Nobody is immune to bad days. Coffee spills, traffic jams slow you down when you’re already running late, and Karen has once again waited until the last second to tell you about the finance report due by 5.
While it can be tempting to tell Karen off and rage quit your job to start a new life across the country: please don’t. There are much more effective ways to reset the mood throughout or after a bad day:
Take a Step Back Take a few minutes to slow down and ground yourself after a distressing incident. Once you’ve refocused with a clearer mind, you’ll be in a better position to come up with an action plan.
Reflect and Regroup Take time at the end of each day to reflect on the day and plan for the next. Review and acknowledge what was accomplished, while prioritizing a roadmap for tomorrow. Adhering to a to-do list will help you stay on track when things get hectic.
Leave Work at Work Whenever you let your workday bleed into your home life, you’re also welcoming in any negative emotions associated with your work. Adapting a routine or ritual to transition between the two worlds will help keep them separate.
Pick Your Battles Some days it can feel like the entire universe is against you. Try and remove the emotion from a stressful situation and focus on finding a solution instead. Don’t spend time or energy lingering on moments that will fail to make a constructive impact on your work.
However—Don’t Mistake Bad Days with Burnout Bad days will happen now and then, but when every day becomes an uphill battle, there may be something bigger brewing: burnout.
“Job burnout is a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.” – Mayo Clinic, Job burnout: How to spot it and take action
Built up over time, burnout can lead to serious health complications including: anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. If you think you may be experiencing burnout, please consider consulting with a medical professional.
While there are no promises that you won’t have to present in coffee stained couture, hopefully you’re in a better position to re-seize the day ahead.