How to Cope with Work After a Break-Up – 6 Strategies
It’s incredibly difficult to stay focused and productive at work when you’re suffering from the emotional trauma that comes from the end of a relationship.
Use our strategies to help you get through the day, and begin to regain control over your life.
1. Break down your day into small, achievable tasks
When you’re in the immediate aftermath of a break-up, focusing on the long term is incredibly painful. You can’t really contemplate life in the coming days, weeks or months. In fact, it’s all you can do to get through the next few hours.
And dealing with the bigger picture at work is equally difficult. Summoning the energy to deal with large projects seems daunting and unachievable.
So don’t try to do it.
Instead, break your day down into smaller tasks, with each lasting around an hour. This focus on the immediate is a form of mindfulness. Not only will it make you more productive – it will take your mind off your heartbreak (albeit temporarily).
2. Don’t attempt to block your feelings out
During the course of your working day, there will naturally be times when you’ll feel particularly emotional or sad.
In those moments, don’t ignore your feelings or try to carry on working. Instead, give yourself some mental time out.
Use this space to reflect and gather your thoughts before refocusing your energies, with greater clarity, on the task you’re facing.
3. Turn your phone off and leave it out of sight
When you’re going through an emotional break-up, it’s incredibly difficult to be your usual self.
However, it’s important to minimise your chances of bringing drama into your workplace. And if you receive a call or text from your ex – or even see one of their social media posts – your emotions may well take over.
So put your phone firmly in your desk drawer and don’t check your personal emails. Removing (or at least minimising) your desire to constantly check for messages from your ex (or even for sympathetic ones from your friends) will make you more focused and productive.
4. Share with your colleagues if it helps – but be aware of their feelings, too
When we say you shouldn’t bring drama into your workplace, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tell your colleagues what you’re going through. In fact, sharing your feelings with the people around you is an important part of your healing process.
The decision to share is entirely personal and one that only you can make. But you may find that being open and honest with your colleagues will help. After all, they’re the people that you spend the most time with on a daily basis, and they’ll often be able to provide emotional support.
What’s more, if your boss has noticed that you seem upset – or you feel that your break-up is impacting your ability to do your job – it’s probably worth letting him or her know that you’re going through a difficult personal situation.
The only caveat is that you need to remember they have work to do, too – so just be aware that you’re not putting too much of a burden on your colleagues.
5. Shake up your old work routines
The enforced change in engrained patterns and routines is one of the many reasons that break-ups can be so traumatic. And if you’ve been with your ex for a long time, it’s likely that even your work routines will connect you in some way.
If, for example, you always spoke to your ex at lunchtime, you’re bound to feel incredibly sad every day as that time approaches. So rather than waiting with dread, do something different. Ask a colleague to pop out for a walk or a sandwich, or arrange to meet a friend for coffee.
Establishing new routines is part of the healing process. It will empower you to reclaim your independence and will help you feel stronger (although you may not think so at first).
6. Get guidance from someone you can trust
It’s natural to feel lonely and lost after the end of your relationship. If you’re struggling to cope with life, finding the right person to offer guidance and support can make a tangible difference to your life, and the way you deal with work.
Whether you speak to a therapist or counsellor, or seek the support of a psychic, tarot reader, medium or clairvoyant, it’s vital that your relationship is built on trust.
With the right help, not only with you have the tools to cope at work. You’ll reclaim control over the rest of your life, and will begin to feel positive about your future.