off so you can have a long weekend or realizing that you need a bit more downtime during your typical day. 

Taking time away gives you the opportunity, not just for relaxation, but by prioritizing time away from work, you will be more engaged when you are in the office. By focusing on self-care when you are away from the office, you can go back feeling refreshed. 

We all have that Friday feeling when we are quite tired and just want to go home and relax or get away from the work environment. But if we worked 4 days a week and that Friday was a day for relaxing or self-reflection, we’d go back into work on Monday morning feeling much better. 

Learning to function in a working environment when we have personal problems is not easy. But there are ways around it. You need the support of your employer, but you should remember that you need to support yourself. When we work for someone, we may feel that they are obliged by a duty of care. This is true, albeit to an extent. We need to remember the age-old adage that when the breathing apparatus comes down in an airplane, we put ours on first before we tend to others.