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Surviving a Mentally Stifling Day at Work

Surviving a Mentally Stifling Day at Work

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mentally-stifledBy J. Mason
Online Career Tips Editor

Work depression is not uncommon, and to say it’s a bummer is an understatement. Feeling mentally stifled goes beyond writer’s block. It’s a state of being where you feel like everything from your hands to your brain are tied up. It is a culmination of events that have transpired at work, and sometimes in your personal life. If you have that dull blank feeling in you right now then you’re already there. While I won’t be your cheerleader about suddenly overcoming this type of event, I will encourage you to make it through the work day.

Instead of wasting time figuring out what the problem is, look for ways to either boost productivity or your overall happiness. Do you have a to-do list for the day? Rip it up! Start fresh and try a fun activity for getting your work tasks and projects done. If you have a whiteboard handy get it out. Use it as your visual encouragement board. Put items that YOU want to get done that day. It’s fine to be selfish at work every now and again, but make sure you’re keeping in-line for the most part with your department’s needs. Write down three things that you enjoy working on. For example, let’s say you have to make updates to your company CMS, or you need to come up with some new ad campaigns for the next quarter. Try utilizing some of the more “fun” websites and blogs for inspiration. Reviewing that content can also be a welcome mental break during repetitive tasks.

Next thing to do would be to avoid the clock. Having a constant reminder that you’re still five hours from the end of your day will only add to your current mental state. Keeping busy is one of the most cliched pieces of advice, but it works. Keep your focus on your whiteboard, or try making a dream board for your career. Most companies will set aside a certain amount of money for continuing education, training, or networking. Make a short term plan, something in the ballpark of the next couple of years, and keep it visible within your office space. Looking at where you can be a couple of years from now can help lift a mental funk. It gives you hope for something better to look forward to.

Since it’s Friday I want to suggest letting things lie for now. Sometimes an email comes through that really gnaws away at you. It’s best to let those breathe. Even if it’s marked with high importance you can still get back to them on Monday. I suggest sending a courtesy email to the sender, and let them know that you’ll review and get back to them by early next week. Move items like that off of your conscience, and don’t let it fester if you can help it. What’s important to remember here is that nothing good comes from responding in the heat of the moment. The recall button doesn’t work in Outlook so once it’s sent it’s gone. Keep your initial thoughts to yourself, and give your response some more thought.

Your mental state will effect your work output. Make sure you take care of that aspect of yourself as well. If you need some time to regroup then take a longer lunch, or work on things that alleviate your stress instead of build on it. Take care of yourself and know that not every day will be like the last.

 

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