After a Breakup, Healing Outside of Work Is Hard, Getting Back to Work Can Be Harder
When a marriage or a relationship ends, it can be a very difficult time in our lives. Whatever the reason for the split, the breakup of any relationship can turn your whole world into complete disorder. It may cause painful and traumatic feelings. There are things you can do to get through this difficult time. Finding a support team is most important and coming up with a serious game plan to resume your life is second. As difficult as it may be, you will eventually have to go back to work. The purpose of life is a life of purpose.
For most people who are trying to deal with a loss or a break up, returning to work can be grueling. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. The fear of having to re tell your story to each person that comes up to you with the tearful eyes and says, “I’m sorry” is real. You may also fear an emotional breakdown in front of your co workers. Remember, you are human, and all humans have feelings. But before you actually go back to work, here are a few ideas that may help with the transmission: Come up with a game plan:
A) Recap a usual work day for yourself, and find trigger points that may need to be tweaked. Lets say every one goes to the cafeteria at 10:15 for coffee, and you know you are going to be bombarded with questions, then don’t go. Take a walk. Work on extra projects, keep busy. Pay attention to your emotions and what you need at any given moment. Muster the courage to speak up for yourself and your needs. Respect what you believe to be right and best for you, and make those beliefs part of your game plan.
B) If you are out of work for a length of time, see if you can return to work for a few half-days to make the transition easier. If not, stop in for lunch the day before you are due back to work, to get those words of sympathy from coworkers out of the way. If you have an emotional meltdown in the bathroom after hearing “how are you” ten times in 5 minutes, it is OK to cry. But remember you are at work, so take a 5 minute time out, and than pull yourself together. Think positive, happy thoughts and return to your work station to keep yourself focused. You can allow yourself to cry as soon as the work day ends. Healing takes time, so be patient with yourself.
C) Stick to a routine. A break up or a divorce can cause chaos in many areas of your life, intensifying stress in many ways. Getting back to a regular routine can give you sense of structure and comfort. If you don’t have a routine, than make one. Make it a point to add something comforting for you every day. Remember to allow yourself a crying period in the evenings only. The mornings may trigger unwanted, extra sadness, and you may not make it to work. If you get a piece of paper and write down an hour by hour schedule from wake up, though the work day, until bedtime, may help. Seeing the strict structure in a concrete form, may make it easier to stick to a plan. Always have a few phone numbers of good friends on that paper. It can never hurt to call a friend for 5 minutes on a coffee break for support. You may even need to add that to your strict schedule, until you are ready to face the work day alone.
D). Take a time out. Try not to make any major decisions in the first month after a break up, like starting a new job or moving. If you can, wait until you’re feeling less emotional so that you can make better decisions. Stay focused on continuing your life, and making the best out of it every day. Bring something comforting to work, something that makes you smile. A child brings a toy or a blanket to day care, when they are scared and need to be nurtured. As adults we can comfort our inner child by bringing something small and appropriate to work. Maybe new photographs of your children or a comforting warm beverage to sooth your insides. How about printing out a great quote like, “Life is not always fair. Sometimes you get a splinter even sliding down a rainbow.” ~Terri Guillemets or “wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine. ~Anthony J. D'Angelo, and keeping it framed on your desk.
E) Try new activities. A beginning is always a new way to look at “an end”. Take the opportunity to explore new ideas, people, and activities. This can give you a chance to enjoy life in the here-and-now, rather than dwelling on the past. Try a new restaurant, or a new adventure. Anything that will make you smile, will be a positive focal point to think of, when you are about to break down at work. Laughter is always the best remedy. Remember at all times to “keep your head where your feet are”. If your feet are at work, your head should be too. If you live life, through the pain, you will have something positive to smile about when your head drifts out of the work place and into the sorrow. Redirect your thoughts in anyway you can. Tapping out negative thoughts through EFT helps a lot of people. If you Google the following link, it may help you to learn to quietly “tap” out your negative feelings, while you are at work, with no one watching. http://eftnewsletter.org/about/how-to-tap/
Sometimes returning to work is in our best interest. It can make the healing process easier and keep our minds and bodies open to healing instead of staying home loathing. Sometimes throwing ourselves back into work will help us Bounce Back. We are all different, but one thing we all need is support and a game plan.